The fisherman who died of a suspected heart attack in the Far North on Sunday was 61-year-old Gyuhyeok Park.

Korean-born Mr Park had sold his Auckland business and moved to the Karikari Peninsula with his wife just two days earlier.

He had been fishing at the northern end of Tokerau Beach, opposite Whatuwhiwhi Top 10 Holiday Park, when a fish pulled his rod and holder into the water about 3.10pm on Sunday. He collapsed as he went into the water to retrieve his rod.

Locals, including a man fishing off nearby rocks and a fisherman who had just returned to the beach by boat, rushed to his aid but were unable to revive him.

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Constable David Reynolds of Mangonui, who responded to the incident along with St John Ambulance and Mangonui Fire Brigade, said police extended their sympathies to Mr Park's family and friends.

The coroner will make a formal ruling on the cause of the death.