Whangārei man Steven King was out having a nice, quiet evening fish in the Bay of Islands over the weekend when a whale blew that out of the water.
What followed was some frantic splashing along with "epic" video footage, punctuated with a volley of expletives from a hyped-up King after he ended up accidentally catching the whale.
The keen fisherman often heads out alone overnight on his 5.4m tinny and Saturday evening at a spot around Cape Brett was no exception.
"I had anchored up and had a couple of fishing lines out and was just cruising catching a few decent-size snapper when I heard something off in the distance," he said.
"I thought s***, that sounds like a whale breathing out and I turned around and it surfaced and I thought, if it comes over here, I'll have my phone ready. The video pretty much speaks for itself really."
The video footage Steven shared on his Facebook page shows a whale in the near distance swimming closer to Steven's boat.
"It's bloody coming right at me – oh no, that's right where my lines are!" shouted King.
"What?! Oh no, I've caught a whale, I have actually caught a f****** whale! … What do I do now?"
After some deliberation with himself, interspersed with excited expletives, King then decided to break the line. However, the whale managed to untangle itself.
"It was just cruising along and it turned. I think it was just being inquisitive. It swam through the line and I think the line wrapped over it. But it managed to untangle itself and it swam off. I ended up getting the hook and everything back so I was pretty happy."
King wasn't able to identify the type of whale and "at a rough guess" estimated it to be close to 8-10m long. "Well it was way bigger than my boat and wider than my boat too."
And even more impressive was that he "caught" the whale, weighing several tonnes, on 8kg line.
While he reckons the ordeal might have given the whale a "bit of a rev-up" because it performed a couple of leaps, King was left running on adrenaline for some time after the incident.
"It took a while for the nerves to calm down."
Ironically, King spent that night sleeping on board his boat at the Whaling Station at Whangamumu, before waking up for a dawn fish.
The father of two returned home with a feed of 10 sizable snapper to feed the family, along with a "whale of a tale", as he described it on video.
"[The family] thought it was pretty good but mum gave me a stern telling off for my foul language," laughed King.
"They had to put their ear muffs on and, to keep things PC for the kids, the volume was on mute."
Still, King was pretty chuffed with the video footage proof; while he said his friends and family would have believed his fishing tale as he's hooked a few rare catches, others might have thought he was spinning a yarn.
"I've had a few but this one takes the cake, that's for sure, and you can't argue with a video."
Comments on his video have flowed, describing it as "epic", many referring to his expletive-ridden commentary, and one even describing him as the next David Attenborough (minus the expletives).
King concluded the video by exclaiming: "I've just won f****** Lotto. Thank you, Mother Nature, that is amazing."
He later explained: "Those things just never come along, it's one of those freaky incidents and, to be fair, I'd rather see that than win Lotto anyway."