With just over a month until the Snapper Bonanza, local anglers have been closely monitoring fishing and weather conditions along 90 Mile Beach.
And many will be pleased to see anglers reel in a respectable number of snapper in the most recent Ninety Mile Beach Surfcasting Club contest earlier this month. A report from the club's annual 24-hour overnight field- day for the Workman Tankard noted the event attracted a big field of 52 club members and one visitor who produced 121 snapper, one trevally and one kahawai.
Considering each angler can only weigh in five fish for an overnight session, this made for good fishing, noted club spokesman Jack Rogers:
"Conditions saw a relatively high swell on the Saturday [February 3] but the sea calmed down as the weekend progressed."
Heaviest snapper and first prize went to Dave Lloyd 7.23kg, while the runner-up second prize with the heaviest (and only) trevally was won by junior angler Oscar Parlour with 3.73kg, and third place for heaviest kahawai was won by Murray Dysart with a 2.18kg fish.
Other placegetters were, Skarn Hokai 7.22kg snapper (only one gram off 1st place), 4, Dan Needham 1.94kg kahawai 5, Gareth McKenzie 6.90kg snapper 6, Keri Hokai 1.83kg kahawai 7, Robbie Wilson 6.34kg snapper 8, Milton Arnold 1.31kg kahawai 9, Ben Waaka 6.30kg snapper 10.
"It was interesting to note that the smallest snapper in the prizemoney was 6.30kg, with only one trevally being caught which gave for more snapper and kahawai prizes," Rogers noted.
The haggle set at a 2.45kg snapper was won by Dennis Clarke with a 2.38kg fish, while the prized Workman Tankard went to Gareth McKenzie for his combined fish weight of 26.15kg ahead of runner-up Ben Waaka with 21.17kg.
The Hukatere Hook trophy is on the line this Sunday. Fishing will take place from 8am to 4pm over a 3.5m tide high at noon. Noting the Hukatere Hook goes to the greatest variety of scale fish of legal size weighed in on the day and caught off 90 Mile Beach, Rogers predicted good fishing again "as long as the impending cyclone stays away."
For further information, contact Jack Rogers 408-2660.