Top 100 World Records

The world’s most amazing saltwater record catches

amazing saltwater inshore nearshore offshore fishing world records
Which fish are the 100 best world records ever caught?Chris McGlinchy / Sport Fishing Magazine

So what's the greatest IGFA world record of all time? That's a subjective question — but Sport Fishing tapped some of the top experts in the field to get an answer, as well as determine the 100 best world records ever caught.

We sought input from seven angling experts, historians and authorities (Michael Farrior, Enrico Capozzi, Martin Arostegui, Mark Sosin, Raleigh Werking, Gary Carter and Mike Leech), each of whom suggested catches and then ranked the top 100 as they saw fit.

The cumulative results of their rankings are represented in the following gallery.

Of course, ranking record catches will always be a subjective exercise. The truth is that each catch over the following pages represents a phenomenal accomplishment, requiring great skill and patience to achieve. Enjoy the gallery.

No. 100 — Roosterfish

This legendary catch, which still stands nearly 60 years later, just goes to show that Peru's Cabo Blanco wasn't only a phenomenal fishery for huge marlin. (Actual photo of record catch unavailable.)

100_rooster.adrian1.jpg
Weight: 80 pounds Line Class: M-50 Angler: Cloyce Tippet Location: Cabo Blanco, Peru Date: June 13, 1954 Fight Time: N/A Lure/Bait: Lure Tackle: Ashaway line; Penn Senator reel; Bob Kleiser glass rodCourtesy Adrian E. Gray

No. 99 — Bluefish

A truly huge bluefish, caught from the Outer Banks’ surf in the dead of winter.

99_bluefish_at_hussey.jpg
Weight: 31 pounds, 12 ounces Line Class: M-50 / All Tackle Angler: James Hussey Location: Hatteras, North Carolina Date: Jan. 30, 1972 Fight Time: N/A Lure/Bait: Eel Tackle: Trilene line; Penn 113-H 4/0 reel; Berkley RL-3 rodCourtesy IGFA / igfa.org

No. 98 — Pacific Snook

Pictured is actually Betsy Bullard's 37-pound, 7-ounce record snook caught on 16-pound test in 2008, a fine catch in its own right. Now, imagine a fish 15 pounds larger, caught 50 years ago. That was the size of Jane Hawood's monster, a photo of which was not available. It still stands today as the women's 30-pound record, however.

98_pacific snook_bullard.jpg
Weight: 52 pounds, 6 ounces Line Class: W-30 Angler: Ms. Jane Haywood Location: La Paz, Mexico Date: Jan. 9, 1963 Fight Time: 30 minutes Lure/Bait: Acme Ding-a-Jig Tackle: Wright & McGill line; Penn Spinfisher reel; Wright & McGill No. B95H rodCourtesy IGFA / igfa.org

No. 97 — Goliath Grouper

Specimens close to the size of this monster still swim throughout Florida’s waters — but they can’t be kept.

97_goliath grouper_at_joyner.jpg
Weight: 680 pounds Line Class: M-80 / All Tackle Angler: Lynn Joyner Location: Fernandina Beach, Florida Date: May 20, 1961 Fight Time: 50 minutes Lure/Bait: Spanish mackerel Tackle: Penn No. 67 reel; Calcutta rodCourtesy IGFA / igfa.org

No. 96 — California Yellowtail

An absolutely huge California yellowtail, caught fairly recently.

96_california yellowtail_at_taniwaki.jpg
Weight: 109 pounds, 2 ounces Line Class: M-80 Angler: Masakazu Taniwaki Location: Ohara, Chiba, Japan Date: Oct. 24, 2009 Fight Time: 12 minutes Lure/Bait: Original pencil bait Tackle: Yotsuami line; Shimano Stella 10000 XG reel; Ripple Fisher Aguira 76 rod Captain: Toru YamaguchiCourtesy IGFA / igfa.org

No. 95 — Great Barracuda

Impressive 11-to-1 barracuda catch on a fast, jumping fish; no easy task on 4-pound test.

95_great barracuda_w4lb_woods.jpg
Weight: 44 pounds, 1 ounce Line Class: W-4 Angler: Ms. Jeanne Woods Location: Groote Eylandt, N.T., Australia Date: Nov. 30, 1986 Fight Time: 55 minutes Lure/Bait: Nils master Tackle: Platypus line; Abu Garcia 5500C reel; Shakespeare Ugly Stick rodCourtesy IGFA / igfa.org

No. 94 — Giant Black Sea Bass

A picture of Richard Lane's huge sea bass was not available — pictured here is another record from yesteryear: R. Gautier's 448-pounder, taken in 1975 off the Coronado Islands on 30-pound test. (The giant black sea bass is now a protected species in California waters.)

94_sea bass.gautier.jpg
Weight: 557 pounds, 3 ounces Line Class: M-50 Angler: Richard Lane Location: Catalina Island, California Date: Jan. 7, 1962 Fight Time: 1 hour, 5 minutes Lure/Bait: Squid Tackle: Ashcraft Dacron line; Penn Senator 6/0 reel; Pastor Standard B50 rodCourtesy IGFA / igfa.org

No. 93 — Greater Amberjack

What a monster! Researchers say AJs can reportedly grow to more than 170 pounds; this one certainly taps the upper limit.

93_greater amberjack_at_nemoto.jpg
Weight: 156 pounds, 13 ounces Line Class: M-50 / All Tackle Angler: Hideyuki Nemoto Location: Iki Island, Nagasaki, Japan Date: Nov. 19, 2010 Fight Time: 40 minutes Lure/Bait: MC Works Jig Tackle: Sun line; Daiwa Saltiga reel; MC Works NB 633 Evo rod Captain: Seiichiro TashiroCourtesy IGFA / igfa.org

No. 92 — Narrowbarred Mackerel

Awesome 13-to-1 catch of one of the world’s fastest fish taken on very light line.

