Dad shows how it’s done in Clutha fishing competition

One boy would fish every day if given the chance. The elder brother doesn’t always like fishing. And dad just showed them how it’s done.

Father Paul Dunn, of Balclutha, and sons Slade (12) and Logan (14) each caught a trout in the combined Lower Clutha Fishing Competition and Bluelight fishing event on Sunday (March 12).

Right: Paul Dunn holds his prize-winning brown trout with his sons Logan (14, left) and Slade (12) at the combined Lower Clutha Fishing Competition and Bluelight fishing event in Balclutha on Sunday (March 12). PHOTOS: BRUCE QUIREY

Mr Dunn, who won the prize for heaviest brown trout (1.2kg) in the adult’s event, said he enjoyed taking his boys fishing whenever possible.

“I love the excitement on their faces,” Mr Dunn said.

“Even my oldest boy who doesn’t like fishing, you can still see he gets excited when he’s got one on.  My youngest boy loves fishing and can’t get enough of it.

“It’s a bit of fun, and you spend a bit of time together.”

IMG 8688Left: Holly Smith (8), of Clinton, with her father Daryl, displays her catch which won the biggest fish of the children’s Bluelight event. 


A total of 262 anglers – exactly half adults and half children – entered in the fishing events run by Otago Fish & Game and Balclutha police.

Fifty fish were weighed in ─ 23 brown trout, 11 rainbow trout and 16 perch.

The weigh-in and prizegiving were held at the Balclutha Association Football Club grounds. Holly Smith (8), of Clinton, caught the biggest fish in the Bluelight children’s event.

 Otago Fish & Game officer Bruce Quirey said good weather added to the fun but bright conditions might have fish shy for some anglers.

“It was great to see so many families out fishing together on the Clutha River/Mata-Au,” Mr Quirey said.

“There was a fun atmosphere at the weigh-in and prizegiving in the afternoon.”

IMG 8645 1


Right: Matilda Hickey (4), of Dunedin, watches as Otago Fish & Game volunteer Brian Hutton measures her brown trout. 


Detective Kate Bartlett, of Balclutha police, said police/Bluelight organisers were overwhelmed with the “fantastic” turnout.

“Huge thanks to our sponsors. We couldn’t have done this without their generosity,” Detective Bartlett said.

“Today was bigger and better with the partnership with our friends from Otago Fish & Game.”

Fish & Game collected otoliths (ear bones) as part of the Brown Trout Origin research project.

The research in partnership with the University of Otago is helping to identify crucial spawning habitat in the lower Clutha River/Mata-Au. The project is funded by Contact Energy.

IMG 8674 1Riley Milligan (9), of Milton, tries out his casting skills.

IMG 8696 1Sisters Ruby (2) and Sophie (6) Cook, of Clutha, were all smiles with their catch of the day. 

IMG 8736 1Senior Constable Tanya Grant (left) and Detective Kate Bartlett tally up the Bluelight entries with Otago Fish & Game officer Jayde Couper.