The Biggest Fish Ever Caught

The largest fish ever caught and approved as IGFA All-Tackle World Records

This photo gallery is all about big fish — some of the biggest fish in the world. Many of these fish are sharks and billfish, such as marlin, species that are commonly released and might now be protected. But remember that a lot of these world records are decades old, achieved during a time when there was less concern about releasing giant fish. Luckily today we prefer to photograph such fish at the boat and carefully let them go.

However we feel this collection of the biggest fish ever caught represents a valid — and amazing — part of sport fishing history. You’ll come across popular saltwater game fish and perhaps the biggest hammerhead shark, swordfish and bluefin tuna ever caught.

No. 30: 405-POUND LEMON SHARK

This lemon shark, caught off North Carolina, took three hours of reeling by angler Colleen Harlow.Courtesy IGFA / igfa.org

No. 29: 410-POUND SILVERTIP SHARK

This silvertip came off the waters of Tanzania. Angler Andrea Pellegrini pulled in this beast with an Andaman jig.Courtesy IGFA / igfa.org

No. 28: 418-POUND ATLANTIC HALIBUT

Norwegian waters birthed this monster, reeled by Thomas Nielsen, that took right over an hour-long battleCourtesy IGFA / igfa.org

No. 27: 427-POUND YELLOWFIN TUNA

Off Cabo San Lucas, this yellowfin was pulled by Guy Yocom for a 50-minute fight.Courtesy IGFA / igfa.org

No. 26: 436-POUND WARSAW GROUPER

This warsaw whopper was caught in 1985, off Florida's Gulf Coast.Courtesy IGFA / igfa.org

No. 25: 444-POUND COMMON STINGRAY

Off the Azores, Bob de Boeck fought this stingray for only 15 minutes.Courtesy IGFA / igfa.org

No. 24: 459-POUND PACIFIC HALIBUT

Jack Tragis caught it in 1996, off the waters of Dutch Harbor, Alaska.Courtesy IGFA / igfa.org

No. 23: 461-POUND SALMON SHARK

Thomas Farmer caught this giant in 2009, off the waters of Valdez, Alaska.Courtesy IGFA / igfa.org

No. 22: 494-POUND STRIPED MARLIN

Off Tutukaka, New Zealand, Bill Boniface fought this only for one hour in 1986.Courtesy IGFA / igfa.org

No. 21: 528-POUND PORBEAGLE SHARK

Christopher Bennett fought this porbeagle off Pentland Firth, Scotland, in 1993.Courtesy IGFA / igfa.org

No. 20: 528-POUND BLUE SHARK

In the waters off Montauk Point, New York, Joe Seidel fought this shark for two hours and 35 minutes.Courtesy IGFA / igfa.org

No. 19: 529-POUND SANDBAR SHARK

In 2002, off Archipelago des Bijagos, Patrick Sebile fought this monster for an hour and five minutes.Courtesy IGFA / igfa.org

No. 18: 533-POUND NARROWTOOTH SHARK

Off Cape Karikari, New Zealand, Gaye Harrison-Armstrong pulled in this sucker in 1993.Courtesy IGFA / igfa.org

No. 17: 680-Pound Goliath Grouper

In 1961, off Fernandina Beach, Florida, Lynn Joyner caught this big guy on a Spanish mackerel.Courtesy IGFA / igfa.org

No. 16: 697-Pound Bull Shark

In 1994 off Port Stephens, Australia, Bryce Henderson fought this bull for an hour and a half.Courtesy IGFA / igfa.org

No. 15: 764-Pound Dusky Shark

In 1982, Warren Girle pulled in this world record on a bonito off Longboat Key, Florida.Courtesy IGFA / igfa.org

No. 14: 767-Pound Thresher Shark

In 1983, off the Bay Islands of New Zealand, D.L. Hannah fought this thresher on Kahawai bait.Courtesy IGFA / igfa.org

No. 13: 802-Pound Bigeye Thresher Shark

On February of 1982, Dianne North reeled in this monster off Tutukaka, New Zealand. She fought the beast for three hours and 45 minutes.Courtesy IGFA / igfa.org

No. 12: 907-Pound Pacific Bluefin Tuna

Donna Pascoe reeled in this giant off Three Kings, New Zealand. She fought it for a whopping four hours and 11 minutes. Get the full story of what happened when we broke the news.Courtesy IGFA / igfa.org

No. 11: 1,182-Pound Swordfish

On July 7th 1953, Luis Marron caught a mammoth 1,182-pound swordfish off of Iquique, Chile. The fish was caught using a bonito as bait.Courtesy IGFA / igfa.org

No. 10: 1,221-Pound Mako Shark

Luke Sweeney caught this massive mako on July 21, 2001 off the coast of Chatham, Massachusetts. The fish weighed in at an astonishing 1,221 pounds. The bait used to catch the fish was a bonito.Courtesy IGFA / igfa.org

No. 9: 1,280-Pound Great Hammerhead Shark

On May 23, 2006, Bucky Dennis caught the record great hammerhead shark off of Boca Grande, Florida. Dennis used a stingray to catch the 1,280-pound shark.Courtesy IGFA / igfa.org

No. 8: 1,298-Pound Sixgill Shark

Clemens Rump landed the all-tackle record sixgill shark off Ascension Island in the Atlantic Ocean. The fish was caught using dead bait on November 21, 2002.Courtesy IGFA / igfa.org

No. 7: 1,376-Pound Pacific Blue Marlin

On May 31, 1982, Jay de Beaubien caught the all-tackle world record Pacific blue marlin. The 1,376-pound fish was taken off of Kaaiwi Point in Kona, Hawaii, using a Kita lure.Courtesy IGFA / igfa.org

No. 6: 1,402-Pound Atlantic Blue Marlin

Fishing off Vitoria, Brazil, Paulo Amorium reeled in a 1,402-pound, 2-ounce Atlantic blue marlin. He caught the blue using a Moldcraft lure on February 29, 1992.Courtesy IGFA / igfa.org

No. 5: 1,496-Pound Bluefin Tuna

On October 26, 1979, Ken Fraser caught the record 1,496-pound bluefin tuna. He caught the fish in Aulds Cove off Nova Scotia, Canada, using a mackerel.Courtesy IGFA / igfa.org

No. 4: 1,560-Pound Black Marlin

Alfred Glassell Jr. caught the all-tackle record black marlin off of Cabo Blanco, Peru, on August 4, 1969. The fish weighed a whopping 1,560 pounds and was caught using a mackerel as bait.Courtesy IGFA / igfa.org

No. 3: 1,708-Pound Greenland Shark

On October 18, 1987, Terje Nordvedt caught the largest Greenland shark ever off Trondheimsfjord, Norway. The shark weighed 1,708 pounds, 9 ounces, taken while using a herring as bait.Courtesy IGFA / igfa.org

No. 2: 1,785-Pound Tiger Shark

On March 4, 2004, Kevin James Clapson caught the current, all-tackle world record tiger shark. The big, 1,785-pound, 11-ounce shark was caught off Ulladulla, Australia.Courtesy IGFA / igfa.org

No. 1: 2,664-Pound White Shark

The biggest fish ever caught and approved as an IGFA world record was a white shark. The giant fish weighed 2,664 pounds! Alfred Dean caught the beastly shark off Ceduna, Australia, on April 21,1959 using a porpoise as bait.Courtesy IGFA / igfa.org