by Michele McPherson michele.mcpherson
A heavy rain warning is in place across the Western Bay of Plenty leaving anglers in the One Base game fishing tournament back on land and hoping the weather will improve for their final shot at landing the big one tomorrow.
Between 8pm last night and 9am today, 31mm of rain drenched Tauranga Airport, most of which fell from about 3am onwards.
Metservice forecaster Robert Kerr said Western Bay residents could expect the downpour to last most of the day, with the heavy rain warning in place for the Bay of Plenty, west of Kawerau, until 6pm tonight.
"Generally what you call heavy rain is 1.7mm per 10 minutes. In order for it to be severe weather there has to be heavy rain over a period of time and that's generally 50mm per six hours or 100mm per 10 hours," he said.
However, Mr Kerr said the rain would be at its heaviest in Tauranga during the morning.
Things are looking brighter for the weekend with the weather due to clear tomorrow, leaving the 616 One Base anglers hopeful of a full day's fishing.
Sunday will bring odd showers, mainly in the east.
Rob Marsh, who lives in Te Puke, recorded a drenching of 110mm of rain between about 7.30am yesterday and a similar time today.
In Katikati, Highlands resident Tim Suckling recorded 60.2mm of rain between 9am yesterday and the same time today.
Over the same period Jim Coster, who lives in the Lower Kaimai district, recorded an impressive 77mm of rain on his property.
If the 184 One Base boats do set off tomorrow, Tauranga Game Fishing Club manager Grant Holley said they would be in for an extended day's fishing, starting at an hour earlier at 6.30am and finishing an hour later at 4pm.
A decision on whether fishing will go ahead tomorrow will be made by the One Base committee at 3pm today.
"From a safety perspective, we can't stop them going out (fishing) but we can't encourage them." Holley said. Despite the weather bringing a frustrating halt to two of the four fishing days, anglers remained in good spirits.
A fisherman registered in the One Base tournament reported at 3.9m swell at A Bouy, just outside the entrance to Tauranga Harbour this morning.
Yesterday anglers had a go at the fishing simulator at the club and heard a presentation from experienced weigh master, Paul Batten.
Mr Holley said there were 275 anglers socialising in the club last night.
Should fishing not go ahead tomorrow the prizes will be dished out via a lucky draw.