For someone who was raised with summer days spent out on Lake Taupō, fishing has been an immense part of my life and something I strongly associate with this country's culture.
For those lucky enough to have access to a boat, you will know the complete bliss you feel lazily rocking back and forth, the sun gleaming down on glistening water.
And just when you hope the peace and quiet will persist forever, the rod gives an almighty tug and you hear the whirring of the reel - the chase is on.
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From there, it's a whirlwind of activity and excitement which either ends in success when your catch breaches the surface, or the horrible feeling anglers will know all too well when the line goes slack and fish lives to fight another day.
People in New Zealand will have different relationships to fishing. Like hunting, there is no avoiding the fact that you will most likely be killing an animal and, for some of us, that's not acceptable.
These feelings are amplified when it comes to game fishing. Seeing a marlin strung up at the weigh station certainly has the ability to foster outrage.
In recent weeks, the Northern Advocate sport section has featured a selection of stories showing three marlin caught off the Bay of Islands, which have garnered a few unpleasant reactions from our readers.
On the one hand, I agree with their concerns. Seeing a dead animal can be distressing and our goal is certainly not to glorify the death itself.
But at the end of the day, a marlin's death is not the point of these stories. The point is to highlight the incredible skill and effort it takes to even hook a fish like that.
I can't speak from personal experience, but to simply bring a marlin to the boat can take hours and hours of constant vigilance from the angler, skipper and deckhands.
While I am a strong advocate of tag and release, it's a well-known fact about marlin fishing that sometimes when they are hooked, they can burn themselves out after the initial run.
It's an unfortunate part of fishing and I think people find their peace with it in different ways. For me, I'm comfortable that if I did end up with a deceased marlin on my line, I would use its meat and respect the catch.
Fortunately, local clubs like the Bay of Islands Swordfish Club are ramping up the promotion of tag and release, which I think is the perfect outcome where an angler can feel the glory of reeling in a marlin but can let it go for another day.
Fishing clearly holds a special place in New Zealand culture and in Northland, as it acts as a vital resource for many isolated communities in this region.
With a number of big fishing competitions coming up, I'm sure there will be a few more marlin caught as the waters warm and we hit peak marlin season.
In 50 years, marlin fishing may become socially unacceptable or harmful if the populations are threatened. At the moment, the different species of marlin are deemed vulnerable or near-threatened and hopefully an ever-growing group of pro-tag and release anglers will stem the decline.
In the meantime, if you turn to the back page and see a photo of a marlin dead or alive, keep in mind fishing's relevance to this country and maybe give it a try one day. You might just like it.