The 2002 tournament is the 25th Anniversary of the event, and as such is very special
For twenty four years Lake Taupo has hosted one of the premiere fresh water fishing competitions. The tournament is a non-profit organisation overseen by the Lake Taupo Promotional Association. The Lake Taupo Promotional Association, working in conjunction with Mighty River Power, offers scholarships to students studying environmental sciences specifically in and for the Lake Taupo catchment.
30 rivers and streams from a catchment area of approximately 2,800 square metres flow into the lake and the time for ground water to reach the lake from these catchment areas is anything from 2 to 40 years. The time it takes for a droplet of water to pass through the lake and into the Waikato River is 20 years. The water clarity is about 14 metres. Where else in the world could you dip a glass into the lake and safely drink the contents!
Some statistics for the past three years of the tournament:
1099 fish were caught over the three day tournament
Average weight 1.71kg (3lb 12oz)
Heaviest fly fishing 4.12kg
Heaviest caught trolling 3.84kg
Heaviest brown 3.084kg
1099 fish caught over three days
Average weight 1.87 kg
Heaviest fly fishing 3.710kg
Heaviest trolling 3.630kg
Heaviest Brown 2.940kg
1246 fish over three days
Average weight 1.764kg
Heaviest fly fishing 4.252kg
Heaviest trolling 4.302kg
Heaviest brown 4.150kg
The two major prizes are determined by calculating the average weight of all fish weighed in by adult and junior anglers respectively. This means that these major prizes cannot be targeted, and anyone who weighs in an average sized fish has a chance to win. The prizes for both adult and junior anglers will continue to be managed in the same way.
The tournament angler numbers are capped at 450 by the Department of Conservation. The reason for this is that Lake Taupo is a totally wild fishery (not stocked by man) and is managed purely for recreation. Too many anglers on the lake would impact on the quality of not only the fishery, but the water also.
Brown trout are also caught in Lake Taupo and surrounding streams and rivers. In 2000, the heaviest Brown trout weighed in at 2.940kg (6lb 8oz) and in 2001 it was 4.150kg (9lb 1oz).
In 2000 and 2001 the Tournament ran a "Tagged Trout" section of the tournament. In 2001 the prize for catching the trout that was caught, tagged and released two days before the tournament began was a new Haines Hunter boat and 115hp 4 stroke Yamaha outboard motor from Trev Terry Marine, together with a Limited Edition 2WD wellside Rodeo ute (or pick-up) from Taupo Holden. The sponsors are keen to continue with this prize.
Fishing starts at 5am each day and finishes at 5pm, with weigh in from 5-7pm. The bar is open from 4pm, and hot food is available from 5-8pm. There are spot prizes each evening, and prizes too for things like the best "Hard luck story" of the day, the best "one that got away story" of the day. All in all, it's a very entertaining tournament and suitable for the whole family.
In the main prize list, there are two categories for junior anglers - primary (5-12yrs) and secondary (13-16yrs). The other categories are for women, teams, corporate, open and overseas anglers. In each category, there are provisions made for both fly fishing and boat fishing disciplines, so no matter how you prefer to fish, there is an opportunity there for everyone.
There are a great many boats available for hire at both ends of The Great Lake. All of these have their own operators and supply fishing equipment at no extra charge. An individual adult entry costs $65, each adult team member entry costs $90. All anglers who enter the tournament will receive a registration pack. This will contain a promotional type item pertaining to the tournament, along with discount vouchers and some advertising material. In the past these have been items like rain jackets, sweatshirts or cooler bags. The 2002 item has yet to be confirmed.
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