Reeling in a possible world record catch
''The fish of a lifetime'' is how Nathan Adams describes not one but two amazing catches.
A possible world record bluefin tuna and a record black marlin were among the haul the Muriwai fisherman and friends pulled in on his six-metre ''tinnie'' Western Break during a ''fantastic'' week of fishing.
The 335.4kg Pacific bluefin has yet to be verified as a world record. Last year a 342kg fish, in perfect condition, was sold in Tokyo for US$396,000.
But it and the 358kg black marlin have already set Muriwai Sport Fishing Club records and are being prepared for mounting by renowned taxidermist Kevin Flutey.
The tuna will hang on Adams' wall in Muriwai if the 42-year-old can convince his wife Lisa.
''Probably in place of a 30-pound snapper - but she says it will be like mounting a sofa,'' he says.
More than likely it will end up at the Muriwai surf club and community facility which is still under construction.
That's where the Muriwai fishing club, of which Adams is a member, will also be based.
Adams says he's been chasing a black marlin like this for nearly 20 years but it will be up to its catcher Alan Langdon of Riverhead to decide where it will go.
That's not the end of this incredible fishing story either.
The fishers involved caught 12 billfish in 11 days. They released most of them except the record catches.
They hooked the bluefin near Houhora off Northland's east coast and then the black marlin off Ahipara on the west coast as part of the New Zealand Sport Fishing Council Nationals competition from February 18 to 25.
That meant the two big fish cleaned up several major prizes, including Langdon winning the New Zealand champion angler billfish title.
A friend's daughter, 16-year-old Jessie Wright of Muriwai, was also fishing on the boat. She caught five marlin, including a 136.6kg one which made her national junior striped marlin champion.
Her two older brothers won prizes too.
Logan Wright was second in the champion line weight section with a 144kg marlin caught on the same boat.