01 Day… 02 Hours… 10 minutes
When Whangaparaoa plumber Glenn Keating heard he had won the draw through Chesters Plumbing to take on the Rheem Big 6 Challenge, he thought he had a good chance of being the first to crack all six. For Glenn has a long history of lucky wins – from overseas trips to other large prizes.
This is year eight in the history of the Big 6 and the highest score was back in 2016 when Wellington’s Tony Cain managed to bag five.
“That is why it’s called a Challenge,” said host Geoff Thomas. “You are always up against the vagaries of the weather in the outdoors, and fish can be fickle. Then you have the game animals which are usually out feeding at dawn and dusk so you have to plan around that.”
Glenn’s adventure started at the Tairua Sports Fishing Club where Geoff introduced him to local legend Carl Muir who seemed confident Glenn would have his two fish pretty quickly. True to his words, “We caught live baits at Slipper Island then headed for the Aldermen group of islands half an hour offshore. Well, as we got further out the sea got bigger and the wind was honking,” said Geoff. “Carl stopped on his secret spot out in the middle of nowhere and held the boat stern-on to the wind and sea as Glenn and his wing man, Sholto, dropped live yellowtails.
It took several attempts but he finally hooked and boated a nice Kingfish. Then we stopped inside the Aldermen, put out some berley and soon had two Snapper and two Kahawai.”
The Score = Two fish (we counted the Kahawai and the Kingfish).
A three-hour dash saw the team sneaking through the bush south of Rotorua and although he had never fired a big rifle, Glenn, with the help of guide Dave, lined up a 12-point red Stag which was feeding on the edge of a clearing. Thirty minutes later he added a Billy Goat to the tally.
The Score = Four points.
“We have struggled with the hunting over the years, but everything came together beautifully this time” said Geoff.
“It must be Glenn’s lucky streak.”
Only two Trout were needed to get the six. The next morning at Lake Tarawera the Trout were very obliging and after landing two good sized fish, Glenn had the first Rheem Big 6 Challenge in the bag.
In what usually is a 48 hour challenge, it took Glenn 26 hours and 10 minutes, which will be the benchmark for future challengers to aim at.
Final Score = Six points
(Kingfish, Kahawai, Stag, Billy Goat, and two Trout).
The next Big 6 Challenger is Murray French of Belfast Plumbing.