Catch of the day be­comes the best en­ter­tain­ment of the week

Weekend Herald - - Your Sporting Weekend - Wynne Gray

Sport is so much bet­ter when ev­ery­one joins in. Most ac­tiv­i­ties have re­stric­tions on player num­bers un­less lo­cal rules and of­fi­cials are in scarce sup­ply.

Five play­ers don't fit into a dou­bles match at ten­nis, on the golf tee or a bowls match and six is one too many for a game of bas­ket­ball.

In­for­mal games are much more re­laxed es­pe­cially over sum­mer and the re­cent hot weather has en­cour­aged a va­ri­ety of beach con­tests be­tween fam­i­lies, friends and new ac­quain­tances.

Kite fly­ing, skim-board­ing, cricket, long-board­ing, touch, volleyball and boules cre­ate the in­volve­ment longlin­ing can also gen­er­ate from the beach. At one stage it was called kon­tiki fish­ing with a sim­ple con­cept of us­ing the right wind con­di­tions to take a line out to sea, wait a while and then wind the line back in with your catch.

There have been all sorts of fancy up­grades on that ba­sic method with tor­pe­dos the lat­est to gather pop­u­lar­ity.

That was out of our hosts' realm but they have a great sys­tem when they put the long­line out at One­tangi beach on Wai­heke.

It's an in­clu­sive sport which be­comes more in­tense when neigh­bours dust off their equip­ment and fill the con­ver­sa­tion with tales of their meth­ods and spe­cial lo­ca­tions.

This time they opted out of a duel. They'd been out a few nights be­fore with lim­ited suc­cess and im­plied that would be our lot as well.

Noth­ing like that type of chal­lenge which is fun­da­men­tal to sport. We pooled our re­sources, baited the hooks, set the traces and sent our host on her 800m kayak jour­ney be­fore she jet­ti­soned the weighted line at a spe­cial mark and headed back to shore. Af­ter an hour six of us got to work re­triev­ing the line and wind­ing it back on to the reel.

There were wa­ver­ing ideas about our chances be­fore the first few traces emerged into the shal­lows with­out any cargo.

Any anx­i­ety dis­ap­peared as a catch flapped out of the sand and surf fol­lowed by oth­ers as the ya­hoo­ing cre­ated a di­ver­sion for the beach walk­ers.

They saw a gurnard ap­pear then sev­eral snap­per nudg­ing 50cm as the bin filled with plenty of fish for din­ner and brag­ging points for fil­let­ing con­ver­sa­tions with the neigh­bours.

The ocean to plate suc­cess took less than three hours and was the best sport­ing en­ter­tain­ment any of us had this week.

Black Caps bowler Trent Boult had a go at beach cricket at Mt Maun­ganui.

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