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It must be Labour Weekend with Fiordlanders, Southeners and the wider region of fishermen and women and the younger generation of fisherfolk who were drawn to the 11th Stabicraft Te Anau Manapouri Fishing Classic 2018 and Take A Kid Fishing experience.
The total prize pool of up to $80,000 and the major prize a Stabicraft 1550 Fisher with Yamaha 50hp 4 stroke and DMW Trailer worth approx $50,000. It took place across both Lakes Te Anau and Manapouri and the upper Waiau River, with teams and individuals competing for the largest fish and spot prizes based on "mystery" catch factors,
Some 654 entries and 402 weighing in a fish by Sunday afternoon, the main competition running over three days, from 2pm Friday to 2pm Sunday. Weather surpassed previous years with brilliant sunshine but windy conditions on the Saturday. All competitors who had caught a fish and were aged 18 or over were in the draw to win the main prize, a Stabicraft boat.
Take a Kid fishing was a chance for children under 12 to give fishing a go, with the competition at McGregors Pond starting at 2pm Friday 19 October and finishing 5pm on Saturday 20 October.
Experienced anglers were on hand during Saturday to demonstrate techniques, plus giveaways and prizes. The pond was stocked with 290 salmon, first time sponsor Sanfords donated the salmon as smolt (age 4 months) and were reared by Bill Jarvie of Fish & Game Te Anau. This has been sponsored by Southern Trust. A number were caught up to 35cms, even though windy conditions prevailed on the day, still there were 132 entries and 48 fish weighed fish in for the event.
Ethan Cuthbert, of Balcutha, was the winner of the Stabicraft boat and trailer. Mr Cuthbert was a very happy winner of the top prize and was his first time participating in the event.
- Julie Walls