92_narrowbarred mackerel_m6lb_brown.jpg
Weight: 80 pounds, 3 ounces Line Class: M-6 Angler: Wayne Brown Location: Dampier Archipelago, Australia Date: Aug. 6, 2000 Fight Time: 25 minutes Lure/Bait: Garfish Tackle: Platypus line; Shimano TLD10 reel; Ozflex Boss 1604 rodCourtesy IGFA / igfa.org

No. 91 — Cobia

Imagine bringing this fish aboard! While scientists say cobia can grow to 150 pounds, this one was legally caught and its weight recorded, so it is officially the largest on record.

91_cobia_at_goulding.jpg
Weight: 135 pounds, 9 ounces Line Class: M-30 / All Tackle Angler: Peter Goulding Location: Shark Bay, W.A., Australia Date: July 9, 1985 Fight Time: 90 minutes Lure/Bait: Mullet Tackle: Tortue line; Alvey 651 CS reel; Jarvis Walker rodCourtesy IGFA / igfa.org

No. 90 — Giant Trevally

Impressive catch of a true battler on light line.

90_giant trevally_w12lb_henderson.jpg
Weight: 77 pounds, 2 ounces Line Class: W-12 Angler: Ms. Esme Henderson Location: Seymour River Estuary, Queensland, Australia Date: June 12, 1996 Fight Time: 45 minutes Lure/Bait: Deep-diving Lucinda Tackle: Platypus line; Shimano Chronarch CH100 reel; Daiwa Firenorf 1M-571 5 F rodCourtesy IGFA / igfa.org

No. 89 — Pacific Cubera Snapper

Dick Love was reportedly fishing for black marlin with live bait when this monster hit.

89_pac cubera snapper_m12lb_love.jpg
Weight: 51 pounds Line Class: M-12 Angler: Dick Love Location: Isla de Cano, Costa Rica Date: March 14, 1989 Fight Time: 20 minutes Lure/Bait: Blue runner Tackle: Stren line; Shimano TLD20 reel; Bill Boyd custom rodCourtesy IGFA / igfa.org

No. 88 — Permit

A relatively recent catch, this monster proves that all-tackle-caliber fish (even popular species) still swim the world's oceans.

88_permit_at_fiedler.jpg
Weight: 60 pounds Line Class: All Tackle Angler: Renato Fiedler Location: Ilha do Mel, Paranagua, Brazil Date: Dec. 14, 2002 Fight Time: 25 minutes Lure/Bait: Shrimp twin-tail/jig Tackle: Magibraid line; Shimano Corsair CS301 reel; Shimano rodCourtesy IGFA / igfa.org

No. 87 — Atlantic Sailfish

Absolutely giant Atlantic sail caught on respectable-size line.

87_atl sailfish_w30lb_nicolson.jpg
Weight: 128 pounds, 1 ounce Line Class: W-30 Angler: Ms. Bernadette Nicolson Location: Luanda, Angola Date: Feb. 20, 1994 Fight Time: 20 minutes Lure/Bait: Moldcraft 8-inch hooker Tackle: Ande Tournament line; Shimano TLD25 reel; Shimano BR 1606 RFT rodCourtesy IGFA / igfa.org

No. 86 — Hammerhead Shark

A lengthy battle resulted in this truly huge fish. However, great hammerheads are now protected in Florida waters.

86_great hammerhead shark_at_dennis.jpg
Weight: 1,280 pounds Line Class: M-130 Angler: Bucky Dennis Location: Boca Grande, Florida Date: May 23, 2006 Fight Time: 5 hours, 30 minutes Lure/Bait: Stingray Tackle: PowerPro line; Penn reel; Custom rod Captain: Jim WillisCourtesy IGFA / igfa.org

No. 85 — Tarpon

Legendary catch by a legendary angler. Pate was a driving force during the golden age of fly-fishing for tarpon at Homosassa, Florida.

85_tarpon_182_pate.jpg
Weight: 182 pounds Line Class: M-16 (fly) (now retired) Angler: Billy Pate Location: Homosassa, Florida Date: May 11, 1979 Fight Time: N/A Lure/Bait: N/A Tackle: N/ACourtesy IGFA / igfa.org

No. 84 — Mako Shark

Very large mako caught on light gear by a female angler. Impressive stuff.

84_mako shark_w30lb_adams.jpg
Weight: 634 pounds, 14 ounces Line Class: W-30 Angler: Ms. Cheryl Adams Location: Port Stephens, Australia Date: Feb. 29, 1992 Fight Time: 1 hour Lure/Bait: Striped tuna Tackle: Everol 4.0 reel; custom rodCourtesy IGFA / igfa.org

No. 83 — Cobia

18-to-1 comeback catch came only one day after Cunningham lost another 70-plus-pounder on 4-pound line after a grueling five-hour fight that lasted well into the nighttime hours, ending with a missed gaff shot and a lost trophy.

83_cobia_m4lb_cunningham.jpg
Weight: 73 pounds, 10 ounces Line Class: M-4 Angler: Robert Cunningham Jr. Location: Gulf of Mexico, Alabama Date: April 23, 1999 Fight Time: 40 minutes Lure/Bait: Live eel Tackle: Stren line; Daiwa SS2600 reel; Falcon rodCourtesy IGFA / igfa.org

No. 82 — Red Drum

Fish caught in the surf — what’s more, catch came exactly 11 years to the day after Elvin Hooper caught what was formerly the all-tackle record (and still the 30-pound line-class record), a 90-pound red taken in Rodanthe, North Carolina, just north of Avon.

82_red drum_at_deuel.jpg
Weight: 94 pounds, 2 ounces Line Class: M-50 / All Tackle Angler: David Deuel Location: Avon, North Carolina Date: Nov. 7, 1984 Fight Time: 45 minutes Lure/Bait: Cut mullet Tackle: Stren line; Daiwa 7000C reel; Daiwa SurfSpin 711DX rodCourtesy IGFA / igfa.org

No. 81 — Pacific Sailfish

Not the most amazing line-class record, but without a doubt the biggest sailfish ever landed in the history of mankind. The record has stood for more than 60 years. (Actual photo of record catch unavailable.)

