World Record Catches: 50 of the Biggest Fish Ever Landed with a Rod and Reel

Albacore
Albacore Location: Gran Canaria, Spain
Scientific name: Thunnus alalunga
World record weight: 88 lb. 2 oz. (40 kg.)
Angler: Siegfried Dickermann
Date of capture: November 19, 1977
Bait: live mackerel
Time of battle: 45 minutes
Previous record: 74 lb. 13 oz., Canary Is., Olof Idegsen
Flick Ford
Atlantic Blue Marlin
Atlantic Blue Marlin Location: Vitória, Brazil
Scientific name: Makaira nigricans
World record weight: 1,402 lb. 2 oz. (636 kg.)
Angler: Paulo Amorim
Date of capture: February 29, 1992 (Leap Day)
Bait: trolled pink/white Softhead lure
Time of battle: one hour 20 minutes
Previous record: 1,282 lb., Larry Martin
Flick Ford
Atlantic Bluefin Tuna
Atlantic Bluefin Tuna Location: Aulds Cove, Nova Scotia, Canada
Scientific name: Thunnus thynnus
World record weight: 1,496 lb. (679 kg.)
Angler: Ken Fraser
Date of capture: October 26, 1979
Bait: trolled mackerel
Time of battle: 45 minutes
Previous record: 1,235 lb., Michael MacDonald
Flick Ford
Pacific Bigeye Tuna
Pacific Bigeye Tuna Location: Cabo Blanco, Peru
Scientific name: Thunnus obesus
World record weight: 435 lb. (197.31 kg.)
Angler: Dr. Russell Lee
Date of capture: April 17, 1957
Bait: trolled bonito, 39 thread linen line
Time of battle: 55 minutes
Previous record: 368 lb., H. L. Woodward
Flick Ford
Black Marlin
Black Marlin Location: Cabo Blanco, Peru
Scientific name: Makaira indica
World record weight: 1,560 lb. 8 oz. (707.61 kg.)
Angler: Alfred C. Glassell, Jr.
Date of capture: August 4, 1953
Bait: 130# test, trolled mackerel
Time of battle: one hour 45 minutes
Previous record: 1,352 lbs., Tom Bates
Flick Ford
Bluefish
Bluefish Location: Hatteras Inlet, North Carolina
Scientific name: Pomatomus saltatrix
World record weight: 31 lb. 12 oz. (14.40 kg.)
Angler: James M. Hussey
Date of capture: January 30, 1972
Bait: trolled plastic eel
Time of battle: 15 minutes
Previous record: tie (2 anglers) approximately 24 lb.
Flick Ford
Bonefish
Bonefish Location: Zululand, South Africa
Scientific name: Albula vulpes
World record weight: 19 lb. 8 oz. (8.61 kg.)
Angler: Brian Batchelor
Date of capture: May 26, 1962
Bait: live prawn
Time of battle: unknown
Previous record: 18 lb. 2 oz., William Badua
Flick Ford
Broadbill Swordfish
Broadbill Swordfish Location: Iquique, Chile
Scientific name: Xiphias gladius
World record weight: 1,182 lb. (536.15 kg.)
Angler: Lou Marron
Date of capture: May 7, 1953
Bait: trolled bonito
Time of battle: one hour 55 minutes
Previous record: 860 lb., W. E. S. Tuker
Flick Ford
California Yellowtail
California Yellowtail Location: Guadalupe Island, Mexico
Scientific name: Seriola lalandi dorsalis
World record weight: 92 lb. 1 oz. (41.75 kg.)
Angler: Kevin Pfeiff
Date of capture: August 4, 2004
Bait: cast live sardine
Time of battle: one hour
Previous record: 88 lb. 3 oz., Ronald Fujii
Flick Ford
Dolphinfish
Dolphinfish Location: Gulf of Papagallo, Costa Rica
Scientific name: Coryphaena hippurus
World record weight: 87 lb. 8 oz. (39.46 kg.)
Angler: Manuel Salazar
Date of capture: September 25, 1976
Bait: trolled plastic squid
Time of battle: 34 minutes
Previous record: 85 lb., Richard Seymour
Flick Ford
Giant Black Seabass
Giant Black Seabass Location: Anacapa Island, Channel Islands, California
Scientific name: Stereolepis gigas
World record weight: 563 lb. 8 oz. (255.60 kg.)
