The 17 Heaviest Fish Ever Caught

Fishing is one of the oldest activities that people have been involved in for more than 40,000 years. Even though fishing was predominantly for food, some people practiced it as a sport.

The International Fame Fishing Association (IGFA) is responsible for all the fishing records that compare the biggest fish caught by weight.

Sharks are some of the biggest fish on earth, and do not be surprised if you see them dominating the list of the heaviest fish ever caught.

1. White Shark – 2,664 pounds

White Shark

On April 21, 1959, Alfred Dean broke the world record for the heaviest fish ever caught. He caught a massive white shark weighing 2,664 pounds approved by the IGFA.

Great White Sharks have since become protected species which explains why they are rarely seen around, and this record remains unbeaten to date.

2. Tiger Shark – 1,785 pounds 11 ounces

Kevin J. Clapson caught a 1,785 lb. 11 oz. – Tiger shark on March 28, 2004, in Ulladulla, Australia.

This fish was believed to have broken a 40-year record by Walter Maxwell, who caught a 1785-pound Tiger Shark in 1964.

However, the record was counted as a tie because Kevin’s catch was only 11 ounces heavier.

3. Greenland Shark – 1,708 pounds 9 ounces

Greenland Shark

On October 17, 1987, in Trondheimsfjord, Norway, Angler Nordvedt caught the third-heaviest fish ever. He only used a herring as bait to catch the 1,708 lb. 9 oz. Fish is a very rare species.

This vertebrate can live for over 400 years which is enough time to grow so big.

4. Black Marlin – 1,560 pounds

Alfred C. Glassell Jr caught a gigantic Black Merlin on August 4, 1953, in Cabo Blanco, Peru. His record remains to be one of the longest-running IGFA world records ever.

Most of the fish caught by Glassell, including this Marlin, is currently housed at the Houston Museum of Natural Science.

5. Atlantic Bluefin Tuna – 1,496 Pounds

Atlantic Bluefin Tuna

In 1979, Ken Fraser caught a 1,496-pound Atlantic Bluefin Tuna in Nova Scotia, Canada, a popular spot for Bluefish Tuna.

Today this fish species is very much regulated, so it might take forever for people to beat Ken Fraser’s record.

6. Atlantic Blue Marlin – 1,402 pounds 2 ounces

This 1,402 pound Atlantic Blue Marlin was caught by angler Paulo Amorim when fishing around Vitoria, Brazil, on February 29, 1992. He caught the fish trolling a Molecraft lure.

7. Pacific Blue Marlin – 1,376 pounds

Pacific Blue Marlin

The seventh-heaviest fish ever caught in the Pacific Blue Marlin weighing 1,376 pounds.

This massive fish was caught by angler Jay de Beaubien who was trolling a Kita lute in Kaaiwi Point, Kona, Hawaii, on May 31, 1982.

His record was almost broken by another angler who caught a 1,376-pound Blue Marlin at the exact spot.

8. Sixgill Shark – 1,298 pounds

On November 21, 2002, in Ascension Island, British Overseas Territories when angler Clemens Rump caught this huge fish.

Sixgill sharks are hard to see anywhere, and it is impressive that Clemens was able to catch one weighing 1,298 pounds.

9. Great Hammerhead Shark – 1,280 pounds

Great Hammerhead Shark 1

Captain Bucky Dennis caught a 14.5-foot Hammerhead shark that counts among the heaviest fish ever caught globally. His usual routine was fishing for Tarpon and Snook.

On May 23, 2006, in Boa Grande, he used a stingray as bait to catch the humongous fish that hauled his boat for almost 12 miles into the gulf.

10. Shortfin Mako Shark – 1,221 pounds

In Chatham, Massachusetts, Luke Sweeney caught a massive 1,221-pound Shortfin Mako Shark on July 21, 2001.

Luke was able to catch one of the heaviest fish when riding the smallest boat in the entire tournament. He stayed in the water for three hours before catching the giant fish.

11. Swordfish – 1,182 pounds


Lou Marron set a historic record on May 7, 1953, which remains unbroken 69 years later. He caught a 1,182-pound Swordfish in Iquique Chile by trolling a live Bonito.

This is a clear indication of how you can only use angling to catch some of the most feared creatures in the world.

12. Pacific Bluefin Tuna – 907 pounds 6 ounces

Angler Donna Pascoe caught a 907 lb. 6 oz. Pacific Bluefin Tuna after a four-hour battle with the fish.

On February 19, 2014, in Three Kings Islands, New Zealand, she received an IGFA Best World Record Award for 2014.

13. Bigeye Thresher Shark – 802 pounds

Bigeye Thresher Shark

Dianne North managed to catch an 802-pound Bigeye Thresher in Tutukaka, New Zealand, back on February 8, 1981.

Dianne managed to troll a Kahawai and hook the fish before fighting the shark for almost four hours. David Hannah managed to catch a similar fish only 30 miles away from Dianne’s spot a few years later.

14. Thresher Shark – 767 pounds

David Hannah managed to catch a Thresher Shark with only a Kahawai Salmon. It takes a lot of skill to catch any sized thresher because they are well-known for bashing the bait and hook with their tails before attacking.

David caught a 767-pound thresher on February 26, 1983, in the Bay of Islands, New Zealand.

15. Dusky Shark – 764 pounds

Dusky Shark

Werren Girle managed to get his name among the heaviest fish ever caught in the world on May 28, 1982, in Longboat Key, Florida.

He caught a 764-pound Dusky Shark and made a world record on a Bonita.

16. Bull Shark – 697 pounds 12 ounces

Angler Ronald de Jager managed to catch a massive 697-pound Bull shark on March 24, 2001, in Malindi, Kenya. He successfully trolled a live Yellowfin Tuna, breaking the previous record set in 1994 by 12 ounces.

17. Goliath Grouper – 680 pounds

Goliath Grouper

Fernandina Beach, Florida, was a popular spot for the Goliath Grouper fishery and attracted numerous anglers. Until 1990, regulators banned harvesting these critters due to their dwindling population.

On May 20, 1961, Angler Lynn Joyner managed to catch a 680-pound Goliath with only a Spanish mackerel.

Originally posted on February 11, 2022 @ 11:52 am

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