The fish came to the party as anglers celebrated 50 years of the Luggate Fishing Tournament at the weekend.

Eighty-one fish were caught between 53 anglers over Saturday and yesterday, a big increase on the numbers caught at the tournament in recent years.

Organiser and tournament co-founder Graham Godby said the stunning blue skies and light winds played a part, although he admitted it often just depended on how the fish were feeding on the day.

Mr Godby's team took home the glory, winning the Luggate Trouters Trophy for the heaviest combined weight with a total of 26kg, as well as the B.I.G. trophy for average catch per angler.

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The victory in the former meant Mr Godby's team now sat level with the Booths on 25 victories apiece over the history of the tournament.

Russell Udy, of Wyndham, had the heaviest three-fish bag, reeling in a monster trio totalling 4kg. Cromwell's Cameron Shaw (7) took home the prize for the heaviest fish for a junior, a whopping 1kg trout.

"He was thrilled, he really was," Mr Godby said.

"It makes me happy to see the young ones come along and most of them caught a fish too which is good."

The occasion was wrapped up with a celebratory dinner at the Luggate Hotel and Mr Godby said he hoped the event would continue for years to come.

"It's great for the Luggate locals. It puts Luggate on the map a bit, I suppose.

"It's something you started and it becomes something you want to continue. Even if you pass on, you like to think it would keep going."

sean.nugent@odt.co.nz