Bo­nanza reg­u­lar reels in top prize

The Northland Age - - Front Page -

Grant Do­dun­ski man­aged to sur­vive a very stress­ful three days be­fore fi­nally be­ing able to claim the over­all win­ner’s cheque of $30,000 for catch­ing the heav­i­est fish in the 2018 Snap­per Bo­nanza.

Do­dun­ski reeled in the 8.945kg snap­per shortly af­ter the sec­ond day of this year’s event be­gan last Wed­nes­day morn­ing.

The 39-year-old pain­ter from Pon­gakawa said even the weather gods came to the party for the fi­nal three days af­ter a large south-west swell hit, mak­ing con­di­tions more dif­fi­cult on Thurs­day, Fri­day and Satur­day .

The Te Puke sur­f­caster ad­mit­ted to be­ing “gob­s­maked!” af­ter pick­ing up his win­ners’ cheque — which added to the $2000 he won for catch­ing day three’s heav­i­est snap­per — be­fore hold­ing the fish and win­ner’s tro­phy aloft re­peat­edly for the tra­di­tional cel­e­bra­tory pho­to­shoot.

“I tried not to think about it. [It was] A long three days. I’ve never caught a fish like that be­fore,” he said, adding he was plan­ning on “buy­ing a boat when I get home” with part of the pro­ceeds.

Mr Do­dun­ski was part of the Tau­ranga Land Based team which has fished the Bo­nanza for the past three years (although he didn’t make it last year be­cause of a be­reave­ment).

“The guys that I fish with have done re­ally well for the past three years, been on the stage at one point or an­other,” he said.

More from the event can be found on the back page.

TOP CATCH: Grant Do­dun­ski, from Te Puke, with the 8.945kg snap­per that won him $30,000 as the heav­i­est fish caught at last week’s 90 Mile Snap­per Bo­nanza.

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