Angler: James D. McAdam, Jr.
Date of capture: August 20, 1968
Bait: dead bonito
Time of battle: 35 minutes
Previous record: 557 lb., Richard Lane
Flick Ford
Giant Trevally
Giant Trevally Location: Tokara, Kagoshima, Japan
Scientific name: Caranx ignobilis
World record weight: 160 lb. 7 oz. (72.8 kg.)
Angler: Keiki Hamasaki
Date of capture: May 22, 2006
Bait: cast plug from shore, 130# test line
Time of battle: 35 minutes
Previous record: 135 lb., Russell Mori
Flick Ford
Great Barracuda
Great Barracuda Location: Christmas Island, Republic of Kiribati
Scientific name: Sphyraena barracuda
World record weight: 85 lb. 8 oz. (38.55 kg.)
Angler: John Helfrich
Date of capture: April 11, 1992
Bait: White Loner streamer fly
Time of battle: 15 minutes
Previous record: 83 lb., K. J. W. Hackett
Flick Ford
Jack Crevalle
Jack Crevalle Location: Barra do Kwanza, Angola
Scientific name: Caranx hippos
World record weight: 58 lb. 6 oz. (26.50 kg.)
Angler: Nuno Abohbot P. da Silva
Date of capture: December 10, 2000
Bait: trolled Rapala lure
Time of battle: 15 minutes
Previous record: 57 lb. 14 oz., Leon D. Richard
Flick Ford
King Mackerel
King Mackerel Location: San Juan, Puerto Rico
Scientific name: Scomberomorus cavalla
World record weight: 93 lb. 8 oz. (42.18 kg.)
Angler: Steve P. Graulau
Date of capture: April 18, 1999
Bait: trolled ballyhoo
Time of battle: 10 minutes
Previous record: 90 lb., Norton Thomton
Flick Ford
Opah
Opah Location: 10 miles SW of San Luis Obispo, California
Scientific name: Lampris guttatus
World record weight: 163 lb. 8 oz. (73.93 kg.)
Angler: Thomas R. Foran
Date of capture: October 8, 1998
Bait: cast live sardine
Time of battle: one hour 45 minutes
Previous record: 122 lb. 9 oz., Walter Dittman
Flick Ford
Pacific Sailfish
Pacific Sailfish Location: Santa Cruz Island, Galapagos Islands, Ecuador
Scientific name: Istiophorus platypterus
World record weight: 221 lb. 8 oz. (100.24 kg.)
Angler: Carl W. Stewart
Date of capture: February 12, 1947
Bait: trolled mullet
Time of battle: 30 minutes
Previous record: 141 lb., Kip Farrington
Flick Ford
Permit
Permit Location: Ilha do Mel Paranagua, Brazil
Scientific name: Trachinotus falcatus
World record weight: 60 lb. 8 oz. (27.21 kg.)
Angler: Renato Fiedler
Date of capture: December 14, 2002
Bait: shrimp twin-tail jig
Time of battle: 25 minutes
Previous record: 56 lb. 2 oz., Thomas Sebestyen
Flick Ford
Roosterfish
Roosterfish Location: La Paz, Baja California Sur, Mexico
Scientific name: Nematistius pectoralis
World record weight: 114 lb. 8 oz. (51.71 kg.)
Angler: Abe Sackheim
Date of capture: June 1, 1960
Bait: trolled lure
Time of battle: 20 minutes
Flick Ford
Shortfin Mako Shark
Shortfin Mako Shark Location: Chatham, Massachusetts
Scientific name: Isurus oxyrinchus
World record weight: 1,221 lb. 8 oz. (553.84 kg.)
Angler: Luke Sweeney
Date of capture: July 21, 2001
Bait: drifting bonito
Time of battle: three hours
Previous record: 1,115 lb., Craig Johnston
Flick Ford
Spotted Seatrout
Spotted Seatrout Location: Fort Pierce, Florida
Scientific name: Cynoscion nebulosus
World record weight: 17 lb. 7 oz. (7.92 kg.)
