Hundreds turned out for a monster weekend of fishing on Whanganui's South Beach.
The Monster Surf Casting Competition, organised by the Wanganui East Club Fishing Adjunct, was a real family affair with 454 senior and 84 junior participants competing over Saturday and Sunday, February 16-17. Competitors came from as far away as Wairoa, Whakatane and New Plymouth and one competitor was a visitor from Sydney.
Adjunct president Marty Esau said the new two-day format was a hit, with the organisers deciding to move to an "all-fish" competition over two days rather than the previous format where the first day was for kahawai only and the second day for all species.
"Everyone seems to like the new format and there was a good amount of fish caught," Esau said.
"We were still selling tickets on the Sunday morning. The sponsors really came to the party this year and we really appreciate that."
Eight snapper were caught in the senior competition over the two days, with first prize of $2500 going to Gregory Street for a 3.15kg fish. Te Rina Coveny was the only junior fisher to reel in a snapper, with a 0.5kg catch.
Lex Willemsen's 2.8kg fish won the senior kahawai section while Levi Te Kahika's 2.45kg catch took out the junior competition.
All the non-scaled catches were sharks, with Gordon Lowe winning the senior section with a 4.5kg shark and Koletray Witika and Bella Nesbitt catching 0.25kg sharks in the junior section.
Organisers were pleased with the number of snapper caught, considering the windy conditions on Saturday, and said there were some big kahawai catches but were surprised no cod or gurnard were landed.