Poor weather fails to deter hardy fishing contestants

COLLETTE DEVLIN
Last updated 05:00 22/10/2012
Doug Johns and Elise Cassidy
Fairfax NZ
FUR PATROL: Doug Johns and Elise Cassidy, of Kaka Pt were not aware that dogs were banned on Lake Te Anau, as Millie the spaniel enjoys a ride on their boat.

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Prizes worth $40,000 enticed more than 500 people to brave the wet, blustery weather and enter the Te Anau Manapouri Fishing Classic at the weekend.

Organiser Don McFarlane said great community support helped make the event, now in its fifth year, a big success.

Although numbers were down on previous years, he was happy with the turnout and the number of good quality fish caught - the heaviest fish was 2.5 kilograms.

"The weather during the lead-up to the event was not great and probably scared people off. It was pretty ugly on Saturday but luckily [yesterday] there was excellent fishing weather," he said.

Nicole Booth, of Winton, won the overall draw at the classic. Ms Booth, who went fishing for the first time at the event, won a fishing trip for two in Juneau, southeast Alaska.

"My partner took me along and I caught six fish and he caught two. I never imagined I would win the draw. It was beginner's luck and I am very pleased," she said.

Mr McFarlane said despite the weather, there was a good atmosphere in Te Anau, with many residents sprucing up their gardens in preparation for all the Labour Day events in the town. "This is traditionally the kickoff to the summer season in Te Anau."

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- The Southland Times

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