A Tauranga man pulled in the biggest fish he's ever caught, spearing and pulling in a 20kg beast with his bare hands.

Logan Reid was walking his dog at the Miles Lane Reserve along the Wairoa River yesterday when he spotted a "massive" kingfish lying on its side.

He presumed it was dead and approached it which startled the 1.1m long fish as it swam off into the river.

"It looked like a shark swimming in the distance," he said, thinking it would swim back out to the sea.


When it came back to shore and tilted on to its side again, Reid decided to seize the moment, admitting the fishing ban did not cross his mind.

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"I just saw this large fish here and thought, I've got to have it."

With his shoes still on, he trudged through water and mud but re-evaluated his plan of attack when he realised the water was too deep.

He grabbed a nearby branch, contemplating whether a scoop or spear would be the best approach.

"Every 10 seconds it would open its gills ... I popped the stick closer and as it opened its gills I just thrust it straight in there."

Tauranga's Logan Reid caught a 20kg yellowtail kingfish with his a stick and his hands. Photo / Supplied
Tauranga's Logan Reid caught a 20kg yellowtail kingfish with his a stick and his hands. Photo / Supplied

He got both hands around it tail, throwing it on to the grass when it tried to wiggle away.

"I thought, now what," he said.

"If I had caught that on the rod, I'd have it on for easily 20 minutes, half an hour with the rod right bent over," he said.


Reid cut the fish into 12 decent portions and dropped them off outside the homes of his friends, letting them know he had left them a surprise.

Like him, they were stunned.

He had the fish for dinner last night and again tonight, and although "not as flavoursome as snapper," it was a lovely meal.

According to NIWA, yellowtail kingfish are found throughout the warm–temperate waters of the southern hemisphere.

In the wild they can reach 1.7 m in length and weigh up to 56 kg.

Under level 4 lockdown restrictions, fishing and water activities are banned.


At level 3, which will begin on Monday April 27 at 11.59pm, fishing is allowed from a wharf or the shore.

Casting off rocks or fishing from a boat is not allowed.