The landing of a pink maomao off the Ngawi coast at the weekend may have been the farthest south the fish has been caught.
The striking fish was caught on Saturday by keen Featherston fisherman Ian "Tubby" Berridge.
Mr Berridge and three others were off the coast on his boat, Mutha's Ruin, as part of a Ngawi Fishing Club day. They were fishing off the well-known fishing spot known as the boot, and the fish was hooked at a depth of 102 metres.
Liz Ryniker, who was on the boat at the time, sent a photo of the find to Te Papa.
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Andrew Stewart, Te Papa's collection manager, fishes, confirmed it was a pink maomao, or caprodon longimanus, via email.
Mr Stewart said: "If it's from Ngawi, it's a southern record."
The group were amazed by the find, Mr Berridge said. Even the most experienced club members had been unable to identify the fish.
"We were just fishing for tarakihi, cod and groper, and then I hooked this pink maomao up and, of course, nobody knew what it was," he said. "We've been fishing there for six years but we've never, never caught one of them before."
The fish is sitting in the club captain's freezer, waiting to be moved to the museum for positive identification.
"It's never been caught this far south ... they reckon it's a southern record," said Mr Berridge.