NZACA – Proposal

A FULL PROPOSAL, PLEASE READ and have your say, your feedback is important: So put your NZACA hat on, read it through and send in your constructive thoughts.
Proposal to the NZACA

1 June 2013

Looking from the outside in, it’s very easy to judge and get the wrong impression, so please excuse me if I seem not to give due credit to work the executive have already done. If I had the time to join the NZACA executive and make a better contribution to something I care about, I would.
The NZACA has seen a decline in membership. I’m aware that new people have come onto the executive recently and this is great to see. I believe the NZACA can attract a lot of support and new membership provided the pitch is good and relationships are developed in the right places.

The NZACA should be always be shown in a positive light, but after some Nationals the negatives have attracted the most publicity. Fortunately, the last two Nationals have been very well organised and impressions have been positive. More positives need to be created for the NZACA to progress. What positives? Why do we join clubs? Because we want to fish with others as keen as ourselves and build on our knowledge. When someone belongs to a club, what will be the benefits be in joining the NZACA? We have records to achieve, and the pinnacle is the National event held once a year. Is that it? It should be more than that, but people outside of the organisation often don’t know we exist.
For the NZACA to get bigger and better, it should publish a monthly update in the NZ Fishing News and other fishing related publications. Even if it’s only one hundred words, it will make people aware of what we do and stand for. I know full well that if you approached the fishing mags, there would be no issues. If you approached guys like Kane Wrigglesworth, Gary Kemsley, Bruce Basher, myself or any other writer, we would help you, but you need to take that step. People probably don’t find our website. I suggest we take our website to them. You could ask Grant Blair of forum for a special thread on NZACA news and activities. The Nationals is the main event. One of the biggest draw cards for me is being able to make choices that determine what I achieve. Tight boundaries restrict choice and increase the element of luck. They stop you from using your knowledge and force you to do the same as everyone else. The fishing area originally proposed for the 2014 Nationals was virtually all sandy beach facing the same easterly direction—if conditions are terrible at Matata, they’ll be just as terrible at Papamoa, and so forth.

Opening up the boundaries will increase choice generally, reduce the element of luck, provide more options if the weather is not perfect and will cater for those who like to fish rocks. Catering for rock fishers will increase the number of keen participants and therefore the quality of fish caught. Quality fish at the weigh-is a very positive outcome for any fishing competition. They generate good publicity, and that is what sponsors like to see.

I propose that the NZACA creates three categories in the fishing competition. These would be as follows:

Champion Boat Angler
This would remain exactly the same as before.

Champion Surfcaster
This section would be for the pure surfcaster. People fishing beaches usually struggle to compete against those fishing on rocks. Competitors in this section would not be allowed to fish on rocks at any time. Access along beaches by quad and four wheel drive vehicles would be permitted. This section would appeal to those competitors who find rock fishing too hard or simply prefer beach fishing and want to compete on that basis.

Competitors in this section would be able to fish open beaches, harbours and platforms within those harbours. This provides a safe option when the weather gets rough or travel is not an option. All man made structures such as wharves on an open coast would not be permitted. These platforms encourage the use of heavy tackle use for rock fishing, which is not in the spirit of surfcasting. An example of an not-permitted platform would be the wharf at Hicks Bay. However, fishing from a wharf inside the Tauranga Harbour would be permitted.

Champion Land Based Angler
This is where I propose significant changes. Competitors entering this section would be allowed to fish rocks and beaches as they choose. All means of access would be permitted including foot or vehicle access over private land or by boats/kayaks. An allowable fishing platform would be defined as one that is attached to the land at low tide. Fishing from islands would not be permitted. These rules will enable the keen rock hopper to realise the full potential of his or her knowledge and skills. These rules will likely result in some very exciting fishing, and exciting fish at the weigh-in.

The point of removing all access restrictions is to showcase what fantastic fishing New Zealand offers. Some competitors will negotiate private access and some will use boats or kayaks. By removing all restrictions, the advantages will balance each other—the playing field will be even. This unrestricted format will appeal to younger members of the NZACA.

Category Selection
Entrants would select a category upon registration. They could alternate from boat fishing to a land category within the competition time, but could not change from one land category to another.

I would like to see some reward for the winners of the events. Financial rewards attract cheats, but sponsored prizes attract members to the championships and encourage participation.

I have succeeded in attracting over $15,000 worth of sponsorship in prizes for the 2014 National Championships should the changes be introduced. Personally I believe I can achieve much more than this but I have stepped back until results of this meeting are clear. It is achievable to to thing each year we can gather $30,000 in sponsored prized to attract huge numbers and lure crowds and interest to our event which would see membership raise significantly. I am prepared to help with promotions and sponsorship as these are my two strong points.

