The bounty amid the warming of the seas off the Hawke's Bay coast has continued producing with the catching of a 242.2 kilogram blue marlin off Cape Kidnappers.
It is thought to have been only the third blue marlin landed at the Hawke's Bay Sports Fishing Club, and meant a late Wednesday morning "courtesy weigh" for Napier man Jacob Bassett, who is not a club member.
Hawke's Bay Today in 2009 reported a 215.21kg catch by Napier man Perry van der Zwet, also not a club member, off Mahia Peninsula in 2009.
It was reported at the time to be the first blue marlin caught in the Bay, although there have been greater numbers of still relatively-rare striped marlin, including two by club members in the last fortnight.
The only bluey landed by a club member, and therefore the club record for the species, was Brett Lawson 181.2kg catch by the Ritchie Banks, about 100km out to sea from Napier.
There was little hanging around on Wednesday morning for Basset and other crew on family-boat Wild Kiwi - brother Dylan (who's flown-in from Perth to see ailing mum Raewyn), cousin and skipper Ryan and lucky Irishman Daniel McCardle, from Galway.
They'd put to sea from the club ramp at Ahuriri about 5.20am and they'd just launched the lines when the big bite came soon after 7.10am.
At first they thought it was an albacore (for which the New Zealand record is 22.6kg, but the reality emerged when the fish leapt from the sea barely 15 metres from the boat, crossing the "shotgun" line stretching from the centre of the boat and momentarily threatening a tangle which could have meant having to cut-free.
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The hour-and-a-half fight was on, the prize being all-but boated about four times and being allowed to run before being hauled aboard for the trip to Napier where a crowd of up to 100 people had gathered for the arrival soon after 10.30am.
"God, it's a big girl," said one. Another said: "Are you sure it's a fish ?" Others muttered the marginally unprintable exclamations.
Jacob Basset was dressed for the part, wearing the T-shirt emblazoned with the brand name on the back, and the assignation: "Born to fish."
Raewyn Bassett was at home when "the kids rang and said you'd better get down there."
"A very proud mother," she said.
The catch was headed for an iced trip to Tauranga for mounting, with ice provided by Takitimu Seafoods, its rear portion is expected to head back to the dinner table in Napier.