The La Nina summer winds helped Piha fisherman Paul Robson hook a 103kg marlin off Auckland's west coast during the holiday weekend.
Herald fishing columnist Geoff Thomas said it was not unusual to catch marlin off the west coast, but the La Nina weather pattern, with its winds often from the north to east quarter, had made it easier than usual to take a boat out there.
Mr Robson's 6.7m boat, powered by a 200 horsepower outboard, was launched from a tractor off the south end of the main Piha beach, said longtime Piha lifeguard Duncan Clarke, who was skipper and deck-hand while the game fish was landed.
"Launching from Piha is tricky in itself. Not many boats go from here," Mr Clarke said yesterday.
The Piha Deep Sea Fishing Club anglers were disgruntled by a "decidedly slow day" and were heading up the coast at 4pm on Sunday seeking kingfish, about 8km off Karekare, when the marlin was hooked.
"It was all very exciting. There was a fair bit of yelling going on," Mr Clarke said of Mr Robson's 45-minute struggle with the large fish, his first marlin.