14 World-Record Fish You Could Catch

World records for 14 game fish are waiting to be set or broken per International Game Fish Association records.

Think setting an International Game Fish Association world record is an unrealistic goal? Think again: We dissected all the line- and tippet-class records in the IGFA files and found 14 saltwater species with records waiting to be set or broken. Many are native to North American coastal waters; some are farther afield. Many are women's records, reflecting the reality of greater male involvement in our sport, but less competition means more opportunity for those of the feminine persuasion. In any case, take a look at these low-hanging fruits on the tree of fishing fame.

Note: This information was valid when published on this web site but — even though some of these vacancies and beatable records have stood for many years — is definitely subject to change. You can check the IGFA's site for the latest information.

► Bass, Kelp (Calico)

kelp bass
Tippet class: Women's 6-pound
Currently: A 5-pounder holds this record, taken off San Quintin, northern Baja (Pacific side) in 2007
Head for: Areas of kelp and rocks off La Jolla, California, or San Quintin or Cedros Island, Baja
Courtesy IGFA / igfa.org; Diane Rome Peebles, artist

► Grouper, Black

black grouper
Line Class: Men's 8-pound
Currently: Held by a 2-pound, 8-ounce fish from Marathon, Florida, in 2009
Head for: The Florida Keys
Courtesy IGFA / igfa.org; Diane Rome Peebles, artist

► Grouper, Broomtail

broomtail grouper
Line Classes: Women's 20-pound, Women's 30-pound, Women's 50-pound
Currently: Vacant. Go get 'em!
Head for: Ecuador is where most current line-class records for broomtails were caught, but they're common all the way up into Baja waters.
Courtesy IGFA / igfa.org; Derek Redwine, artist

► Halibut, Atlantic

Atlantic halibut
Line Class: Men's 20-pound
Currently: Held by a 35-pound, 13-ounce catch from Norway in 2004. (This species is common from 100 to 200 pounds and can be twice that.) Line Class: Men's 6-pound, Women's 20-pound, Women's 80-pound, Women's 130-pound
Currently: Vacant. Go get 'em! Head for: That's easy — the northern coast of Norway.
Courtesy IGFA / igfa.org; Diane Rome Peebles, artist

► Jack, Almaco

almaco jack
Line Class: Women's 16
Currently: Held by a 27-pound, 1-ounce fish from Bermuda in 2014 (The species can exceed 100 pounds.)
Head for: Gulf of Mexico wrecks or rocky areas offshore of Costa Rica
Courtesy IGFA / igfa.org; Diane Rome Peebles, artist

► Permit

permit
Tippet Class: Women's 6-pound
Currently: Held by a 9-pound, 12-ounce permit caught off Key West in 1999.
Head for: The lower Florida Keys and Key West
Courtesy IGFA / igfa.org; Diane Rome Peebles, artist

► Shark Porbeagle

porbeagle shark
Line Class: Women's 16-pound, Women's 20-pound
Currently: Vacant. Go get 'em!
Head for: Though found off the U.S. Northeast, the U.K. or New Zealand seem to be your best bets.
Courtesy IGFA / igfa.org; Diane Rome Peebles, artist

► Snapper, African Red (African Cubera)

African cubera snapper
Line Class: Men's 20-pound
Currently: Held by a 16-pound, 5-ounce snapper from Angola in 2011 (The species can exceed 100 pounds.) Line Class: Women's 8-pound, Women's 12-pound, Women's 16-pound, Women's 20-pound, Women's 80-pound
Currently: Vacant. Go get 'em! Head for: Angola or Gabon (Try fishing off the beaches after dark.)
Courtesy IGFA / igfa.org; Diane Rome Peebles, artist

► Snapper, Cubera

Cubera snapper
Line Class: Women's 6-pound
Currently: Held by a 3-pound, 1-ounce snapper from Belize in 2000 Line Class: Women's 8-pound
Currently: Held by a 12-pound, 8-ounce fish from Belize in 2004 Head for: There is no single hot spot for these big snapper; they're found off Florida and the Gulf of Mexico and throughout the Caribbean.
Courtesy IGFA / igfa.org; Diane Rome Peebles, artist

► Snapper, Red

red snapper
Line Class: Women's 12-pound, Women's 16-pound, Women's 20-pound
Currently: Held by fish weighing respectively 15 pounds; 14-pounds, 3 ounces; and 15 pounds, 5 ounces (All taken off Florida.)
Head for: Just about anywhere in the South Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico — they're everywhere, but you're forbidden from keeping them in the Atlantic and allowed only nine days in June in the Gulf in federal waters. That leaves Gulf state waters, but check seasonal regulations carefully before thinking of bringing back any red snapper.
Courtesy IGFA / igfa.org; Diane Rome Peebles, artist

► Trevally, Bluefin

Bluefin trevally
Line Class: Women's 8-pound
Currently: Held by a 6-pound, 9-ounce fish from Panama in 2004
Head for: Just about any coral or rocky reefs in any tropical ocean
Courtesy IGFA / igfa.org; Diane Rome Peebles, artist

► Tuna, Atlantic Bigeye

Atlantic bigeye tuna
Line Class: Men's 8-pound
Currently: Held by a 16-pound, 4-ounce tuna caught off Brazil in 1992 Line Class: Women's 12-pound
Currently: Vacant. Go get 'em! Head for: Another species without one real hot area, though the eastern Atlantic around Madeira and the Canary Islands seems to be among the more consistent areas.
Courtesy IGFA / igfa.org; Diane Rome Peebles, artist

► Tuna, Pacific Bluefin

Pacific bluefin tuna
Line Class: Women's 20-pound
Currently: Held by a 29-pound, 8-ounce tuna caught out of San Diego in 2013 Head for: Southern California or New Zealand
Courtesy IGFA / igfa.org; Diane Rome Peebles, artist

► California Yellowtail

California yellowtail
Line Class: Women's 20-pound
Currently: Held by a 33-pound, 14-ounce fish taken off Guadelupe Island, Mexico, in 2003
Head for: Either side of the Baja peninsula
Courtesy IGFA / igfa.org; Diane Rome Peebles, artist