Angler: Craig Carson
Date of capture: May 11, 1995
Bait: cast Zara Spook lure
Time of battle: 15 minutes
Previous record: 16 lb. 0 oz., William Katko
Flick Ford
Striped Marlin
Striped Marlin Location: Tutukaka, New Zealand
Scientific name: Tetrapturus audax
World record weight: 494 lb. (224.1 kg.)
Angler: Bill Boniface
Date of capture: January 16, 1986
Bait: trolled kahawai
Time of battle: one hour
Previous record: 455 lb., Bruce Jenkinson
Flick Ford
Tarpon
Tarpon Location: Rubane, Guinea-Bissau (Africa)
Scientific name: Megalops atlanticus
World record weight: 286 lb. 9 oz. (128.36 kg.)
Angler: Max Domecq
Date of capture: March 20, 2003
Bait: mullet
Time of battle: one hour 4 minutes
Previous record: 283 lb., Mario Salazar
Flick Ford
Wahoo
Wahoo Location: Cabo San Lucas, Baja California Sur, Mexico
Scientific name: Acanthocybium solandri
World record weight: 184 lb. (83.46 kg.)
Angler: Sara Hayward
Date of capture: July 29, 2005
Bait: trolled lure
Time of battle: 45 minutes
Previous record: 158.5 lb., Keith Winter
Flick Ford
White Marlin
White Marlin Location: Vitoria, Espirito Santo, Brazil
Scientific name: Tetrapturus albidus
World record weight: 181 lb. 14 oz. (82.5 kg.)
Angler: Evandro Coser
Date of capture: December 8, 1979
Bait: trolled dead bait
Time of battle: 40 minutes
Previous record: 174 lb. 3 oz., Otavio Reboucas
Flick Ford
White Seabass
White Seabass Location: San Felipe, Baja California Sur, Mexico
Scientific name: Atractoscion nobilus
World record weight: 83 lb. 12 oz. (37.98 kg.)
Angler: Lyal Baumgardner
Date of capture: March 31, 1953
Bait: drifting dead sardine
Time of battle: 38 minutes
Previous record: 77 lb. 4 oz., Huntington Bledsoe
Flick Ford
White Shark
White Shark Location: Ceduna, South Australia
Scientific name: Carcharodon carcharias
World record weight: 2,664 lb. (1,208.38 kg.)
Angler: Alfred Dean
Date of capture: April 21, 1959
Bait: porpoise
Time of battle: one hour
Previous record: 1,068 lb., Robert Dyer
Flick Ford
Yellowfin Tuna
Yellowfin Tuna Location: Isla San Benedicto, Revillagigedo Islands, Mexico
Scientific name: Thunnus albacares
World record weight: 388 lb. 12 oz. (176.35 kg.)
Angler: Curt Wiesenhutter
Date of capture: April 1, 1977
Bait: live caballito
Time of battle: two minutes
Previous record: 308 lb., Harold J. Tolson
Flick Ford
Brook Trout
Brook Trout Location: Nipigon River, Ontario, Canada
Scientific name: Salvelinus fontinalis
World record weight: 14 lb. 8 oz. (6.57 kg.)
Angler: Dr. John W. Cook
Date of capture: July (or maybe September), 1916
Bait: minnow
Time of battle: unknown
Previous record: none
Flick Ford
Brown Trout
Brown Trout Location: Little Red River, Heber Springs, Arkansas
Scientific name: Salmo trutta
World record weight: 40 lb. 4 oz. (18.25 kg.)
Angler: Howard L. "Rip" Collins
Date of capture: May 9, 1992
Bait: 1/32 oz. olive green marabou jig
Time of battle: 15 minutes
Previous record: 37 lb. 7 oz., Kurt Stenlund
Flick Ford
Channel Catfish
Channel Catfish Location: Santee-Cooper Reservoir, South Carolina
Scientific name: Ictalurus punctatus
World record weight: 58 lb. (26.3 kg.)
Angler: W. B. Whaley
Date of capture: July 7, 1964
Bait: Atlantic Coast bucktail
Time of battle: unknown
Previous record: unknown
Flick Ford
Cutthroat Trout
Cutthroat Trout Location: Pyramid Lake, Nevada
Scientific name: Oncorhynchus clarki
World record weight: 41 lb. 0 oz. (18.59 kg.)
