Standing at the edge of Salisbury Wharf, 5-year-old Mackenzie Bryant watches in awe as she reels in "a big one".
Her face splits into a large grin when the piper - about 15cm - is pulled from the water and begins to wiggle on the jetty.
"I love catching fish. It's cool," the Omanu Primary School student said.
Mackenzie and her dad, Simon, spent Auckland Anniversary Day at the popular Mount Maunganui fishing spot, enjoying some quality dad and daughter time.
Mr Bryant said it was nice to spend some one-on-one time with his daughter. His two other children, aged seven and two, remained at home.
"It's awesome. I really enjoy it and it's nice to get out and do something fun together."
After she reeled in her catch, Mackenzie confidently held the squirming fish.
At the top end of the wharf, Rotorua man Matt Pethybridge and his 2-year-old daughter Alannah tried their luck at catching a fish for dinner.
It was their first time fishing off the wharf.
"It's really nice. I've come up for the day to spend some time with my daughter and it's a nice day today."
They didn't catch anything but the day was still enjoyable, he said.
Another keen angler said he once caught a large kahawai off the end of the wharf.