Family gears up for adventure after fishing clinic

  • Otago
  • 10/11/2023

Family gears up for adventure after fishing clinic

Pictured: Mark Brabant and son Jai (12) try their hands at soft bait fishing at the Manuherekia River mouth at Alexandra on Wednesday. (November 8) Photo: Ben Sowry, Otago Fish & Game

The Brabant family will hit the South Island’s rivers, lakes and canals this summer after attending a soft bait fishing clinic in Central Otago this week.

Cromwell shearing contractor Mark Brabant and his sons Jai (12) and Chace (8) might be new to freshwater fishing but proved naturals at casting soft bait lures.

“We’re definitely going to get a fishing licence and tackle some rivers,” Mr Brabant, an experienced sea angler, said.

“A mate told us about a fishing competition we’re going to enter this Sunday.”

The soft bait clinic run by Otago Fish & Game and pro-angler Lance Gill, from Okuma, at the Manuherekia River mouth at Alexandra was “real educational”, Mr Brabant said.

“They walked us through the different soft baits, like paddle tails, and how to use them.

“They gave us the low-down on how to cast properly, how to stay out of snags and things like that.”

Above: Anglers gathered at the Manuherekia River mouth for tips on soft bait fishing. 

Almost 30 anglers who attended the clinic are part of a bigger push by Fish & Game to hook Kiwis on the experience of freshwater fishing and game bird hunting. The organisation launched its national ReWild campaign this week.

Otago Fish & Game officer Ben Sowry said soft baits were highly effective when using spinning gear to target trout, salmon and perch.

“Everyone had a great time, learning about tackle and techniques, right through to local areas to go and try their hand,” Mr Sowry said.

It was great to see parents and children learning how to catch fish, he said.

“Fishing and hunting is a way of life for thousands of Kiwis,” he said.

“All Kiwis should have a chance to get out and connect with nature, come together with whānau and friends and catch some kai.”

Next week, anglers near Dunedin will have the chance to attend a soft bait fishing clinic at 6.30pm on Wednesday, November 15, on the Taieri River, next to the red bridge on Taieri Ferry Road, Henley. The events are free.

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