81_pacific sailfish.jpg
Weight: 221 pounds Line Class: M-130 Angler: Carl Stewart Location: Santa Cruz Island, Equador Date: Feb. 12, 1947 Fight Time: 30 minutes Lure/Bait: Mullet Tackle: Penn 12/0 reel; Ipswisch rodMike Mazur / Sport Fishing Magazine

No. 80 — Yellowfin Tuna

Marked the first yellowfin tuna ever caught on fly gear and led to the now-common practice of dead-drifting flies in a chum slick. “Twice the tuna totally stripped all the line off the reel right down to the knot on the spool,” recalls Sosin.

80_yellowfin tuna_sosin.jpg
Weight: 53 pounds, 6 ounces Line Class: M-12 (fly) (now retired) Angler: Mark Sosin Location: Bermuda Date: Jul. 3, 1969 Fight Time: 40 minutes Lure/Bait: Chunk pattern Tackle: Scientific Anglers line; Seamaster reel; Fenwick 10-weight rodCourtesy IGFA / igfa.org

No. 79 — Atlantic Snook

A monster snook on any line-class, let alone 6-pound.

79_atl snook_m6lb_hogan.jpg
Weight: 41 pounds, 8 ounces Line Class: M-6 Angler: George Hogan, Jr. Location: Jupiter, Florida Date: Jul. 23, 1996 Fight Time: 16 minutes Lure/Bait: Live pilchard Tackle: Ande line; Shimano TLD15 reel; Star rodCourtesy IGFA / igfa.org

No. 78 — Yellowfin Tuna

“Consider the tackle at the time of this catch.” — Mark Sosin

78_yellowfin_zg-sportfishing__600dpi__008.jpg
Weight: 318 pounds Line Class: N/A Angler: Zane Grey Location: Cabo San Lucas, Mexico Date: 1924 Fight Time: N/A Lure/Bait: N/A Tackle: N/ACourtesy Zane Grey Inc.

No. 77 — Yellowfin Tuna

Tremendous six-hour battle with one of the world’s toughest fish. A fine 11-to-1 catch.

77_yellowfin tuna_m20lb_sholtz.jpg
Weight: 235 pounds, 5 ounces Line Class: M-20 Angler: Frank Sholtz Location: Cape Point, South Africa Date: May 6, 2012 Fight Time: Six hours Lure/Bait: N/A Tackle: Ande line; Penn reel; Penn rod Captain: David EdgarCourtesy IGFA / igfa.org

No. 76 — Roosterfish

The biggest roosterfish ever officially recorded. This record has held up for 53 years, which is amazing given the popularity of this species.

76_roosterfish_at_sackheim.jpg
Weight: 114 pounds Line Class: M-30 Angler: Abe Sackheim Location: La Paz, Mexico Date: June 1, 1960 Fight Time: N/A Lure/Bait: N/A Tackle: Ashaway line; Penn No. 250 reel; Miltcraft rodCourtesy IGFA / igfa.org

No. 75 — Swordfish

One of only a couple swordfish ever to be taken on fly tackle. A very rare catch. (Actual photo of record catch unavailable.)

75_swordfish.jpg
Weight: 89 pounds, 15 ounces Line Class: M-16 (fly) Angler: Fouad Sahiaoui Location: Watamu, Kenya Date: Dec. 23, 1998 Fight Time: 25 minutes Lure/Bait: Handmade fly Tackle: Mason line; Tibor Gulfstream reel; Fisher rodMike Mazur / Sport Fishing Magazine

No. 74 — Bonefish

While this picture may not do the fish justice, Batchelor's bonefish ranked as the largest specimen ever caught — anywhere.

74_bonefish_at_batchelor.jpg
Weight: 19 pounds Line Class: M-30 / All Tackle Angler: Brian Batchelor Location: Zululand, South Africa Date: May 26, 1962 Fight Time: N/A Lure/Bait: Prawn Tackle: Atlas line; Penn 49A reel; Sealey Heavy Surf rodCourtesy IGFA / igfa.org

No. 73 — Bonefish

Amazing catch, considering the light tippet — required a prolonged, 30-minute battle.

73_bonefish_mfr2lb_orthwein.jpg
Weight: 12 pounds Line Class: M-2 (fly) Angler: James Orthwein Location: Bimini, Bahamas Date: Nov. 12, 1989 Fight Time: 30 minutes Lure/Bait: Shrimp fly Tackle: Scientific Anglers line; Seamaster Salmon reel; Kunnan Boron rod Captain: Rudy DamesCourtesy IGFA / igfa.org

No. 72 — White Marlin

Required a lengthy battle on an extremely light tippet.

72_white marlin_mfr6lb_sahiaoui.jpg
Weight: 83 pounds, 12 ounces Line Class: M-6 (fly) Angler: Fouad Sahiaoui Location: Mohammedia, Morocco Date: Oct. 25, 1997 Fight Time: 2 hours, 55 minutes Lure/Bait: Erskines fly Tackle: Mason line; Billy Pate Marlin reel; Cape Fear rodCourtesy IGFA / igfa.org

No. 71 — Striped Bass

This recent catch of what is arguably America’s most popular saltwater game fish supplanted a long-standing all-tackle world-record striper of 78 pounds.

71_striped bass_at_myerson.jpg
Weight: 81 pounds, 14 ounces Line Class: M-80 / All Tackle Angler: Gregory Myerson Location: Westbrook, Connecticut Date: Aug. 4, 2011 Fight Time: 15 minutes Lure/Bait: Live eel Tackle: Berkley line; Quantum reel; St. Croix rodCourtesy IGFA / igfa.org

No. 70 — Pacific Sailfish

One of the very few photos available of Dr. Webster Robinson and his wife Helen, this shot may not encapsulate Robinson's light-tackle accomplishments, but his Jan. 18 Pacific sailfish catch marked the first-ever specimen caught on fly, one that eventually led to the development of bait-and-switch techniques now common to that type of fishing. Robinson would also go on to catch the first striped marlin on fly, as well, though his fish were not recognized as official IGFA records.

