There’s a new generation of incredibly keen and talented anglers making their mark on the Nambucca.
Soggy conditions did nothing to deter the throngs of young fishers from throwing a line in for the Nambucca Heads Offshore Fishing Club’s ‘Go Fishing For Kids’ day.
“We had about 40-odd kids there with their mums and dads which was beaut!” club secretary/treasurer Rhett Smyth said.
Bait was supplied by Rob and Tracy of the Nambucca Boatshed tackle shop for the primary school-age entrants into the ‘longest fish of the day’ competition.
Contestants met at the boatshed and then dispersed around the Valley’s waterways to try their luck.
Young Layla Brennan was awarded the top prize for a whopping 42cm flathead with Amalia coming a very close second with a 41.5cm fish.
But with hundreds of dollars spent on prizes for the occasion, every kid walked away a winner at the end of the day.
Over 100 bream, flathead and mangrove jacks were reeled in, with most of the fish released to swim another day.
“We’re keen to promote catch and release and sustainable fishing at the club,” Rhett said.
“We provided everyone with rulers so they could snap a photo of their fish, release it and submit the photo.”
Everyone came back together for a barbecue lunch at Bellwood Park where they could swap tales about the one they let swim away.
This was the second ‘Go Fishing For Kids’ day that the club has held.
The funds for the day come from a grant through the Saltwater and Freshwater Fishing Trust— a DPI-Fisheries initiative.
A portion of annual recreational fishing fees are made available to communities to be invested back into fishing infrastructure and community fishing events like this one.
Rhett said the fishing club received “lots of help” from the Coffs Harbour NSW DPI-Fisheries department to shore up the funding and was grateful for the assistance.
“Days like this get kids outdoors and enjoying nature at its best,” Rhett said.
“It introduces kids to the joys of fishing and hopefully might reel in a few to become members of the fishing club later down the track.”
The Nambucca Heads Offshore FIshing Club Inc. is a long-standing pillar of the Nambucca community, regularly helping out with community events like the Rotary Club’s River Festival, Frank Partridge School’s NAIDOC week celebrations, and even volunteering to manage the rubbish and parking at the upcoming ProAg event.
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“Not many people know this but members of the fishing club were the ones who brought their tractors and put the road down to Shelly Beach back in the 50s,” Rhett said.
Anyone looking to become a member of the club can contact Rhett Smyth on 0407 455 378 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.