Angler: John Skimmerhorn
Date of capture: December, 1925
Bait: unknown
Time of battle: unknown
Previous record: unknown
Flick Ford
Dorado
Dorado Location: Uruguay River, Concordia, Argentina
Scientific name: Salminus maxillosus
World record weight: 55 lb. 11 oz. (25.28 kg.)
Angler: Andre de Botton
Date of capture: January 11, 2006
Bait: Tony Accetta lure
Time of battle: 8 minutes
Previous record: 51 lb. 5 oz., Armando Giudice
Flick Ford
Giant Tigerfish
Giant Tigerfish Location: Zaire River, Republic of Zaire
Scientific name: Hydrocynus goliath
World record weight: 97 lb. 0 oz. (44 kg.)
Angler: Raymond Houtmans
Date of capture: July 9, 1988
Bait: live catfish
Time of battle: one hour, 5 minutes
Previous record: 92 lb. 9 oz., Raymond Houtmans
Flick Ford
Largemouth Bass
Largemouth Bass Location: Montgomery Lake, Georgia
Scientific name: Micropterus salmoides
World record weight: 22 lb. 4 oz. (10.09 kg.)
Angler: George W. Perry
Date of capture: June 2, 1932
Bait: cast lure
Time of battle:
unknown
Previous record: unknown
Flick Ford
Muskellunge
Muskellunge Location: Lac Courte Oreilles, Hayward, Wisconsin
Scientific name: Esox masquinongy
World record weight: 67 lb. 8 oz. (30.61 kg.)
Angler: Cal Johnson
Date of capture: July 24, 1949
Bait: Pike-0-Reno lure
Time of battle: one hour 40 minutes
Previous record: 64 lb. 8 oz., Alois Hanser
Flick Ford
Northern Pike
Northern Pike Location: Greffern Lake, West Germany
Scientific name: Esox lucius
World record weight: 55 lb. 1 oz. (25 kg.)
Angler: Lothar Louis
Date of capture: October 16, 1986
Bait: cast spoon
Time of battle: 40 minutes
Previous record: 46 lb. 2 oz., Peter Dubuc
Flick Ford
Rainbow Trout
Rainbow Trout Location: Lake Diefenbaker, Saskatoon, Canada
Scientific name: Oncorhynchus mykiss
World record weight: 43 lb.10 oz. (19.82 kg.)
Angler: Adam Konrad
Date of capture: June 6, 2007
Bait: cast lure
Time of battle: one hour 40 minutes
Previous record: 42 lb. 2 oz., David White
Flick Ford
Siberian Taimen
Siberian Taimen Location: Keta River, Siberia, Russia
Scientific name: Hucho taimen
World record weight: 92 lb. 8 oz. (41.95 kg.)
Angler: Yuri Orlov
Date of capture: August 11, 1993
Bait: cast blue fox Super Vibrax #6
Time of battle: 30 minutes
Previous record: 85 lb. 8 oz., George Stoick
Flick Ford
Smallmouth Bass
Smallmouth Bass Location: Dale Hollow Lake, Tennessee
Scientific name: Micropterus dolomieu
World record weight: 11 lb. 15 oz. (5.43 kg.)
Angler: David Hayes
Date of capture: July 9, 1955
Bait: trolled Bomber lure
Time of battle: unknown
Previous record: unknown
Flick Ford
Speckled Peacock Bass
Speckled Peacock Bass Location: Rio Negro, Brazil
Scientific name: Cichla temensis
World record weight: 27 lb. (12.24 kg.)
Angler: Gerald "Doc" Lawson
Date of capture: December 4, 1994
Bait: cast lure
Time of battle: one hour 40 minutes
Previous record: 26 lb. 8 oz., Dr. Robert Neubert
Flick Ford
Arctic Char
Arctic Char Location: Tree River, Northwest Territories, Canada
Scientific name: Salvelinus alpinus
World record weight: 32 lb. 9 oz. (14.77 kg.)