70_pac sailfish_robinson_fly.jpg
Weight: 74 pounds, 8 ounces Line Class: M-12 (fly) Angler: Dr. Webster Robinson Location: Pinas Bay, Panama Date: Jan. 18, 1962 Fight Time: N/A Lure/Bait: Bill Gallasch popping bug Tackle: Custom-built Spinmaster rodCourtesy IGFA / igfa.org

No. 69 — Tarpon

While not an official IGFA world record, “this catch set a standard at the time — it showed how big a fish could be landed on light, plug tackle.” — Mark Sosin

69_tarpon_160_jerry coughlan tarpon_joe brooks and jimmie albright.jpg
Weight: 167 pounds Line Class: Plug Gear Angler: Jerry Coughlan Location: Florida Keys Date: 1950 Fight Time: N/A Lure/Bait: Pflueger Supreme baitcast reel; bamboo baitcast rod Tackle: Pflueger Pal-O-Mine lureCourtesy IGFA / igfa.org

No. 68 — Dogtooth Tuna

Outstanding fly-rod catch considering the brutal strength of this species.

68_dogtooth tuna_mfr16lb_chittum.jpg
Weight: 147 pounds, 14 ounces Line Class: M-16 (fly) Angler: H.T. Chittum III Location: Great Barrier Reef, Australia Date: Oct. 18, 2005 Fight Time: 35 minutes Lure/Bait: Konochik tube popper Tackle: Rio line; Tibor reel; Cape Fear rod Captain: Haydon BellCourtesy IGFA / igfa.org

No. 67 — Pacific Halibut

The sole IGFA world record on our list stemming from Alaska, this 30-to-1 catch is a dandy.

67_pac halibut_m8lb_grimes.jpg
Weight: 244 pounds Line Class: M-8 Angler: Gene Grimes Location: Basket Bay, Alaska Date: Aug. 18, 1988 Fight Time: 65 minutes Lure/Bait: Salmon head Tackle: Ande line; Daiwa Sealine 30SH reel; Sabre Custom rodCourtesy IGFA / igfa.org

No. 66 — Pacific Bluefin Tuna

A recent catch, proving yet again that all-tackle-record-caliber fish still can be caught.

66_pac bluefin tuna_at_adams.jpg
Weight: 739 pounds, 6 ounces Line Class: M-80 / All Tackle Angler: Nathan Adams Location: New Zealand Date: Feb. 17, 2012 Fight Time: 40 minutes Lure/Bait: Mackerel Tackle: Momoi line; Shimano reel; Radz rod Captain: Craig WilcoxCourtesy IGFA / igfa.org

No. 65 — Atlantic Bigeye Tuna

Incredibly long battle by one of the sport’s best big-game anglers of all time.

65_atl bigeye tuna_m30lb_campbell.jpg
Weight: 329 pounds Line Class: M-30 Angler: Stewart Campbell Location: Abidjan, Ivory Coast, Africa Date: May 5, 1986 Fight Time: 7 hours Lure/Bait: N/A Tackle: Ande line; Shimano 30 reel; T-Bud rod Captain: Baril GarnseyCourtesy IGFA / igfa.org

No. 64 — Striped Marlin

Catch ranks as the largest marlin ever caught on fly tackle by a female angler. The fact that it was taken on mere 12-pound tippet is extraordinary. (Actual photo of record catch unavailable.)

64_striped marlin_courtesy marc montocchio.jpg
Weight: 194 pounds Line Class: W-12 (fly) Angler: Sophie Grover Location: Port Stephens, New South Wales, Australia Date: Jan. 10, 2010 Fight Time: 10 minutes Lure/Bait: Profile fly Tackle: Stren line; Charlton 8608 reel; Strudnick rodCourtesy Marc Montocchio / 36north.com

No. 63 — Atlantic Blue Marlin

The first blue marlin ever caught on a fly rod in angling history. “I actually weighed the marlin, used our record board and wrote the IGFA application for him,” remembers friend Enrico Capozzi. “Funny enough, almost 20 years since then, I have been trying to best his record, but for one reason or another have not succeeded yet.”

63_atl blue marlin_mfr20lb_tombras.jpg
Weight: 208 pounds Line Class: M-20 (fly) Angler: Charlie Tombras Location: La Guaira Bank, Venezuela Date: May 20, 1994 Fight Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes Lure/Bait: Custom tube fly Tackle: Mason line; Abel No. 5 reel; Fisher 3-piece rodCourtesy IGFA / igfa.org

No. 62 — Pacific Blue Marlin

Only 3 ½ pounds shy of a grander! Still, a fabulous women’s catch.

62_pac blue marlin_w80lb_kisbee.jpg
Weight: 996 pounds, 14 ounces Line Class: W-80 Angler: Ms. Melanie Kisbee Location: Bateman's Bay, Australia Date: March 14, 1999 Fight Time: 90 minutes Lure/Bait: Topgun Awesome lure Tackle: Platypus line; Shimano Tiagra 80w reel; Tournament Tackle rodCourtesy IGFA / igfa.org

No. 61 — Wahoo

One of the coolest catches on our list, the all-tackle record wahoo was actually caught by a 15-year-old girl on vacation with her family. This catch holds three records: all-tackle; women’s 80-pound line-class; and junior all-tackle. The charter boat was headed back to the docks after a slow, half-day trip when the monster hit.

