Kiwi fisho Barry Buckrell didn't know what he'd caught, nor did four commercial fisherman.
Finally, after an extensive Internet search, Buckrell identified his bizarre beach catch as a longnose lancetfish. He'd caught it surfcasting an octopus bait near to his Pourerere Beach holiday home. Buckrell said he was hoping to land a kingfish at the time.
After initially hooking the fish it ran left and right before it took to the air and beached itself on a reef, sending nearby seagulls into the air. Buckrell, of Hastings, said that while trying to retrieve the fish from the slippery reef it was "snapping like a dog".
"It had a nasty disposition," Buckrell said.
The unusual fish was 1.5m-long, and weighed 9kg. Once the fish was killed, Buckrell was surprised to find he "couldn't see any blood".
"It's transparent. It doesn't smell fishy. It's unusual."
The fish's stomach contained three paddle crabs and what looked like a squid surrounded by orange gunk. "He wasn't the nicest fish to tangle with. He was uptight. The fish has some funny characteristics. I wouldn't like to pull it in a boat. I think it would have gotten into everybody."
The species is reportedly occasionally caught by surfcasters and trawlers, or found washed up on New Zealand beaches.
Barry Buckrell's wife Carol called her husband's catch the "nastiest, ugliest" fish she had seen.