An Auckland schoolgirl is still on a high after reeling in a whopping 122kg striped marlin at the weekend and breaking the record for her age group.
Madeleine Green was fishing with her family just out from Whangaroa in the Far North just before midday on Saturday when a marlin hooked on.
Not only was it the first one the 10-year-old had ever caught - but it also broke the record for the heaviest striped marlin for up to 11 years old on a 37kg line, with her catch coming in at an impressive 122.8kg.
The St Thomas' School student worked hard for her title, spending an hour wrestling with the large game fish.
Proud dad Simon Green said she did an awesome job and kept going even when she started tiring near the end.
"There's always a bit of chaos once the marlin strikes. You have to clear all the other rods away and we had to get Maddie into her fighting harness. It was all a bit of chaos to begin with but then you settle down and settle into the fight."
It was even more challenging when, 40 minutes into the battle, they thought they would be able to catch the leader - a piece of line about 6m long attached to the main line. But then the fish charged at the boat and took off again with about another couple of hundred metres of line.
"Maddie was getting really tired by this stage so we were really encouraging her to work hard because we had seen it was a decent one. She really knuckled in for those last 20 minutes and we got the fish right up to the boat again and worked really hard to get the leader again."
Finally, a family friend also on board grabbed the leader while Green helped put the gaff in the fish and haul it on board.
Green said they were an avid fishing family and the latest catch had encouraged further sibling rivalry between Madeleine and her younger brother Blake, 7.
Blake had caught a yellow fin tuna a few weeks ago so Madeleine had been determined to catch her own fish this weekend.
"We had a look at the record books online and checked and knew we had to beat 111kg and then when we got it in the weigh station it went 122kg so she beat it by 11 kilos," Green said.
According to the NZ Sport Fishing Council website, the record to beat was a 111.4kg striped marlin caught in Tutakaka in 2016 by S Mabey.
"For it to be ratified as a record she has to do everything, so no one can touch the rod or reel or anything like that. She did extremely well."
The marlin was weighed at Whangaroa Sport Fishing Club just before 5pm on Saturday and Madeleine celebrated her big catch with a raspberry and lemonade.
She also has a lot of smoked marlin to share with her Auckland friends and family as a reminder of her big achievement.