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Important Information and Official Competition Rules

2024 Snapper Bonanza Official Rules

(1)    Hours of Fishing Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday (the start time will vary depending on visibility ie: weather conditions or time of year, the start times will be published in tournament guides and announced on stage, the organisers reserve the right to change the start time during the event so be listening at prize giving’s. Make sure you check the start time any angler caught fishing early will be disqualified) finish time is – 4.30pm. (this is not the stop fishing time this is the time that you must be back in the weigh station ropes if you are weighing a fish) Riders Sports Day Fishing starts at 7pm Wednesday and finishes at 10.30am Thursday. Prize giving will start at 3pm on Thursday)
(1a) Weigh station times: Tues/Wed/Fri/Sat 1pm – 4.30pm. Thursday 8am – 10.30am
Note: Outside of these hours, no fish will be weighed. You need to be inside the ropes by close off time. Please ensure you had enough ice to keep your fish in prime condition.

(2)   Fishing only permitted inside marked areas on the beach. This excludes Wednesday night and Thursday morning, see rule 35 for area.

(3)   Snapper Bonanza competitors fishing with non-competitors will be asked to move away from non-competitors.

(4)   Random ticket checks on competitors will be undertaken. Patrol marshals will ask to see competitor’s photo ID tickets and must be produced on demand.

(5)   Official competition tickets must always be worn around the competitor’s neck during competition hours, except for when the angler is casting, you may be asked for alternative photo identification e.g. driver’s licence.

(6)   All registered competitors may proceed to their favoured positions on the beach after they have completed the official registration but cannot start fishing until daily advertised times. Anyone found to have commenced fishing before these times shall be deemed disqualified. Only one rod holder may be placed by each angler to mark their fishing spot. Any competitor who places more than one rod holder to mark their spot will be in breach of the rules of the Snapper Bonanza.

(7)   Tickets: One ticket – only one rod or one hand line permitted – one person (no sharing lines). Each competitor shall have one ticket for each rod or hand line used. Tickets are not transferable once the Snapper Bonanza has commenced. The contest will be deemed to have commenced at the start of the briefing on Monday 6pm. Tickets purchased prior to the commencement of the contest may be transferred to another angler with the consent of the contest organisers and with written notice of such transfer to the contest organisers by the participant named on the receipt. There is an administration fee of $75 to transfer a ticket. All transfers must be completed 7 day prior to Monday registration date.

(8)   Once an official receipt has been issued, ticket money will not be refunded.

(9)   Once an official receipt has been processed and fishing ticket with photo ID issued, the ticket is not transferable.

(10)   All fishing must take place within the marked areas only.

(11)   In the event of the contest being abandoned prior to start fishing all contestants’ entry fees will be refunded. See rule 7

(12)   More competent REGISTERED anglers may cast for others. Lines or burley may not be taken into the water using surfboards, kontiki’s, fishing torpedo’s or by swimming out with the line. The use of bait mortars or drones is not permitted.

(13)   Only the use of conventional rods and hand lines will be permitted. No more than two hooks on any line or rig will be permitted.

(14)   No fish will be accepted for the official weigh-in unless the fish has been tagged by the contest organiser’s patrol marshals. Each and every angler must remain at the water’s edge with the competitor’s own fish until it has been tagged. No fish will be tagged away from the place where the angler has landed the fish. Only freshly caught fish will be tagged. No competitor shall use a chilly bin or any other device for holding fish between the time it is caught, landed and tagged. If your fish is tagged on the beach by our officials then it will be weighed, the fish will not be measured again at the weigh station.

(15)   The use of any gaff, landing net or other device for landing the fish is strictly prohibited. The fish must be taken from the water on the line or the rod used by the angler without any other assistance whatsoever, including other anglers.

(16)   Clearly marked patrol vehicles will be patrolling up and down the marked fishing areas. These patrols will officially tag any snapper 35cm and over measured from the tip of the nose to the inside V of the tail. They will have their respective areas under surveillance at all times. Any angler should report any alleged breaches of the rules to a patrol marshal. This is your fishing competition and you can assist in ensuring fair play at all times. In all emergencies during competition hours, contact a patrol marshal.

(17)   All fish must be presented for weighing prior to the end of fishing at 4.30pm each and every day except for Riders Sports Day Thursday when stop fishing is 10.30am and only on the day the fish is caught. All competitors must present their own fish for weighing in and these fish may be gutted (by the officials) immediately after weigh-in. You must be in possession of your competition ticket at the weigh in. At the weigh in the officials’ weighing in any fish may after gutting, discard any foreign matter found after the opening of the fish stomach. Foreign matter is any matter or substance not found in the natural stomach contents of the snapper in this region. The presence of foreign matter in the stomach contents of the body of a fish shall, because of its presence therein, disqualify the angler in respect of that fish and of any participation in the contest. N.B. In the event of a tie, the cash prizes will be shared equally amongst the tied winners. For example, if the 2 heaviest fish for the day are exactly the same weight the winners will share 1st and 2nd prize and so on, this also applies to the overall prizes.

