SQUEALS of delight and whistling lines set the scene at Bellwood Park on the banks of the Nambucca this morning as dozens of youngsters got their toes wet and learned how to fish.
The event was put on by the Nambucca Heads Offshore Fishing Club, and involved children from the Nambucca Valley OOSH (Out of School Hours) service, "plus a few extras in members' kids and grandkids", fishing club secretary Rhett Smyth told the Guardian.
"We had 32 booked in and we're absolutely delighted by the turnout," Rhett said.
"It's all about having a go and introducing the kids to an outdoor activity.
"And we've spiced it up by running a little competition so when the kids catch something they take their catch over to the weighmaster for checking - but it's all catch and release."
And fish were caught - mostly bream, and a few flatties, a whiting - and a pesky puffer, though the lad who snagged the blowfish was as happy as if he'd landed a trophy marlin.
Other things were caught too - rocks, hats and fellow anglers.
Also on tap were four volunteers from NSW Fisheries at Coffs Harbour. These Fishcare folk were there to educate the youngsters about fish handling and some general rules to abide by, while members of the Offshore club showed their young charges how to bait a hook and cast.
"It's been a great morning and after this we'll put on a barbecue for them and send them on their way," Rhett said.