No-one was more proud of himself than (almost) three-year-old Matthew Deans when he caught his first fish on Waitangi Day.
The 348gm perch he caught with a rod borrowed from his cousin helped him win the under sevens category of Foxton's Annual fishing competition, organised by the Manawatū Boating Club.
He was second overall in the junior competition, said his mom Nicole.
Matthew Deans has followed in his father's and grandfather's footsteps taking to fishing, and the catch has been a big boost.
"It was his first time fishing," said mom Nicole.
"The organisers were expecting about 125 kids but they had over 170 and those kids caught a lot of fish. They caught a lot of herrings and someone got a crab."
She said Matty's granddad holds the national record for catching a mako shark.
Organiser Kevin Giles said the competition is an annual event for kids on Waitangi Day.
Local businesses like Foxton Fizz and New World provided food and drinks for the kids free, while Palmerston North's Hunting and Fishing supplied the prizes as well as a trace line and bait.
"The kids enjoyed themselves and caught fish like there was no tomorrow," he said.
"Normally we have close to 100 catches but this time they caught more than 400. The kids behaved exceptionally well and we have a lot more than anticipated, but you cannot turn kids away, can you?"