New Zealand fisherman reels in 321-pound marlin too big for his boat

A 25-year-old angler in New Zealand caught himself a monster marlin during a fishing trip late last week — but the fish was so large he couldn't even haul it into his boat.

“It was an epic day,” recalled Josh Roberts, a Whangarei resident, of his 321-pound catch.

"I've caught other fish but I've never caught a striped marlin. I've been targeting one for the past 10 years," he added.

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Roberts, an oil refinery worker by trade, was out on the water Friday for about 90 minutes before the striped marlin snagged his bait, Stuff.co.nz reported. He then wrestled to reel in the fish for a good hour as it thrashed and “danced” across the water.

"It had a lot of fight in it, so I got the fish to the boat in about half an hour, then tried to pull it in but failed because it still had plenty of energy left in it," said Roberts, according to the New Zealand Herald.

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Eventually, Roberts was able to pull the marlin close enough to sink a hook into it, but another problem reeled its sharp, pointy head: The marlin was too big for his 13-feet boat.

"I basically tied it up alongside the boat so it would drag through the water,” said Roberts, adding that he raced back to shore to avoid having his catch stolen by sharks.

Once safely back on land, Roberts had the marlin weighed at 321 pounds — or around 70 more than he had figured.

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Roberts hauled his catch home and used a relative’s smoker to cook the fish. He said he plans to give much of it away to co-workers and family, and then it’s right back out to the water.

"The forecast looks pretty good again for Friday, so I think I'll be out there again,” Roberts told the Herald. “I just love being out there on the water.”