61_wahoo_at_hayward.jpg
Weight: 184 pounds Line Class: W-80 / All Tackle / F-Junior Angler: Sara Hayward Location: Cabo San Lucas, Mexico Date: July 29, 2005 Fight Time: 45 minutes Lure/Bait: Mean Joe Green Lure Tackle: Shimano reel; Shakespeare rod Captain: Gerardo MartinezCourtesy IGFA / igfa.org

No. 60 — Pacific Sailfish

Impressive longevity of this huge sailfish record on light line — it was set almost 40 years ago. The fight time indicates this was a real battle.

60_pac sailfish_m6lb_maspons.jpg
Weight: 168 pounds Line Class: M-6 Angler: Santiago Maspons Location: Salinas, Ecuador Date: Sept. 7, 1974 Fight Time: 55 minutes Lure/Bait: Mackerel Tackle: Stren line; Regal 12 2/0 reel; Fenwick rodCourtesy IGFA / igfa.org

No. 59 — Pacific Sailfish

Fabulous light-line billfish catch. At one time, Dunaway actually held records for all nine billfish species simultaneously, a record that will never be duplicated, says Mike Leech. Those fish were Atlantic and Pacific blue marlin, Atlantic and Pacific sailfish, swordfish, black marlin, white marlin, striped marlin and shortbilled spearfish. The abbreviated fight time indicates that adroit boat handling played a big role in this and other ultra-light-tackle records.

59_pac sailfish_w2lb_dunaway.jpg
Weight: 102 pounds Line Class: W-2 Angler: Deborah Dunaway Location: Flamingo Bay, Costa Rica Date: July 9, 1992 Fight Time: 8 minutes Lure/Bait: Ballyhoo Tackle: Stren line; Shimano TLD15 reel; Bill Boyd Custom No. 2 rodCourtesy IGFA / igfa.org

No. 58 — Pacific Sailfish

A very large sailfish on the lightest of line — ratio of more than 55-to-1. Note how quickly this fish was boated, an indication of close teamwork between the captain, crew and angler.

58_pac sailfish_m2lb_dunaway.jpg
Weight: 111 pounds Line Class: M-2 Angler: Jerry Dunaway Location: Flamingo Bay, Costa Rica Date: July 5, 1993 Fight Time: 6 minutes Lure/Bait: Ballyhoo Tackle: Stren line; Shimano TLD15 reel; Bill Boyd Custom No. 2 rodCourtesy IGFA / igfa.org

No. 57 — White Marlin

Absolutely enormous white marlin caught on relatively sporting gear.

57_white marlin_at_coserin.jpg
Weight: 181 pounds, 14 ounces Line Class: M-30 / All Tackle Angler: Evandro Coserin Location: Vitoria, Brazil Date: Dec. 8, 1979 Fight Time: 40 minutes Lure/Bait: Dead bait Tackle: Ande line; Penn International 30 reel; Magnaflex rodCourtesy IGFA / igfa.org

No. 56 — Mako Shark

75-to-1 catch on one of the toughest, fastest fish in the sea.

56_mako shark_m2lb_kahlenberg.jpg
Weight: 150 pounds, 5 ounces Line Class: M-2 Angler: David Kahlenberg Location: North Whale Island, New Zealand Date: Feb. 22, 2010 Fight Time: 38 minutes Lure/Bait: N/A Tackle: Suffix line; Shimano TR1000 reel; offshore rodCourtesy IGFA / igfa.org

No. 55 — Dolphin

Outstanding catch, 29-to-1, on a tough, jumping pelagic species. A giant dolphin this size is tough on any gear, let alone 2-pound test.

55_dolphinfish_m2lb_carter.jpg
Weight: 58 pounds, 3 ounces Line Class: M-2 Angler: Gary Carter Location: Panama Date: Jan. 4, 2007 Fight Time: 10 minutes Lure/Bait: Ballyhoo Tackle: Momoi line; Shimano Tiagra reel; Nill Buckland rod Captain: Yoan AlcalaCourtesy IGFA / igfa.org

No. 54 — Bonefish

Not an official IGFA record, but a legendary catch nonetheless. Brooks’ bonefish is generally considered the first ever specimen targeted and specifically caught on a fly rod.

54_bonefish.brooks_8lb_fly.jpg
Weight: 8 pounds Line Class: M-12 Angler: Joe Brooks Location: Islamorada, Florida Date: June 1947 Fight Time: N/A Lure/Bait: N/A Tackle: Orvis bamboo fly rod Captain: Jimmy AlbrightCourtesy IGFA / igfa.org

No. 53 — White Marlin

“This is the only marlin ever caught on 2-pound tippet,” says Mike Leech. “Capozzi also holds the 2-pound tippet sailfish record.”

53_atl white marlin_mfr2lb_capozzi.jpg
Weight: 55 pounds, 4 ounces Line Class: M-2 (fly) Angler: Enrico Capozzi Location: Capcana, Dominican Republic Date: Apr. 20, 2011 Fight Time: 5 minutes Lure/Bait: Enrico Special Tackle: Stren line; Abel reel; Lefty Kreh rod Captain: Bubba CarterCourtesy IGFA / igfa.org

No. 52 — Tarpon

More than 50-to-1 on a difficult-to-catch jumping fish. Fabulous light-tackle catch.

52_tarpon_m2lb_hogan.jpg
Weight: 106 pounds Line Class: M-2 Angler: George Hogan Location: Marathon, Florida Date: June 10, 1992 Fight Time: 27 minutes Lure/Bait: Mullet Tackle: Ande line; Shimano TLD20 reel; Star rodCourtesy IGFA / igfa.org

No. 51 — Lemon Shark

One of the largest saltwater fish ever caught on fly gear. Fish was safely released after being weighed.