Angler:
Jeffrey Ward
Date of capture: July 30, 1981
Bait: Bass Buster jig
Time of battle: 15 minutes
Previous record: 29 lb. 11 oz., Jeanne Branson
Flick Ford
Atlantic Salmon
Atlantic Salmon Location: Tana River, Norway
Scientific name: Salmo salar
World record weight: 79 lb.2 oz. (35.6 kg.)
Angler: Henrik H. Henriksen
Date of capture: January 1, 1928
Bait: unknown
Time of battle: unknown
Previous record: unknown
Flick Ford
Barramundi
Barramundi Location: Lake Tinaroo, Northern Queensland, Australia
Scientific name: Lates calcarifer
World record weight: 83 lb. 7 oz. (37.85 kg.)
Angler: David Powell
Date of capture: September 23, 1999
Bait: cast lure
Time of battle: 30 minutes
Previous record: 63 lb. 2 oz., Scott Barnsley
Flick Ford
Chinook Salmon
Chinook Salmon Location: Kenai River, Alaska
Scientific name: Oncorhynchus tshawytscha
World record weight: 97 lb. 4 oz. (44.11 kg.)
Angler: Les Anderson
Date of capture: May 17, 1985
Bait: drifting Spin-n-Glo lure
Time of battle: 40 minutes
Previous record: 93 lb., H. C. Rider
Flick Ford
Cobia
Cobia Location: Shark Bay, Western Australia
Scientific name: Rachycentron canadum
World record weight: 135 lb. 9 oz. (61.50 kg.)
Angler: Peter Goulding
Date of capture: July 9, 1985
Bait: mullet
Time of battle: 90 minutes
Previous record: 103 lb. 12 oz., Bob Rochetta
Flick Ford
Coho Salmon
Coho Salmon Location: Salmon River, Pulaski, New York
Scientific name: Oncorhynchus kisutch
World record weight: 33 lb. 4 oz. (15.08 kg.)
Angler: Jerry Lifton
Date of capture: September 27, 1989
Bait: cast lure
Time of battle: 15 minutes
Previous record: 31 lb., Mrs. Lee Hallberg
Flick Ford
Common Snook
Common Snook Location: Parismina River, Costa Rica
Scientific name: Centropomus undecimalis
World record weight: 53 lb. 10 oz. (24.32 kg.)
Angler: Gilbert "Toti" Ponzi
Date of capture: October 18, 1978
Bait: cast bucktail jig
Time of battle: 45 minutes
Previous record: 43 lb. 8 oz., James Snyder
Flick Ford
Striped Bass
Striped Bass Location: Vermont Avenue jetty, Atlantic City, New Jersey
Scientific name: Morone saxatilis
World record weight: 78 lb. 8 oz. (35.6 kg.)
Angler: Albert McReynolds
Date of capture: September 21, 1982
Bait: 5 1/2-inch Rebel lure
Time of battle: one hour 40 minutes
Previous record: 76 lb., Bob Rochetta
Flick Ford
White Sturgeon
White Sturgeon Location: Benicia, CA
Scientific name: Acipenser transmontanus
World record weight: 468 lb. (212.28 kg.)
Angler: Joey Pallotta, III
Date of capture: July 9, 1983
Bait: bottom fishing with shrimp
Time of battle: five hours
Previous record: 420 lb., Raymond Pittenger
Flick Ford

These gorgeous portraits of fifty all-tackle records were taken from the new book BIG: The 50 Greatest World Record Catches, from artist Flick Ford and International Game Fish Association (IGFA) historian Mike Rivkin. The portraits are based on historic photographs, catch reports, and other research and, according to the publisher, "show each catch as it would have looked emerging from the water." Visit Greenwich Workshop Press, greenwichworkshop.com, for more information.

Table of Contents __
(Species are listed in alphabetical order within each category)
Saltwater Fish Records
Freshwater Fish Records
Migratory Fish Records

Note: The world record lengths shown next to each painting are drawn from the IGFA’s database or are estimated as marked. The trophy lengths are estimates made by the artist from a variety of sources including personal experience.

All images from BIG: The 50 Greatest World Record Fish, by Mike Rivkin with paintings by Flick Ford, ©Greenwich Workshop Press, 2008. Paintings ©Flick Ford.