A 55-year-old fisherman was flown from Waihau Bay to Whakatane Hospital today by the Tauranga-based rescue helicopter after his leg was impaled by a marlin's spike.

Trustpower TECT Rescue Helicopter pilot Todd Dunham said the lower leg injury happened while the fisherman and his two associates were trying to haul the caught marlin onboard their vessel.

The boat took about one-and-half hours to get back to the shore in Waihau Bay where the injured man was met by emergency services, he said.

Mr Dunham said the patient was stabilised at the Waihau Bay Fire Station by St John paramedics before being flown to Whakatane hospital for further treatment.

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The rescue helicopter was called to Waihau Bay at 11.30am due to the nature of the injuries and the remote location, he said.