51_lemon shark_arostegui.jpg
Weight: 385 pounds Line Class: M-12 (fly) Angler: Martin Arostegui Location: Key West, Florida Date: May 16, 2006 Fight Time: 1 hour Lure/Bait: Fly Tackle: Mason line; Fin-Nor 4.5 reel; Sage custom rod Captain: Ralph DelphCourtesy IGFA / igfa.org

No. 50 — Pacific Blue Marlin

Over 20-to-1 on light fly tippet of a jumping fish. Catch came three days before Capozzi’s girlfriend, Stacey Parkerson, became the first female angler to catch a Pacific blue on fly.

50_pac blue marlin_mfr8lb_capozzi.jpg
Weight: 161 pounds, 7 ounces Line Class: M-8 (fly) Angler: Enrico Capozzi Location: Playa Carrillo, Costa Rica Date: Dec. 15, 2007 Fight Time: 20 minutes Lure/Bait: Enrico Special Tackle: Stren line; Abel reel; Custom Biscayne rod Captain: Scott JonesCourtesy IGFA / igfa.org

No. 49 — Pacific Blue Marlin

Catch marked the first Pacific blue marlin ever to be landed on fly gear by a female angler — and it remains to this day the largest blue caught by a female on IGFA fly tackle. The catch required an epic, 4-hour, 20-minute battle.

49_pac blue marlin_wfr16lb_parkerson.jpg
Weight: 187 pounds, 4 ounces Line Class: W-16 (fly) Angler: Stacey G. Parkerson Location: Playa Carrillo, Costa Rica Date: Dec. 18, 2007 Fight Time: 4 hours, 20 minutes Lure/Bait: Enrico Special Tackle: Stren line; Abel reel; Custom Biscayne rod Captain: Scott JonesCourtesy IGFA / igfa.org

No. 48 — Pacific Blue Marlin

Nice 42-to-1 light-tackle marlin catch from one of the most famous fishing lodges in the world, Tropic Star. The two-minute fight time reflects close collaboration between boat crew, captain and angler.

48_pac blue marlin_m6lb_carter.jpg
Weight: 252 pounds, 9 ounces Line Class: M-6 Angler: Gary Carter Location: Pinas Bay, Panama Date: Aug. 23, 2008 Fight Time: 2 minutes Lure/Bait: Mackerel Tackle: Momoi line; Shimano Tiagra reel; Bill Buckland rod Captain: Yoan AlcalaCourtesy IGFA / igfa.org

No. 47 — Permit

One of the greatest flats fly-rod catches ever, likely never to be broken. The flat that this fish was caught on is now known as the “Scene of the Crime.”

47_permit_fly_del brown.jpg
Weight: 41 pounds, 8 ounces Line Class: M-8 (fly) Angler: Del Brown Location: Key West, Florida Date: March 13, 1986 Fight Time: 1 hour Lure/Bait: Crab fly Captain: Steve Huff Tackle: Mason line; Seamaster Mark II reel; Fenwick rodCourtesy IGFA / igfa.org

No. 46 — Pacific Bluefin Tuna

While not an official IGFA world record, Holder's catch kick-started the sport of big-game fishing and is generally regarded as the first bluefin tuna to be caught on rod-and-reel. These fish were previously believed to be uncatchable on recreational fishing tackle.

46_pac bluefin charlesholder_1897.jpg
Weight: 183 pounds Line Class: N/A Angler: Charles Holder Location: Catalina Island, California Date: June 1897 Fight Time: N/A Lure/Bait: N/A Tackle: N/ACourtesy IGFA / igfa.org

No. 45 — Pacific Sailfish

Catch marks the only billfish caught by a female angler with a fly rod and 2-pound tippet. It was over quickly, as the two-minute fight time indicates.

45_pac sailfish_wfr2lb_parkerson.jpg
Weight: 56 pounds, 15 ounces Line Class: W-2 (fly) Angler: Stacey G. Parkerson Location: Playa Carrillo, Costa Rica Date: Jan. 30, 2008 Fight Time: 2 minutes Lure/Bait: Allen Special fly Tackle: Stren line; Abel Super 10 reel; Gold Cup rod Captain: Scott JonesCourtesy IGFA / igfa.org

No. 44 — Atlantic Blue Marlin

The largest IGFA-record Atlantic blue marlin caught to date on fly gear, this catch actually exceeds the species’ record on 20-pound tippet.

44_atl blue marlin_mfr16lb_sahiaoui.jpg
Weight: 269 pounds Line Class: M-16 (fly) Angler: Fouad Sahiaoui Location: Mindelo, Cape Verde Date: May 5, 2012 Fight Time: 1 hour, 58 minutes Lure/Bait: Sahiaoui billfish fly Tackle: Mason line; Tibor reel; Custom Fisherman's Cent rod Captain: Glenn JohnstonCourtesy IGFA / igfa.org

No. 43 — Black Marlin

Excellent light-line marlin catch by a “fantastic light-tackle fishermen who has been a pioneer in fishing,” says Enrico Capozzi.

43_black marlin_m16lb_levitt.jpg
Weight: 631 pounds Line Class: M-16 Angler: Mike Levitt Location: Cairns, Australia Date: Dec. 3, 2001 Fight Time: 1 hour, 45 minutes Lure/Bait: Mackerel Tackle: Stren line; Shimano TLD20 reel; Custom Erskine rod Captain: Paul WhelanCourtesy IGFA / igfa.org

No. 42 — Pacific Blue Marlin

Epic battle by one of the best female anglers in the world that lasted well past sundown. "I was saturated and cold from the waves breaking at the back of the boat, but I just kept winding as if beating eggs," remembers Jacobsen.

42_pac blue marlin_w12lb_jacobsen.jpg
Weight: 400 pounds, 12 ounces Line Class: W-12 Angler: Eryn Jacobsen Location: North Cape, New Zealand Date: Feb. 20, 2011 Fight Time: 5 hours Lure/Bait: Dead bait Tackle: Momoi line; Shimano Tyrnos 30 II reel Captain: John BattertonCourtesy IGFA / igfa.org

No. 41 — Striped Marlin

Another excellent marlin catch on fly gear. Evans caught this fish only a couple months before he would record the largest-ever IGFA-record Pacific blue marlin on fly, a 288-pounder.

