Club goes a-fishing for tiddlers

Lake Macquarie fishing club casts for kids to join fun, prize-filled tournament

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FAMILY AFFAIR: Happy anglers enjoy Teralba Lakeside Fishing Club's Junior Teams Fishing Tournament last year.

FAMILY AFFAIR: Happy anglers enjoy Teralba Lakeside Fishing Club's Junior Teams Fishing Tournament last year.

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Seniors at Teralba club in NSW hope to get youngsters fired up on fishing for life.

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THEIR grandparents instilled a love of fishing in them and now they are doing the same for their grandchildren.

For a second year, avid anglers from Teralba Lakeside Fishing Club on Lake Macquarie, NSW, will pass on their passion to a new generation when they host the Junior Teams Fishing Tournament.

Held on November 6-8 the free event offers healthy outdoors fun, bags of gifts and prizes, and a taste of a sport organisers hope they will enjoy for the rest of their lives.

BAGS OF FUN: Every young participant will have something to take home from the event.

BAGS OF FUN: Every young participant will have something to take home from the event.

Many members are seniors who have been fishing since they were tiddlers themselves.

They include Ian and Leanda Guy, the club's treasurer and tournament co-ordinator, respectively, who have lived on Lake Macquarie all their lives.

Two of the Coal Point couple's six grandchildren will be among the 80-odd kids expected to take part,

To their delight, both girls have taken to fishing with gusto.

The nine-year-old is already a junior champion and more than a match for more than a few members many times her age,

"She gets it from Lee, who outfishes me and was angler of the year for five years in a row," said retired engineer Ian with a laugh.

Leanda, a former primary school principal, says she volunteered to oversee the event because encouraging juniors to fish is her passion.

"Once they learn how to to fish, they can do it for the rest of their lives and do it all over the world," she said.

On the night before the event there will be a family tacklebox talk, where a guest shows kids the basics of setting up a rig, tying on a hook and so on. This year it will be a representative from Hot Tackle in Toronto

The next day dawns with youngsters competing in teams of up to four, fishing any time between 6am and 6pm. On the Sunday, the hours are 6am-10am.

Teams have the choice of fishing from shore or boat but must be supervised by an adult manager for guidance and safety.

The grown-ups also have the crucial job of recording the catch before the fish are released, as is required and no matter what their size.

To ensure it is a combined effort, there is a limit of five catches per competitor or 20 fish per team.

At the end of the event on Sunday, photos of the catches will be displayed, the winners will be announced and the children receive their prizes (worth a total of about $50 worth)/

The day concludes with a family barbecue hosted by the club.

"It a long day but it's up to the team and the manager when, where and how long they go out for," Ian said.

"If you're in a good spot, you'll probably get your catch in good time."

Ian said the lake is in good shape fish-wise since the end of commercial fishing and netting several years back, with lots of good spots to be found and fish to be found.

"As the winter comes in, some fish are in their breeding season. There have been some really big jewfish, mulloway, kingies, huge flathead,

"Plus you see different species. We had a queenfish caught by a young fellow the other day. I hadn't seen one of them before."

The warm water around Eraring power station is a lure for fish and other marine animals, such as dolphins and even the odd green sea turtle.

Ultimately, the club - an offshoot of Teralba Bowling club and one of 30-odd fishing groups around the lake - plans to open up a junior membership so youngsters can take part in club days and weigh-ins.

The juniors event's major supporter is Michael Guest, organiser of the annual PIRTEK Fishing Challenge, which raises money for breast cancer research.

For the second year, he will bring all the leftover brag mats, hats and neck muffs from the event, with every young competitor receiving a bag to take home.

There will also be a raffle, with all proceeds going to the Newcastle Rescue Helicopter Service.

Prize donors include chef Matthew Evans from the Fat Pig restaurant and farm in Tasmania, NIB and local artist Mina Melman

Matthew has donated a copy of his book The Gourmet Farmer Goes Fishing, NIB has chipped in with a football signed by the Newcastle Knights, while Mina is donating two specially produced pieces.

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