A paid/supplemented trip for the champion(s) to attend the Australian Nationals in 2015 could be considered. The top champion land based fisherman of the land based categories and distance casting Champion would be eligible. 2015 is a realistic goal as it would give enough time to see how the proposed championship pans out and gives enough time to access monetary issues

Casting Competition
It’s vital to get the best casters to a national event—our nationals should not become a second tier event. Serious casters often question the wisdom of driving hundreds of kilometres to get three distance casts, which may well be into a head wind. Casters like Peter Froggatt, Neil Angus and Gary Whitaker should be enthusiastic about competing at our national event.

I suggest that after everyone casts as per normal, the top 6-10 (your advice on how many) in the open casting get the opportunity for a further 3 distance casts. Their previous casts would still stand, but they would get a chance to achieve their full potential when they’re more relaxed and have nothing to lose. A casting court could be reset to suit any change in wind direction. This will create a fantastic opportunity to achieve better results. Good distances will also generate positive publicity and please the sponsors.

Change of Venue
The proposed venue for 2014 may be too small in we attract 200 competitors and supporters or more.

The sit-down meal is likely to be the achilles heel of this event. Firstly, the cost of meals could be beyond the means of some families. Secondly, people who enter the competition at the last minute may miss out on the meal and therefore the prize giving. I believe a formal meal is a dated concept.

I suggest the Thornton Beach Holiday Park as an exceptional venue. It could cater for over 500 people. It has huge parking areas, fantastic weigh station facilities and excellent accommodation. It is a central location for local clubs in the area. It provides an expansive area in which to hold a prize giving. A PA system could be arranged and sponsor’s banners could be put in place. There are several other motor camps close to this venue.

Moving away from the formal dinner concept and creating a festival atmosphere will appeal to many and will cope with a larger audience. The 90 Mile Beach Snapper Classic uses this format. Can you imagine how much of a flop this would be if the prize giving was based around a formal sit-down dinner? Having an area where people can be awarded their trophies and prizes and display their winning fish is what a younger audience will want to see. It will be an environment where people in the crowd can yell out well done bro and cheer without having to feel out of place. As fisherman, this is what we like to do.

Competition Format

Wednesday Morning: AGM and registration followed by the casting—to be completed that day
Thursday 5am: fishing begins
Saturday 7-10am: final weigh-in
Saturday 3pm: prize giving.

The weigh station will be open each afternoon from 4pm to 8pm to weigh fish as required. People can advise the officials present of a change in their category as permitted by the rules. Once competitors have registered, they will be free to leave for their chosen destination. They must be at the weigh station with their fish prior to 10am on Saturday. Once the ropes are up around the weigh station, no late comers will be allowed to present their fish. There will be no exceptions. The format allows plenty of time for competitors to travel, get adequate rest and reach the weigh station in good time.

Competitors on registration would be given wrist bands. These will be seen to identify anglers and entitle the competitor to big discounts from sponsors like bait, burley and gear which would be present at the registration and prize giving.

I have given careful consideration to species should the proposal for separate categories be accepted. It is important to keep them as consistent as possible between categories. No non edible fish should be weighed as I believe the NZACA should be seen as an orginisation that promotes quality fishing.

Gurnard and blue cod are very similar sized fish and can be caught all over the North Island from both rocks and beaches. Both should be a minimum of 35cm and awarded equal points—five of each per bag.

Elephant fish are caught from east cape south along the east coast. They truely are a fantastic catch and quality eating. I would like to see those who venture south of east cape who are fortunate to catch one of these specimens rewarded for there efforts—two per bag

A kingfish is a very challenging fish regardless where and how it is caught. This should be rewarded—one per bag.

Kahawai are a staple fish that provides many angler around the country with fun angling—three per bag.

Porae and Blue Moki are fantastic species and a great alternative to snapper. Their eating qualities are superb and catching them requires some knowledge and skill. Blue moki are prolific along the lower east and south coasts while porae are in found in better numbers north of Tauranga. The average size of both species is similar at around 2.5 kilos. Five of each per bag.

Snapper are sought throughout the north island and a part of all kiwis fishing. These should be included and remain the same—five per bag.

Tarakihi/king tarakihi are highly sought after and difficult to catch from the shore. These should be included and remain the same—five per bag.

