Fish will be on the menu next weekend when the 18th Family Fishing Competition gets underway in Katikati.

Run by the Katikati Volunteer Fire Brigade on March 7-9, the popular contest is one not to be missed with $18,000-$20,000 in prizes up for grabs.

Senior station officer Gavin Amrein has been organising the competition since it started and said it's brought in a lot of money for the brigade.

Mia Corney from Tauranga will be back this year for a great family day.
Mia Corney from Tauranga will be back this year for a great family day.

"It's a win-win — we give out some great prizes and it's a lot of fun."

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This year Gavin has handed over the reins to fire fighter Justin Hunter to organise with committee members Ryan Hope, Jim Cooper and Craig Gray, although he is still part of the event team.

Major categories this year are average weight for snapper, kahawai, trevally and land-based (all species). The Katikati Volunteer Fire Brigade Snapper trophy is for the adults' heaviest snapper, with a prize for the heaviest kingfish.

Three-year-old Zayden Wallace looks happy with his catches.
Three-year-old Zayden Wallace looks happy with his catches.

Only one average fish of each category is to be weighed in, excluding heaviest snapper.
The kids have four categories — average weight snapper, trevally, kahawai and land-based from Uretara stream, Kauri Point jetty and any beach.

The heaviest snapper memorial trophy introduced in the children's category last year in honour of firefighter, the late Keith Price, is up for grabs.

Since becoming affiliated to Fire and Emergency New Zealand a few new rules now apply. All entrants and visitors to the Katikati Fire Station must sign in at the front door and will be given a different coloured wrist band for each day on site.

The competition briefing is on Thursday, March 7 from 7pm-9pm — a Waihi Beach Coastguard representative will be there.

Thursday is the lucky draw and mystery prizes for all ticket holders — adult and/or children must be present, with a barbecue at 5pm. A courtesy bus will run — phone the station on 549-0239. Bait and ice will be available at the station from 5pm on Friday, March 8. Competitors can start fishing after 5pm Friday. Weigh-in and prizegiving is on Saturday, March 9.

Nathan Sneddon, winner of Keith Price Memorial trophy for heaviest kids' snapper, a first last year.
Nathan Sneddon, winner of Keith Price Memorial trophy for heaviest kids' snapper, a first last year.

Funds from this year's event will go towards putting a lean-to on the garage at the back of the station to house the water tanker, enabling the station's old fire truck to go back into the shed.

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In the event of cancellation due to bad weather a decision will be made by 3pm on Friday, March 8 and will be posted on Facebook.

Tickets — $20 adults, kids $15 — are on sale now at Katikati Building Supplies, Maree Finance, Appliance Plus, The Onion Vege Place and the Katikati Fire Station (Sheffield St) from Wednesday March 7-9, 5pm-8pm.