Bonanza regular reels in top prize
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.