John Dory can be caught from both rocks and shore but are more common inside harbours. I would like to see an increase from one per bag to two. This gives harbours more potential if conditions along an open coast in a given area are too rough.

Trevally are exceptional sport fish and should be included—five per bag.

Species – Bag – Minimum Length

Species Points – Total/length – points-KG
Gurnard 5 35 15
Blue Cod 5 35 15
Tarakihi 5 32 15
John Dory 2 35 15
Porae 5 45 10
Blue Moki 5 45 10
Elephant Fish 2 50 10
Snapper 5 35 8
Trevally 5 40 8
Kingfish 1 85 7
Kahawai 3 45 5

All fish should reach a minimum weight of 500g. All fish should be presented in good condition. Fish that have not been looked after should not be weighed. It’s theoretically possible that a lot of fish from this list could be weighed. However, not all species can be caught in one place in New Zealand. Realistically a top angler would not catch anywhere near the limit of each species.

My view is surfcasters will not catch as much as the rock fishing guys. There is no way to evenly weigh up how much of an advantage rock fisherman have so this award should stick within the surfcasting section and open section should not be eligible for this award.

All anglers can still cast, points are up for grabs for their clubs, but most importantly, cast to win. With sponsored prizes up for grabs and an extra three casts, we will find more anglers interested in casting.

Boosting NZACA membership
By removing the formal dinah and opening up to a festival atmosphere it will create less work for the NZACA around catering. A local lion’s club or school could be welcomed to come to the weigh in each night and on the final day and provide food for the hungry fisherman to fundraise for the future events. I believe this would relieve allot of stress for the NZACA as well as gain more support for the community. Giving back to the community is amazing and this would be a fantastic opportunity.

The biggest advantage of this concept is luring in the general public to compete. To some of you this may seem like a silly idea but looking ahead from an NZACA perspective this is the way forward. Under this concept it will not be important to need to know exactly how many anglers will be fishing the championship, we would no longer be catering for them so the only inconvenience would really be to the casting venue. A large price reduction in ticket pricing should apply subsequent to this change which is what the people want.

By advertising this championship correctly and allowing public to sign up on the day it will create a massive boost to the NZACA membership and not only provide more finance but also weight in supporting or fighting fishery petitions.

Recently the NZACA have adapted to the fantastic concept of online fishing clubs that are associated to the NZACA. Many like this concept as they do not have to belong to an actual club, but still get the benefit of being part of the NZACA. Likewise the NZACA gets the full benefit of having their participation.

This should also be seen as a great time for clubs to get out there breaking the ice with these people and get them involved in their club scene.

I propose that general public can sign up during the registration and casting day to the championship. For example, an NZACA member would purchase their championship ticket for $35. A non NZACA member would pay $45 per championship ticket and $10 of that would cover there cost to an online fishing club like the NZFisher club of Kiwi Clubs. This would boost the online clubs, it would also boost the NZACA numbers and put the NZACA on track with where they should be, a recognized entity all over the country. Introduction to an online registration to the website would also make matters much easier for the general public to participate in the Championship

Family rates into the championship
As a passionate fisherman this is nothing better than seeing the whole family turn up and go fishing. There needs to be steps put in place to support and promote this. Currently with high prices it is hard for the whole family to come and enjoy it.

I believe there are two options here to consider. Significantly reducing the children’s entrant fees or giving one free entry to a child per senior member. Keeping in mind that the NZACA would not be supplying and food, there is no cost for a child apart from promoting our sport and doing something special for our youths. For a non NZACA member joining to fish with their family on the day, the child accompanied with a paying adult would only pay the association fee of $10 and fish for free.

I have pulled in enough sponsors to ensure ALL children will get a prize! I think this will be best done between weigh in and prize giving, when there is a crowd around, call the kids up, make a big deal of them, thank the parents for bringing them, THEY WILL COME BACK!

Building Stability
Success comes from stability, stability is found by creating solid platforms and growing from one base constantly evolving. Bay of Plenty is a central location to the North Island. By holding the base here in Bay of Plenty every year, the championship will grow an entity and mistakes ( which will happen ) can be iron out for development to take place

Sponsors which I would personally place as the key to this tournament rely on stability to get the most out of what they have proposed. I can personally get more sponsors based on stability. Local sponsors will also get rewarded and jump on board.

Family’s would be able to book every year into the motor camp and make a holiday out of it. There is allot of cheep accommodation at this suggested venue.

The local community will become more aware of the championship and more members from the public would be enticed to venture down and see what was caught. This creates more revenue for the NZACA in members and get everyone talking about us.

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