Keen fishers from as far away as Australia flocked to the Wanganui East Club's Monster Surf Casting competition in the weekend.

Organiser Ken Mander said the event was the biggest one-day surfcasting competition in New Zealand, this year attracting 735 entries.

"We get people from all over - we even had people come over from Australia for it," Mr Mander said.

"We were really pleased with the number of entries."

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The competition was based at the army huts at Landguard Bluff, with fishers filling the coastline from South Beach south to the mouth of the Whangaehu River. Many people brought tents and camped for the weekend.

There were prizes awarded in all fish categories this year except the coveted snapper category. There were no snapper caught, so the big prize for that category - the choice of either a Honda quad bike, a Honda CB500 or a Honda family pack of three motorcycles - became a spot prize.

In all, $40,000 worth of prizes was on offer.

Sarah Apiata from Whanganui said the fishing had been "sad" - she hadn't caught a single fish - but she'd still had a fun day.

"We've been coming here for years. I always bring all the family along - I've got my grandkids here and everything."

Thomas Gartner from Whanganui had also had no luck with catching fish.

"I'm here with my mate, and we had a good day anyway."