(18)   No liability is accepted by the organisers for the damage to any vehicle or property or loss of property or personal injury or damage of whatever nature or kind to any person however caused. The competitor agrees to sign a disclaimer form to this effect when uplifting their official starter pack. Failure to sign this disclaimer will render the entry invalid. No refunds will be given.

(19)   All competitors must ensure they are clear on the rules before the commencement of the competition. If in doubt, clarify the rule with an official as no warning will be given. Any competitor who commits a breach of the rules will be disqualified from the entire competition.

(20)   The safety of all competitors is paramount for the organisers. The organisers reserve the right to change the daily fishing area and hours if circumstances warrant and competitors will be notified of any such change at the headquarters weigh in.

(21)   The official tournament guide, issued at registration, contain all the official rules, prizes and daily fishing hours of the Snapper Bonanza and supersede all previously published rules. Copyright remains the property of the organisers of the Snapper Bonanza. All registered competitors grant the Snapper Bonanza, any of its agents or assigns, permission to use or alter any photographic images of them, in which they may be included and taken by the photographer, in any media publication now or thereafter as part of their entry in the Snapper Bonanza tournament and events.

(22)   In the event of insufficient snapper being caught daily prizes will be drawn at weigh in on that day, this rule also applies to the overall weekly prize money and the ladies average weight snapper cash prize.

(23)   A processing charge of $25 will be payable for the re-issue of a lost/damaged registration ticket. Lost registration tickets will not be replaced without absolute proof of the identity of the ticket holder. A $30 fee will also apply for the re-issue of a lost registration Snapper Bonanza cap.

(24)   All contestants under 18 years of age must be accompanied at all times by an adult registered competitor. Any prize won by a contestant under 18 years of age will be paid provided that contestant’s parent or legal guardian accompanies the contestant. Contestants must provide proof of age if requested by an official.

(25)   The Snapper Bonanza is fished in accordance with the amateur fishing regulations which were introduced on 1st May 2012. These regulations as they effect this tournament are as follows. Minimum size: 35cm (for the purpose of this competition only Maximum daily snapper quota: 10 (per person) All fish over 27 centimetres count towards daily limit of 10 snapper per person per day. Only snapper over 35 centimetres are weighed in for this contest. Explanation: It is only fish that are landed that count towards the daily limit of 10. The organisers support sustainable fishing. Fish over 27cm may be released as long as they are guaranteed survival. The maximum number of fish to be weighed in on a daily basis per competitor is 3, regardless of whether the fish are being weighed in for the heaviest snapper or the average weight or the teams event.

(26)   All competitor’s vehicles are to be parked above the high tide mark during competition hours. No vehicles are to be parked near the water’s edge or in the path of the general traffic flow. The organisers reserve the right to search competitor’s vehicles for items that may be used to contravene the rules. Any competitor who does not adhere to an official’s request will risk disqualification.

(27)   Camping by contestants in a tent, shelter/structure or vehicle equipped for camping, on the beach either below or above the high tide mark, including the sand hills, prior to the commencement or during the competition is forbidden by Summit Forrest ltd. We cannot police this, so request competitors to observe the conditions as laid out by Summit Forestry.

(28)   In the case of a dispute, for any reason, the decision of the organisers is final, and no correspondence will be entered into. The outcome will be notified by the committee to the contestant.

(29)   Any competitor who wishes to lay a complaint against another competitor for breach of the rules must do so in writing (not via Facebook/Instagram) to the organisers within one hour of the close of the competition hours on the day the offence occurred. The organisers will not investigate a breach of the rules unless it is received in writing by the said time. The organisers reserve the right to withhold prizes should there be a dispute over the legality of a fish and will introduce outside parties to investigate and examine the fish to rule on its legality.

(30)   To purchase a ticket for the Snapper Bonanza constitutes acceptance of the rules and regulations of the competition and all participants agree to abide by the decision of the organizing committee.

(31)   The Snapper Bonanza organisers reserve the right to refuse to sell or cancel a competition ticket to any persons whose conduct in their opinion is contrary to the spirit in which the fishing contest is run. The decision of the organisers in this matter is final.

(32)   The Daily average weight winner will be the angler or anglers that weighs in a snapper that is an exact match in weight or closest to the average weight of all the snapper weighed in that day. In the event of a tie the prize will be shared equally.

