Kids get hooked

The Tribune (NZ) - - FRONT PAGE - PAUL MITCHELL

Hun­dreds of as­pir­ing young an­glers hooked them­selves a trout din­ner af­ter be­ing taught how to cast a line at Hokowhitu La­goon.

Fish and Game’s an­nual Take a Kid Fish­ing Day re­turned to Hokowhitu La­goon on Sun­day, at­tract­ing more than 400 chil­dren un­der the age of 12, keen to catch a big one.

Fish and Game re­gional man­ager Phil Teal said a tank of 750 rain­bow trout worth about $7000 was driven down from Ro­torua and the fish re­leased into the la­goon on Fri­day.

Teal said the fish were mostly 2 years old, with a few, big­ger 3-year-old trout in the mix.

‘‘The chil­dren have a lot of fun - for many it’s some­thing they’ve never had a chance to do be­fore, and this ticks that box off.

‘‘But about 20 per cent are go­ing to keep fish­ing, and have a life­long hobby.’’

The chil­dren were guided by ex­pe­ri­enced mem­bers of the Manawatu¯ Fresh­wa­ter Angling Club, which supplied the fish­ing rods for the event.

The fish were kept in pens near the shore while the chil­dren learnt to fish.

Any left over at the end of the day were let out into the wider la­goon for any fisher with a li­cence to catch.

Flynn Po­cock, 5, and sis­ter Emily Po­cock, 9, set their lines right next to each other at 10am.

It was the first time Flynn had been fish­ing, and he was de­ter­mined to do it bet­ter than his sis­ter.

It only took him a minute to get a bite, and he man­aged to reel in the first trout he hooked.

He proudly showed off his catch as he marched down to the pav­il­ion, were the fish were gut­ted and bagged up for the chil­dren to take home for tea.

Flynn said he didn’t like fish, so he wasn’t go­ing to eat it, but it was fun to catch.

‘‘Dad can eat it, but not my sis­ter.

‘‘She’s get­ting her own fish, but it’s not go­ing to be big­ger than my fish.’’

‘‘The chil­dren have a lot of fun - for many it's some­thing they've never had a chance to do be­fore... About 20 per cent are go­ing to keep fish­ing and have a life­long hobby’’

Fish and Game re­gional man­ager Phil Teal

PHOTO: WAR­WICK SMITH/STUFF

With help, Tris­tan Dun­can, 10, lands one of the 750 rain­bow trout at the Fish and Game Take a Kid Fish­ing Day.

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