Every angler considers bigger fish to be better in some way. The desire to catch bigger fish keeps the sport fresh for many people and for some, it’s the only reason they keep making casts or heading offshore. Here are some of the biggest fish ever caught in saltwater and the anglers who managed to bring them in.
When it comes to the largest marlin ever caught there can be a few different answers. The biggest marlin ever caught on rod and reel was a blue marlin out of Oahu, Hawaii. In 1970, a party of anglers fishing on the Coreene C, with Captain Cornelius Choy caught a blue marlin that weighed 1,805 pounds. This incredible fish became known as “Choy's Monster” and hasn’t been broken for over 50 years.
The other answer for the largest marlin ever caught is a black marlin that was caught on August 4, 1953, by Alfred Glassell, Jr. This black marlin is the world record marlin according to IGFA rules. Regardless of rules this marlin is one of the one of the greatest catches in fishing the history. The black marlin was caught in Cabo Blanco, Peru, on the boat “Petrel” which was captained by Stirling Stuart. The record setting fish weighed in at 1,560 pounds and 14 and a half feet long.
Back on May 7, 1953, Louis E. Marron caught the World Record swordfish while fishing in Iquique, Chile. Louis was fishing with his wife Genie, aboard a boat named “Flying Heart III” which was captained by Eddie Wall. This giant swordfish weighed 1,182 pounds and is still the IGFA all tackle world record.
For the largest tuna ever caught, we found both the bluefin and yellowfin world records. According to the IGFA, the bluefin tuna world record is currently held by Ken Fraser. On October 26, 1979, fishing with Captain Eric Samson on “Lady and Misty” from Port Hood, Nova Scotia, Ken managed to land a monster bluefin tuna weighing 1,496 pounds. This weight was taken after the fish had been dehydrating in the boat for nearly 10 hours.
The IGFA world record for the biggest yellowfin tuna was landed by Guy Yacom while fishing in Mexico on September 18th, 2012. This record-setting fish weighed an incredible 427 pounds. While it was not caught on rod and reel, a bigger yellowfin weighing 480 pounds was speared in 2018.
The goliath grouper is the largest grouper species in the world which means that naturally it’s responsible for the world record. The IGFA world record goliath grouper was caught May 20th, 1961 by Lynn Joyner in Fernandina Beach, Florida. This world record fish weighed an incredible 680 pounds and is unlikely to be broken with current laws banning anglers from targeting this fish or handling them outside of the water.
Finally the largest tarpon ever caught was taken off the coast of Rubane, Guinea-Bissau, Africa by Max Domecq. According to the IGFA records this inshore giant weighed 286 pounds, 9 ounces and likely was well over seven feet in length. While a story of an even bigger tarpon has come to light recently, it was not officially weighed but instead, it was released safely back into the ocean.
Updated on December 6, 2022
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