41_striped marlin_mfr16lb_evans.jpg
Weight: 230 pounds Line Class: M-16 (fly) Angler: Thomas M. Evans Jr. Location: New South Wales, Australia Date: Feb. 25, 2002 Fight Time: 10 minutes Lure/Bait: Profile fly Tackle: Mason line; Charlton 8600B reel; Biscayne Bay rodCourtesy IGFA / igfa.org

No. 40 — Tarpon

The only 200-plus-pound IGFA-record tarpon to be caught on fly.

40_tarpon_mfr20lb_holland.jpg
Weight: 202 pounds, 8 ounces Line Class: M-20 (fly) Angler: James Holland Location: Chassahowitza, Florida Date: May 11, 2001 Fight Time: 1 hour, 50 minutes Lure/Bait: Kilpatrick's Slick Slider Tackle: Mason line; Tibor Gulfstream reel; G Loomis GLX 12-weight rodCourtesy IGFA / igfa.org

No. 39 — Atlantic Blue Marlin

The largest IGFA-record Atlantic blue ever caught by a female angler, this record has stood for more than 30 years.

39_atl blue marlin_w130lb_lopez.jpg
Weight: 1,073 pounds Line Class: W-130 Angler: Ms. Annette Lopez Location: St. Thomas, USVI Date: July 6, 1982 Fight Time: 50 minutes Lure/Bait: Mackerel Tackle: Ande line; Fin-Nor 9/0 reel; Tycoon Fin-Nor rodCourtesy IGFA / igfa.org

No. 38 — Pacific Blue Marlin

An historic catch, it marked the first official sport-caught blue marlin in the Pacific Ocean. “The catch actually created the Pacific blue marlin record category following years of discussion, because at the time, scientists did not believe there were blues in the Pacific,” says IGFA librarian Gail Morchower.

38_pac blue marlin_parker_1003.jpg
Weight: 1,003 pounds Line Class: M-130 Angler: George Parker Location: Kona, Hawaii Date: Nov. 13, 1954 Fight Time: N/A Lure/Bait: N/A Tackle: N/ACourtesy IGFA / igfa.org

No. 37 — Tarpon

A celebrated catch that eclipsed his previous record-182-pounder and continued to push forward the notion that catching a 200-pound tarpon on IGFA-regulation fly tackle was possible.

37_tarpon_188_pate.jpg
Weight: 188 pounds Line Class: M-16 (fly) (now retired) Angler: Billy Pate Location: Homosassa, Florida Date: 1982 Fight Time: N/A Lure/Bait: N/A Tackle: N/ACourtesy IGFA / igfa.org

No. 36 — Pacific Blue Marlin

Big marlin; light line; long fight — a classic record that has stood for more than 30 years.

36_pac blue marlin_m20lb_nazarek.jpg
Weight: 768 pounds, 10 ounces Line Class: M-20 Angler: Eugene Nazarek Location: Buena Vista, Mexico Date: Nov. 22, 1982 Fight Time: 3 hours, 50 minutes Lure/Bait: Kona head Tackle: Izorline; Daiwa 50H reel; Custom rodCourtesy IGFA / igfa.org

No. 35 — Pacific Sailfish

Fabulous 35-to-1 light-tackle record on a jumping pelagic fish.

35_pac sailfish_m4lb_werking.jpg
Weight: 141 pounds, 8 ounces Line Class: M-4 Angler: Raleigh Werking Location: Pinas Bay, Panama Date: Dec. 27, 1992 Fight Time: 8 minutes Lure/Bait: Strip bait Tackle: Stren line; Shimano Speedmaster reel; Bill Boyd custom rodCourtesy IGFA / igfa.org

No. 34 — Yellowfin Tuna

This is the famed "million-dollar tuna." Guy Yocom set out with the express purpose of catching an all-tackle world record yellowfin — he was registered in Mustad Hooks' "Hook A Million" world-record contest, which promised $1 million to anyone who caught an IGFA all-tackle world-record fish with a Mustad hook. Amazingly, Yocom and his team pulled off the impossible.

34_yellowfin tuna.at.jpg
Weight: 427 pounds Line Class: M-130 / All Tackle Angler: Guy Yocom Location: Cabo San Lucas, Mexico Date: Sept. 18, 2012 Fight Time: 50 minutes Lure/Bait: Chunk bait Tackle: Jerry Brown line; Shimano Tiagra reel; Melton rod Captain: Greg DiStefanoCourtesy IGFA / igfa.org

No. 33 — Atlantic Blue Marlin

Note the fight time — this was an extended battle with a very large marlin on light line, a 35-to-1 catch.

33_atl blue marlin_m20lb_campbell.jpg
Weight: 714 pounds, 8 ounces Line Class: M-20 Angler: Stewart Campbell Location: Grand Bereby, Ivory Coast Date: July 4, 1990 Fight Time: 2 hours, 30 minutes Lure/Bait: Dolphin Tackle: Stren line; Shimano 12/20 reel; T-Bud rodCourtesy IGFA / igfa.org

No. 32 — Striped Marlin

A truly giant striped marlin, which has held up for nearly 30 years as the all-tackle world record.

32_striped marlin_at_boniface.jpg
Weight: 494 pounds Line Class: M-50 / All Tackle Angler: Bill Boniface Location: Tutukaka, New Zealand Date: Jan. 16, 1986 Fight Time: 1 hour Lure/Bait: Kahawai Tackle: Ande line; Penn International 50 reel; Wilkinson Sports rodCourtesy IGFA / igfa.org

No. 31 — Black Marlin

This famous catch ignited the concept of taking a fish over 1,000 pounds on rod and reel. It served as the first all-tackle world record black marlin and held firm until it was replaced by Alfred Glassell’s 1,025-pounder in 1954.

