In perfect weather yesterday, anglers, some from as far away as Timaru, were at South Beach for the 17th year of the Eides Sports Surf Fishing contest.
Co-organiser Grant Clark said there were about 900 entries this year, a record.
"We were going to limit it to 800, but we could not turn any people away.
"They just kept coming," he said.This contest brings a lot of good people together. It's a great family day."
However, not one snapper was caught in the contest and the prizes went into a draw.
The first prize (for a snapper) was a $10,000 Suzuki quad, with the first prize of a $2000 fishing package for a kahawai, cod or gurnard.
The going was hard with some anglers, two-and-a-half hours into the competition, only managing to catch seaweed Mr Clark said had swept down the coast from Taranaki.
Some of the anglers the Chronicle spoke to arrived on Thursday night and, along with the other hundreds, set up camp beyond the reach of the high-tide mark.
While some shelters were simple tents, others went to great lengths to bring the home comforts for their short stay.
Mr Clark was also thankful to the Wanganui community and businesses that supported the contest, and engineering company Downer's who were out earlier in the week voluntarily clearing the driftwood on the beach.
Kahawai, cod, gurnard: Gordon Love, Wairoa, 2.458kg kahawai
Non-scale section: Michelle Trevor-Roper, Wanganui, 18.57kg 7-gill shark
Lucky draw in the snapper section: Nathan Foster, Norsewood.