While every fisherman has hopes of one day catching the big one, it’s extremely tough to equal or beat a world fishing record. The International Game Fish Association is responsible for setting world records and has very stringent guidelines which one must follow if they wish to be eligible for a record.
Just recently, a huge Mako shark was off the Florida Gulf Coast and weighed in at over 800 pounds giving them big hopes of scoring a world record. The fishermen, who are cousins, were surf-casting when they caught the huge 11-foot shark. It took about two hours to battle with the creature and to get it on the sand. Like true competitive fishermen, they didn’t tell the world the exact location of their lucky catch. However, they ran into some bad luck after their catch because they kept the fish to feed the community (around 250 people) rather than releasing it back to sea – meaning they aren’t eligible for any world record.
To give all those inspiring fishermen this summer something to aim for, here’s a list of 10 of the biggest fish ever caught around the world. With a bit of luck (and skill) on your side, some of the big catches below could be within your reach.
10 Lobster – 44 Pound Giant Caught in 1977
Most adult lobsters that are served up as food weigh between one and two pounds. However, of all the lobsters caught in the world, the biggest on record was caught in Nova Scotia, Canada in February 1977. It weighed in at a whopping 44 pounds and six ounces, and was as long as 120cm long. The second-biggest lobster on record was caught near Maine in 2012 and weighed in at 27 pounds. Caught accidentally in the net of some shrimp fishermen, the lobster wasn’t served up as anyone’s dinner though – it was released back to sea.
9 Sea Bass – Biggest Black Sea Bass Ever
Many North American fishermen would agree that the largemouth bass is quite possibly the ultimate freshwater fishing record to strive for. Sea bass fishing is a billion-dollar industry these days, and the largemouth bass in particular is one of the game fish in highest demand. What’s more, the record is tough to beat. In Georgia in 1932, George Perry caught a 22 lb. 4 oz. bass. This record was tied in July 2009 when Manabu Kurita in Japan caught one of exactly the same size. He was even made to take a polygraph test to ensure he wasn't fibbing!
8 Swordfish – Weighed A Whopping 1,182 Pounds
The biggest swordfish ever fished dates back over 50 years. In May 1953, near Iquique in northern Chile, a fisherman named Lou Marron snapped up a swordfish weighing 1,182 pounds and measuring 179.25 inches. It reportedly took him about two hours to tussle with the fish and get it on board. At the time – and still – it was one of the heaviest fish ever reeled in on a simple fishing rod. These days, the International Game Fish Association Fishing Hall of Fame and Museum (in Florida) displays the restored mount of this swordfish.
7 Catfish – The Size of a Grizzly Bear
In May 2005, a group of fishermen in northern Thailand reeled in what’s believed to be the largest catfish ever caught (and, for the record, one of the largest freshwater fish ever caught too). Measuring nine feet long and weighing over 640 pounds, the Mekong giant catfish was about the same size as a fully-grown grizzly bear. As this type of species is endangered, the villagers and fishermen did their best to keep the giant fish alive but unfortunately were unsuccessful.
6 Stingray – 770-Pound Pregnant Stingray
A British man was in Thailand and was almost pulled overboard when he happened to catch a humongous, record-breaking stingray with his rod. He spent about 90 minutes tussling with the fish. Reportedly measuring seven foot long and seven foot wide, the monster had a 10-foot stinger and needed the help of 13 men to get in on board the boat for inspection. When they had tagged the stingray, and discovered it was pregnant, it was released back into the wild. This took the world record for the largest freshwater fish caught by a rod. The fisherman, Ian Welch, told the UK Mirror that he was “absolutely exhausted afterward and did very little for the rest of the day and just had a cold beer”.
5 Salmon – Monster Salmon in British Columbia
A fishing newbie caught a gigantic, 83.3-pound salmon off the coast of Canada’s British Columbia in 2012. It was the largest Chinook caught in a decade in the region, putting it among the biggest of all time according to the International Game Fish Association. Outdoor Canada reported that Deborah Whitman-Perry snagged the Chinook salmon on a guided fishing excursion at Good Hope Cannery resort. She chose to let it go free back into the wild after reeling it in. Other huge fish from the area include a 97.4 pound Chinook in 1985 and a 85.8 pound Chinook in 1987.
4 Squid – Biggest Ever Colossal Squid Caught
A 1,089-pound, 26-foot squid was accidentally caught by fishermen in 2008 in Antarctic waters. The monster squid was examined by scientists to determine how the creatures live, and it was displayed at New Zealand’s national museum, Te Papa Tongarewa. It was believed to be the largest colossal squid ever caught. The species, which are known as aggressive hunters, can grow up to 46 feet long and go down as low as 6,500 feet below the ocean’s surface.
3 Marlin – 1,656-Pound Pacific Blue Marlin in Hawaii
There are plenty of tales of humongous marlins being reeled in over the years. One such story is from 1984, when a 1,656-pound Pacific Blue Marlin was snagged by a British angler in Kona, Hawaii. Measuring about 17 ft, it took two hours to be reeled in. Aside from that, an Atlantic Blue Marlin was caught in Brazil in 1992 and weighed about 1,400 pounds. British man Kevin Gardner also made it to the British record books when he caught a 1,320 Atlantic Blue Marlin after a three hour tussle – reportedly enough to feed 1,800 people.
2 Great White Shark – Measured 20-Foot and 4,000+ Pounds
Throughout the history of fishing, there has been a bit of confusion about the size of great white sharks. For example, the largest great white shark caught was thought to be a 23-foot shark snapped up in 1987. However, it’s likely that was exaggerated. Reports by the Canadian Shark Research Center show that the biggest great white shark ever caught was a 20-foot female in 1988 near Prince Edward Island in Canada. The lucky fisherman was David McKendrick. In captivity, great white sharks generally measure around 10 feet (or less in some cases) but in the wild they can be as large as 20 foot. A shark that length would weigh somewhere around 4,200 pounds.
1 Alligator Gar – Terrifying Fish Measured Over 8 Feet
Caught in the state of Texas in 2009, the biggest Alligator Gar ever caught measured 8’3’’ and weighed 230 pounds. Found in southeastern USA and sometimes further down the coast in Mexico, they are huge and scary creatures that eat game fish such as largemouth bass. This particular beast was caught by bow and arrow by John Paul Morris.