A popular fishing competition which earlier this year led to a winner being asked to take a lie-detector test has rewritten the rules for anglers trying to hook $60,000 worth of prizes.

In the wake of wrangles over paying out the major prize for the MegaFish competition earlier this year, the organisers have created an entirely new prize format.

Organiser and Hawke's Bay Sports Fishing Club committee member Joe Bicknell said the change meant someone in a small dinghy may walk away with the big prize.

Last February's event saw the contest's promoter balk at handing over a $48,000 Isuzu utility to Napier man Dean Young. The promoter claimed Mr Young had failed a polygraph test which he had been asked to provide after reeling in a 136kg striped marlin.


The insurance company requested the test after refusing to pay the prize.

Mr Bicknell said Mr Young had been a long-time member of the club and they backed him all the way, with the issue eventually resolved after about two months with Mr Young finally being given the keys.

Mr Young is entering again.

"There will be no insurance prizes any more after what happened last time," Mr Bicknell said.

"We have come up with a new idea to give the smaller boats a better shot at winning the major prize - any of the seven species can win it using the new formula and the prize will be for the highest scoring fish using the new formula.

The $10,000 main prize which has been put forward by sponsors Breakers restaurants and The Jandal Bar.

All up there will be $60,000 in prizes and as Mr Bicknell said "all must go".

They have come up with new "formula" based on fish size, with a marlin having its weight multiplied by one, a tuna by two, an albacore multiplied by six, a skipjack by 15, a kingfish by four and a snapper by eight.


Sharks will have the weight divided by 2.5.

"It is all relative."

Effectively, it would be a case of the best fish, from the formula, wins.

Last Waitangi weekend's competition broke a two-year drought after the Coruba-backed event had withdrawn sponsorship.

Mr Bicknell said no one was organising a competition so he decided to step up and do it.

"It is a lot of work but it's all good."


He said he would also be heading out on the water to angle for a prize but would likely have a fishing rod in one hand and his phone in the other.

The return of the MegaFish last February drew about 225 anglers and Mr Bicknell is hopeful of seeing that expand out to more than 300 for the next one.

The new formula could help that as more people in smaller boats would likely take part.
He said the public were welcome on all three days to see the fish coming ashore, with the club staging a last night party on February 5.

Entries for the Breakers Restaurant MegaFish 2017 will be available from early next month at Breakers Napier, Firmans Marine and Hunting and Fishing Napier.