A young boy from Whakatane has won the biggest prize in The Monster Fishing Competition - a $15,000 quad bike.

The prize was for the biggest snapper caught yesterday - but no snapper were caught. It became a spot prize and the youngster's number was drawn.

"He was pretty happy, and his father was very happy," event organiser Ken Mander said.
The two one-day fishing competitions didn't yield many fish.

There were 11 kahawai caught in the teaser on Saturday, and three kahawai and a lot of sharks caught yesterday.

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But fishers are used to disappointment, and they enjoyed spending the weekend together at the beach or camped at the Landguard Bluff army huts.

For many it's an annual outing. One family from Sydney times holidays for it, and others have been coming for decades.

Yesterday the 13km between the Whanganui and Whangaehu rivers was bristling with rods. There were people camped up in the dunes in tents, caravans and makeshift shelters.

They flew flags and made driftwood constructions. They brought ghetto blasters or guitars for sound. The beach was full of vehicles too - quads, motorbikes and dune buggies. Also dogs and seagulls.

Whanganui's Christian Buico waded out into the surf and caught a snapper on the Saturday - when there was no prize category for it. He caught at least two sharks yesterday.

Fishers line Whanganui's South Beach. Photo/ Lewis Gardner
Fishers line Whanganui's South Beach. Photo/ Lewis Gardner

Noelene and Dave Lundin from Feilding gave up on the beach and went off to Bason Botanic Gardens.

Corey Tamati and her family hung in there. She said she started coming to the competition with her dad nearly 30 years ago. This year she came with her two sons and her nan and koro.

Warwick Floyd, from Opunake, has been coming to the competition since it started. He has never caught anything.

Mr Mander said the weekend had been "bloody marvellous", with about 600 people on the beach on each of the two days.

Sponsor Ron Dodunski said the event was about much more than catching fish: "Often people will come and camp a week out. It becomes a bit party central."

Organisers keep each other informed.
Organisers keep each other informed.
Cosied up at South Beach for The Monster Fishing Competition are (from left) Maddie the dog and Taihape group Sally Rudolph, Craige Rudolph, Sammie Jamieson, Ashley Williams and Brenda
Cosied up at South Beach for The Monster Fishing Competition are (from left) Maddie the dog and Taihape group Sally Rudolph, Craige Rudolph, Sammie Jamieson, Ashley Williams and Brenda "Fish" Goslin.
Christian Buico catches another baby shark.
Christian Buico catches another baby shark.
Colleen Waddell checks Warwick Floyd's line.
Colleen Waddell checks Warwick Floyd's line.
Mark Maher wades out of the surf.
Mark Maher wades out of the surf.