Working together was the key to success says Eastland Debarking team leader Chris Spurr who with an Eastland Port sponsored team scooped the prizes at this year’s Durapanel 90 Mile Beach Snapper Bonanza surfcasting competition.
Spurr’s fish was the smallest snapper to win the competition in the past seven years but size doesn’t matter and the father of three took home $30,000 for catching the biggest fish over the week long tournament.
He bagged a further $2000 for catching the heaviest snapper on the day on Wednesday and with his team helped earn another $5100 during the competition.
“People may think fishing is all about luck, but you wouldn’t realise the preparation our team carried out in the lead up to the competition” says Chris. “
He, team captain Chad Prentice from Wairoa, and Sam Morrison and Nick Powis from Hawkes Bay, gathered fresh bait including crayfish and octopus before the competition. And there were countless hours preparing and talking about gear. ”Chad, Sam, Nick and I would be retying our rigs, traces and leaders every night before the next day’s competition. You can’t leave anything to chance as dropping one fish could have meant we missed out on the title.”
Just as much time was spent studying the area available for fishing. No two bodies of water are exactly the same so pre-tournament research helps anglers know what must be done to win, explains Chris. “Chad has a good eye for reading the water, so after checking out each area beforehand and rating it, we were able to head back there on fishing days.”
“We did all of that together…formulating plans, and strategising for how we would fish depending on the scenarios of the day. That’s why it’s a no brainer that we shared the spoils.”
“We’re all shattered but we love the sport, the competition and being outdoors. Getting up early, dealing with the sea and weather conditions, standing all day in the water definitely takes its toll but the pain is worth the rewards!”
Chris says he owes a big debt of thanks to Eastland Port which sponsored team apparel and kept locals interested in the event via its daily Facebook updates. He also thanks Fullon Fishing for tackle sponsorship, and Pak n’ Save for its donation.
But he saves the biggest thanks for his team mates who he says made this fishing competition the most gruelling, most fun, and most memorable one he’s ever been in. “I’ve known Chad, who is a former New Zealand surfcasting champion for a long time, and he recruited in Sam and Nick who are mad keen surfcasters and hard workers. Without Sam and Nick’s contribution during the competition and especially on the last day things would have been a lot different. So we had the dream team.”
“It’s all finally beginning to sink in. We won. After all that bloody hard work…we won!”