The annual Placemakers 90 Mile Snapper Bonanza began in fine conditions yesterday with around 850 fishers chasing the $30,000 prize for the heaviest snapper.

Michelle Hewitson from Kaitaia fishing in her first event, along with sister in law Ani Wyatt: "We are loving it," the girls said.

As of edition time yesterday, 65 fish had been caught but only 26 had been weighed in. The biggest of 7.905kg at that point was caught by Keith Munisamy at 7.15am, 15 minutes after the event began, while the next biggest at 6.970kg was caught only five minutes later by Phil Harper.

The competition winds up on Saturday when the winner of the main prize for the heaviest snapper will be presented with $30,000 cash while anglers are also in the draw for a 4x4 truck and an overseas holiday.