Fishing Classic records highest entries

Stabicraft Sales Manager Tony Keay with major prize winner Tracy Davidson, of Invercargill, who won the top prize at the 14th Stabicraft Te Anau Manapouri Fishing Classic held at lakes and the Upper Waiau River last weekend.

THE 14th Stabicraft Te Anau Manapouri Fishing Classic 2021 had a record number of entries for the second consecutive year, with 1235 keen fishers taking part.

The weather played its part, meaning the prizegiving was able to be held outside at Te Anau Rugby Club grounds for the first time in a few years.

Te Anau Community Events Charitable Trust event co-ordinator Shevaun Taberner said the classic was the largest event run by the trust and, thanks to Stabicraft, had the biggest prize pool of any fishing event in New Zealand.

“In addition, there are many other sponsors, without whom this event would not be the success it is, year after year.”

The fishing competition was run on lakes Te Anau and Manapouri, as well as the Upper Waiau River.

The tournament winner was found by knockout of weigh-in tickets. This was done by a “shoot-out”, with five adult entrants’ names being drawn out.

With a total prize pool of $57,000, this year’s major prize of a Stabicraft 1550 Fisher with a 60hp Yamaha four-stroke motor, DMW trailer and radio package from Navico, was won by Tracy Davidson, of Invercargill.

A first-time fisherwoman, she was the fourth woman in 14 years to win the top prize, with Donna Bell, of Dipton, in 2020, Rebecca Mitchell, of Outram, in 2019 and Trina Kemp, of Wairio, “winning in 2015.

Fisherfolk came mainly from Fiordland and Southland, as well as the wider North Island, Canterbury, Central and South Otago.

The overall number of fish caught was 790, mainly brown trout.

“2021 has exceeded expectations and is our best year for entrants. The weather was perfect and it was wonderful to see Te Anau buzzing over the “long weekend,” Ms Taberner said.

Take a Kid Fishing, classic, also saw a rise in entries with 187.

Eighty fish were caught at McGregors Pond on Saturday, with prizes going to the first, second and third placegetters for the best condition factor fish in each category (male, female, junior and child sections).