Murray Kidd has caught a lot of fish off 90 Mile Beach over the last 28 years, but never a 10kg snapper. Until Thursday.

He already had a snapper and a kahawai in the bin as he sat in the rain, thinking about moving his vehicle up the beach a little, when the biggest fish of his career took the bait.

He played it carefully, taking quarter of an hour to land it, saying later that any one of the 1000 people who began fishing the 2019 Snapper Bonanza this morning would have been delighted with it.

"This is one they won't be catching," he said.

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He caught the fish on the high tide at Lone Pine, towards the southern end of the beach, using pilchard tails for bait. He generally uses tuatua, but the tide had been too high to dig any when he got there.

The same spot had been yielding some very nice trevally over the last few weeks, he added.