A Sunday Session expo with presentations by television fishing guru Matt Watson drew about 1000 people to Nelson's Wakatu Square yesterday and raised close to $4000 for Nelson Coastguard.
Nelson Hunting and Fishing owner Chris Scully said Mr Watson, host of the ITM Fishing Show, talked so much during the day that by the end he was "knackered".
"I think people demanded that he stayed up there and talked. The people were glued to him and there was a truckload of kids there - up-and-coming fishers."
Organised by the Nelson Mail, the day also featured a successful charity auction with 10 corporate box seats to the first Nelson Giants game of the season going for $550, boat and vehicle displays and a fundraising barbecue.
Coastguard president Mark Rumsey said the day "couldn't have been better".
"It was an amazing event and we couldn't be more grateful for all the work that has gone into it," he said.
The charity auction raised $2090 with another $1780 coming from the barbecue and donations.
Mr Rumsey said the money would be split between the operational fund and paying for the group's new boat, which is on a loan-for-purchase agreement with about $50,000 of the original $100,000 still to pay.
"We run on the smell of an oily rag so every dollar counts," he said.
- © Fairfax NZ News