Waitara fisherman Rodney Bint had waited years to catch the big one and yesterday his patience was rewarded.
Mr Bint was one of more than 200 fishermen to take part in the Urenui Boating Club's Shell Exploration Classic fishing competition.
He and David Herbert headed out aboard his boat Neqivik II about 8am and were fishing off Wai-iti when the big one took the bait.
On the end of his line was a 10.86kg snapper.
"I've been waiting for this for a long time," Mr Bint said.
He was confident the fish would win a prize as he returned to the boat ramp about 11am. "It will take a good one to beat it."
His prediction proved correct and the fish won the prize for the biggest snapper.
Club member Murray Houghton was not surprised by Mr Bint's catch.
"He catches some bloody good fish on that boat," Mr Houghton said.
Mr Bint was not going to have his catch mounted as it was too expensive.
"It will go in the deep fryer."
Urenui's Gavin Griffin was "pretty rapt" with his effort landing a 9.08kg snapper.
"I've never caught a snapper like that ever," Mr Griffin said.
"I was so excited, I broke the rod that I pulled it in on."
Club commodore Stephen Houghton said about 70 boats and more than 200 anglers took part in yesterday's competition.
"It was good, considering the time of the year and with everything else going on, we were pretty happy," he said.
Mr Houghton was expecting some big snapper to be caught.
"This time of the year we generally do get some good sized snapper coming in."
About $10,000 in prizes were up for grabs including six prizes in a section for teenagers.
"We started that a couple of years ago to give the teens something to do," Mr Houghton said.
"We try to keep it as much as we can for the families."
The top 10 snapper all weighed more than four kilograms and the only fish not caught was a blue cod.
It's the girls' turn today with the Urenui Beach Camp ladies day fishing competition.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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