Whanganui’s David Higgins is the 2019-2020 Furuno Snapper World Cup winner after he landed an 86cm specimen off the Whanganui coast last December.
David says he was out for a quick early morning fish near the River mouth when he hooked the trophy-winning snapper in 30 metres of water.
“I first thought it was a decent conger eel, the area of foul we were fishing over is known to have a few of them, so I wasn’t particularly careful and was just winching it in,” David says.
His attitude changed dramatically when the big snapper came into sight and there was an urgent call for the net, not to mention the odd expletive. David was fishing with a ledger rig and had a chunk of kahawai as bait. He says he didn’t have long to fish as he had work commitments at 9am and had to be back for those.
“It wasn’t a particularly good day for fishing with the water being very discoloured after quite a bit of heavy rain. It just goes to show, anything can happen in fishing, and when you least expect it.”
The angler was using his favourite Okuma Makaira 15 reel, spooled with braid on a Shimano rod.
While the fish was measured and entered into the Furuno Snapper World Cup hosted on the DB Export Competition website, it was also weighed and pulled the scales to 12.08kgs.
‘I don’t think I will ever catch a bigger one,” he quipped.
David’s fish was a mere 5mm longer than the runner up Brent Wall’s snapper caught in the Far North, while second runner-up Vicki Black, who also caught her fish in the Far North, was a centimetre further back.
For his efforts David will not only have the honour of being the Furuno Snapper World Cup champion for 12 months but will receive $2000 worth of Furuno product.
David’s win is just one of two major fishing titles for his extended family. His father-in-law Paul Laugesen was the winner of the Tarakihi section of the DB Export Competition, which is another length-based event.
“I came from a trout fishing family and Paul encouraged me into sea fishing and it got to the point where I had to have my own boat.”
Furuno New Zealand's managing director Gareth Hodson was pleased to see the winner this year has come from an area not normally noted for its big snapper.
“It just goes to show that opening up the event across the whole of New Zealand gives everyone a chance of becoming a world champion” Gareth says.
“Snapper is an iconic Kiwi recreational species and we are pleased to be able to honour the champion angler by annually putting the Furuno Snapper World Cup for grabs in a sustainable measure-based way.”
“The Furuno team congratulate David on his great catch and look forward to presenting him with his trophy and prizes in due course.”
Entries for the 2020-2021 Furuno Snapper World Cup will be open once our coastlines are declared accessible again following the Covid-19 lockdown. Go to www.fishingcomp.co.nz for details.