It was a good thing the McLaughlin family weren't relying on catching their dinner at the Carters Kids Gone Fishin' event on Saturday, because they would have gone hungry.
All they caught was sea lettuce.
Brian and Antonia McLaughlin took their children Andre, 5 and Genevieve, 4, to Tauranga Bridge Marina on Saturday.
They arrived about 10am and sat alongside hundreds of other families on the pier.
For the first hour-and-a-half, all they caught was sea lettuce.
"It's a really nice day out, shame about the fish though," Mr McLaughlin said.
"This is an amazing event and it's all about taking the kids out and sharing a positive fishing experience with them."
Genevieve said it was her first time fishing and she had "lots of fun" with her family.
The junior fishers and their parent helpers were squashed in like sardines but everyone was having a ball at the 15th annual Carters Kids Gone Fishin' event.
About 1000 people, young and old, dug out their fishing rods and turned up to Tauranga Bridge Marina, making it almost impossible to walk down the pier.
The fish were slow to bite and for the first hour however they soon got hungry and were caught frequently through the rest of the day.
Those who took part in the event were fortunate to meet one of New Zealand's most-recognised fishermen, Graeme Sinclair.
The fishing icon and TV host passed on some of his valuable fishing tips.
"Fishing is a favourite past-time for many people in New Zealand and across the world and especially in this country, there would be very few families who haven't been involved in fishing in some way, shape or form," Mr Sinclair said.
During the day the Bay of Plenty Commercial Fisherman's Association donated a Shimano electric fishing reel and rod to Parafed Bay of Plenty.
Bay of Plenty Commercial Fishermen's Association representatives, Brian and Colleen Kiddie said they wanted to find a way for the disabled community to share the enjoyment of fishing.
The reel makes fishing more accessible for disabled people by allowing the baited fishing line to be lowered and reeled in electrically.
It will be free to hire from Parafed.
Carters Kids Gone Fishin' days are a series of nationwide events based on fishing and outdoor activities.
The events are organised and run by the New Zealand Police Blue Light Association with support from local Carters branches, the Gone Fishin' team and local sponsors, which included Top Catch and Fishing 4 Less.
Tauranga co-ordinator Wendy Nicholls said the day was a tremendous success.