Hawke's Bay man snaps up fishing challenge prize

A Hawke's Bay man's whopping 8.165 kilogram snapper has taken out this years 90 Mile Beach Snapper Bonanza in the Far North.

James Benge from Hastings with is prize fish. Source: 1 NEWS

James Benge from Hastings pulled in the large fish on day two of the five day fishing challenge beating eight hundred other surf casters and taking home a $30,000 cheque.

Overall 790 snapper were caught. Second place was a 8.06 kg fish caught the same day.

The event is the biggest snapper competition in the world and this year it saw the largest number of entrants in six years with some coming from as far away as Italy, Canada and the United States.

The annual event has been running since 1982 and organiser Dave Collard says it's estimated to be worth $2.5 million to the local economy with 70 percent of the fisherman coming from outside the region.

"This years event is certainly one of the best ones we've had, the weather was the key, it meant conditions weren't so tough for the guys and the fish were great sizes," Mr Collard says.

The entry fee is $300 and competitors go in the draw to win hundreds of prizes.

Local teacher Renee Sauer drove off with a brand new Mitsubishi Tritan she scored in a spot prize.
Others walked away with $2000 for the biggest catch of the day.