(33)   The overall average weight winner will be the angler or anglers that weighs in a snapper that is an exact match in weight or closest to the average weight of all the snapper weighed in on the following days of Snapper Bonanza tournament week Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday & Saturday. In the event of a tie the prize will be shared equally.

(34)   Fish weighed are eligible for the average weight prizes, heaviest snapper prizes, and team event prizes both daily and overall except fish that are weighed in on Riders Sports Day Thursday, the fish on this day have absolutely no bearing on the overall average weight, heaviest snapper or teams event prizes.

(35)   Riders Sports Day Thursday, fishing area permitted is from Shipwreck Bay on the West Coast, north around to and including Tokerau Beach on the East coast, Beach surfcasting only, rock fishing is prohibited. Fishing starts at 7pm Wednesday and finishes at 10.30am Thursday. You must be in the weigh station ropes between 8am – 10.30am. Prize giving will start at 3pm on Thursday. Any fish weighed may only be entered by the person who caught the fish & on the same day.

(36)  If the Ladies Heaviest of the day is also the overall winner of the day. The ladies prize will go to the second heaviest.

2024 Team Event Rules
  1. The maximum number of team members is 4 per team.
  2. All participants must be contestants in the heaviest & average weight snapper section of the competition.
  3. Any fish caught or weighed in on Riders Sports Day Thursday are not eligible for entry into the Snapper Bonanza overall heaviest, average weight or teams event snapper sections.
  4. All main competition rules apply to the team’s event.
  5. Teams may only be registered before 7.00am or after 4.30pm on any Snapper Bonanza fishing day.
  6. If a competitor purchases one or more tickets in the main competition all individual tickets fished by that competitor must be entered into the same team. i.e. a competitor can only be in one team.
  7. 6 is the maximum number of snapper to be weighed in by a team on any given day. All snapper must be weighed on the day they are caught.
  8. Daily prizes will be paid out on the weight of the 6 heaviest snapper weighed in by the team. The combined weight of the snapper presented for weighing will determine the winner of the teams event for the day, i.e.: the heaviest accumulated weight is 1st and so on down to 3rd. In the event that two teams record the same weight the prizes will be shared equally.
  9. Fish presented for weighing must match the info supplied by our patrols and be caught by the person weighing the fish for that team.
  10. The team with the highest accumulated weight over the 4 days of the contest will be declared the winner.
  11. The teams overall average weight winner will be the team with the exact match in weight, or closest to the average weight of all teams. This average will be accumulated weight for the 4 days of competition, determined by the number of teams entering fish in this part of the competition. i.e.: if a team does not weigh any fish, they do not participate in the average weight calculation or prize.

Download printable rules here


Event Briefing

Briefing will be held Monday 3rd March 2025 at Bonanza HQ (Waipapakauri) at 6pm.

The competition commences Tuesday 4th March at 7am and continues until Saturday 8th March 4.30pm. Daily prizegiving will commence after 5.00pm each day. There is an optional fishing day Thursday (commences 7pm Wednesday night) where anglers can fish either coast. There will be day prizes for this separate competition. Any fish caught and weighed in on this day will not be eligible for the overall heaviest and average weight prizes.


Registration and Info Desk

The 90 Mile Beach Snapper Bonanza registration and info desk will be located at Waipapakauri, West Coast Road, Ninety Mile Beach, Kaitaia. All registration information, including photo ID, information pack, tournament guide and entry into the major spot and mid-week prizes can be processed and collected from the info desk.

Registration will be open Sunday 2nd March from 10am-4pm and Monday 3rd 10am-5pm. Please ensure you attend to register before 5pm Monday 3rd or you will risk not qualifying.


Tournament Hours (fish times)

Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday & Saturday between 7am and 4.30pm.

Riders Sports Day

Start fishing at 7pm on Wednesday and stop fishing 10.30am on Thursday

This Night/Day fishing is open to BEACH SURFCASTING from and including Shipwreck Bay in the south on the West Coast, around the top to and including Tokerau Beach on the East Coast {NO rock fishing permitted} The prize structure has not changed for this day.

Fishing is permitted from 7pm on Wednesday 5th March through the night until 10.30am on Thursday 6th March. Fish must be presented for weighing at the Headquarters Weigh Station between the times of 8.00am to 10.30am. NO EXCEPTIONS

Fish weighed on Riders Sports day do not qualify for the Snapper Bonanza Heaviest Weight, Average weight or Teams Event prizes



For the safety of the contestants, the Organisers reserve the right to adjust the days fishing hours and fishing area. Please refer to your Official Tournament Guide for any revised hours.