2023 Hawke’s Bay Regional River Championships - Tukituki River
The last SFFNZ event of the calendar year was the Hawke’s Bay Championships, fished on the Tukituki river, and there was much interest to see what impact February’s cyclone and subsequent
flooding had on results. It manifested itself in a general shortage of smaller fish but it was pleasing to see that all beats produced and the quality was high, with a number of fish over 50cms recorded.
The event was popular, with several recent SFFNZ joiners participating. Organiser Jason Pearce said “It was great to see many new faces at the Hawke’s Bay Champs - some first-time competitors and some back from a time out of the comp scene. We adjusted the beat draw to ensure that all anglers rotated with a different person per session, to create a more social environment for the new participants”.
Jason went on to say “I would especially like to thank Lloyd Struthers and Hugo Pearce who spent a full day prior to the competition marking beats. They did a great job and all beats caught fish in very challenging conditions”.
The experienced Mark Clasper fished an extremely consistent competition, finishing second, third and first in the respective sessions and winning by some distance, followed by New Zealand’s top performer at the 2023 World Championships, Hugo Pearce, who pipped visiting Finnish Team member, Santeri Kinnunen on fish points to complete the podium.
Top female angler was Sarah Delany, and Mark Clasper also caught the biggest fish at 54 cms.
It was great to have Santeri here as a guest and he remarked after the competition that he really enjoyed competing here in NZ and said that we are extremely lucky to be able to fish competitions
on such great water - he saw the river as great comp water because it was challenging and required the anglers to use their full box of tricks to catch fish.
Mark commented “Flies were mainly 3.5mm to 2.5mm beads with various colours including copper, silver, gold and brown. Red and orange tags, cream caddis and the threaded nymph. I rotated weight without regard to pattern until I hit fish then tried to stay with the pattern or at least bead colour which varied between beats. Throughout the competition I used Echo Shadow X 2 weight 10 foot and in the last session a 10’6 3 weight, as well. Very underrated rods and the best after sales service I’ve ever had from a rod seller. Big ups to Grant Febrery from Safari Supply Company for this.
Big thanks to Lloyd and Hugo for marking the beats and Jason for helping organise an event run in great spirit. I learnt/re-reminded myself of something from all the anglers I controlled, so thanks to them for that and their company.”
Hugo Pearce 2nd, Winner Mark Clasper and Finland's Santeri Kinnunen
2nd placed Hugo Pearce hooked up on Tukituki river.