A fisherman has reported an encounter with a large bottlenose dolphin at an East Coast beach, adding weight to the suggestion that Moko is finding a new home in the Bay of Plenty.

John Clarke, from Taupo, was chased by the dolphin in Omaio Bay, northeast of Opotiki, on Saturday morning.

It was a similar size to Moko, with the same markings. The Department of Conservation could not confirm that Moko had reached the region, but his minders in Gisborne said the description was accurate.

Mr Clarke, 43, said he was fishing with his wife, Karina, 1.5km offshore when the ocean exploded.

"We saw this dark shape, it seemed 12 foot long under our 10-foot boat. I've never seen a dolphin that big." The dolphin chased his small aluminium speedboat, nudging it from behind.