Kids reel them in
Levin 10-year-old Karen Horn likes fishing - but she does not like fish.
''They're all squirmy and feel yucky,'' she said.
Karen was one of 195 children - and just as many adults - at the Kids Fishing at the Wharf competition at Foxton Beach on Waitangi Day.
She caught six sprats during the two-hour afternoon event.
''But I gave one to my sister and one to my cousin,'' she said.
Karen attributed her tally to the tiny hooks on the line of her fishing rod, which she won at last year's competition, as there seemed to be only small fish swimming in the water below them.
''Fishing is fun - my granddad taught me how to do it.''
The annual event was open to children aged 13 years and under and organised by the Manawatu Marine Boating Club.
Vice commodore Shane Parlato said weather conditions were good and the kids enjoyed an ''awesome afternoon promoting genuine good old family values''.
''It's also a worthwhile event on the fishing calendar, where future fishermen and fisherwomen can learn the skills of how to catch the big one,'' he said.
Harry Wells, 11, of Foxton Beach said he went fishing usually once a week.
''I like reeling in the big fish,'' he said.
''I caught a red cod here once, about 30 centimetres long, as well as heaps of kahawai.'' Harry said he was introduced to fishing by his father and also enjoyed spending time at the wharf with his friends.
''I like being outside, in nature.''
In the six-year-old and under age category, the winner was Jayda Wood with a 102g herring, with Reed Iwanica, second, with a 66g herring and Phisyis Grant, third, with a 64g herring.
The seven to 13-year-olds category was won by Chelsea Parlato with a 212g herring, followed by Nikau Komene with a 146g herring and Ailis Asghar with a 120g herring.
Other prizes went to Katey McKenzie for weighing in the heaviest eel, at 734g; Sam Rabbitte, the smallest fish - a 4g eel; and Reuben McKenzie and Chelsea Parlato for the ''most unusual catches'' - with Reuben catching an old mobile phone and Chelsea reeling in a baby stargazer fish.