31_black marlin_lauriemitchell_1926.jpg
Weight: 976 pounds Line Class: All Tackle (now retired) Angler: Capt. Laurie Mitchell Location: Bay of Islands, New Zealand Date: 1926 Fight Time: Unknown Lure/Bait: Unknown Tackle: UnknownCourtesy IGFA / igfa.org

No. 30 — Pacific Blue Marlin

This catch was never recognized as an official world record, as it was shark bitten. Still, it is considered the first fish over 1,000 pounds ever landed on rod and reel — caught by one of the most famous anglers of all time.

30_pac blue marlin_1040.grey_1931.jpg
Weight: 1,040 pounds Line Class: M-130 Angler: Zane Grey Location: Vairao, Tahiti Date: 1931 Fight Time: N/A Lure/Bait: N/A Tackle: N/ACourtesy IGFA / igfa.org

No. 29 — Black Marlin

It is believed to be the first black marlin over 1,000 pounds taken on rod and reel. While not officially recognized as an IGFA record, Schmidt was presented with a special certificate. A dogged angler, he had only one arm and one leg, resulting from a childhood injury, and fought the giant marlin for 4 hours before requiring relief on the rod when the fighting chair and harness broke. Not a record, but certainly one of fishing’s most amazing accomplishments.

29_black marlin_louis schmidt jr_black marlin_panama_1006.jpg
Weight: 1,006 pounds Line Class: M-130 Angler: Louis Schmidt Location: Perlas Islands, Panama Date: June 11, 1949 Fight Time: 4 hours, 30 minutes Lure/Bait: N/A Tackle: N/ACourtesy IGFA / igfa.org

No. 28 — Bluefin Tuna

One of the great tuna records of all time. “It’s over 18-to-1, the highest-ratio tuna catch ever,” says Gary Carter. The catch even exceeds the existing men’s 50-pound record, an 897-pounder caught in Spain in 1977.

28_bluefin tuna_w50lb.jacobsen.jpg
Weight: 911 pounds Line Class: W-50 Angler: Eryn Jacobsen Location: Cape George, Nova Scotia, Canada Date: September 28, 2011 Fight Time: 1 hour, 45 min. Lure/Bait: Herring Tackle: Momoi line; Shimano reel; Ian Miller rod Captain: Dale "Zappa" TrenholmCourtesy IGFA / igfa.org

No. 27 — Bluefin Tuna

The biggest tuna ever caught on IGFA-regulation fly tackle.

27_bluefin tuna_mfr20lb_kistler.jpg
Weight: 196 pounds, 9 ounces Line Class: M-20 (fly) Angler: Bradly Kistler Location: Morehead City, North Carolina Date: Jan. 12, 2001 Fight Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes Lure/Bait: Lefty's Deceiver Tackle: Rio line; Charlton 8550C reel; Sage rodCourtesy IGFA / igfa.org

No. 26 — Pacific Blue Marlin

The largest IGFA-record blue marlin ever caught on fly succumbed after a grueling hour-long battle with one of the world’s best blue-water fly-rodders.

26_pac blue marlin_mfr20lb_evans.jpg
Weight: 288 pounds, 12 ounces Line Class: M-20 (fly) Angler: Thomas M. Evans Jr. Location: Port Stephens, Australia Date: March 2, 2002 Fight Time: 1 hour Lure/Bait: Profile fly Tackle: Mason line; Charlton 8600B reel; Biscayne Bay rodCourtesy IGFA / igfa.org

No. 25 — Atlantic Blue Marlin

A short-lived fight, but at 70-to-1, a fabulous light-line catch.

25_atl blue marlin_m8lb_campbell.jpg
Weight: 562 pounds Line Class: M-8 Angler: Stewart Campbell Location: La Gomera, Spain Date: June 4, 2002 Fight Time: 2 minutes Lure/Bait: Mackerel Tackle: Stren line; Shimano TLD20 reel; T-Bud rodCourtesy IGFA / igfa.org

No. 24 — Swordfish

The largest IGFA-record swordfish ever taken by a female angler, this fabulous record still stands after 59 years.

24_swordfish_w80lb_marron.jpg
Weight: 772 pounds Line Class: W-80 Angler: Mrs. Louis Marron Location: Iquiqui, Chile Date: June 7, 1954 Fight Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes Lure/Bait: Bonito Tackle: Cortland line; Fin-Nor 12/0 reel; Harnell rodCourtesy IGFA / igfa.org

No. 23 — Tarpon

“The current all-tackle record is 3 pounds heavier (286 pounds, 9 ounces, caught in 2003 at Guinea-Bissau), but this fish was caught 57 years ago, before the modern-era of fishing tackle.” — Mark Sosin

23_tarpon_mariosalazar_283.jpg
Weight: 283 pounds Line Class: M-30 / All Tackle (now retired) Angler: Mario Salazar Location: Venezuela Date: March 19, 1956 Fight Time: N/A Lure/Bait: N/A Tackle: N/ACourtesy IGFA / igfa.org

No. 22 — Tiger Shark

A very large animal taken on relatively light line — a 45-to-1 catch. (Actual photo of record catch unavailable.)

22_tiger shark.jpg
Weight: 1,364 pounds, 10 ounces Line Class: M-30 Angler: Glen Kirkwood Location: Swansea, New South Wales, Australia Date: Sept. 20, 1990 Fight Time: 2 hours Lure/Bait: Mullet Tackle: Platypus line; Shimano 30 reel; Butterworth Stroker rodMike Mazur / Sport Fishing Magazine

No. 21 — Black Marlin

The first IGFA-legal marlin over 1,000 pounds caught by a pioneering angler of the famed Cabo Blanco Fishing Club. A benchmark fish that "set the mark for all," says Mike Leech.

21_black marlin_glassell_1025.jpg
Weight: 1,025 pounds Line Class: M-130 / All Tackle (now retired) Angler: Alfred Glassell Jr. Location: Cabo Blanco, Peru Date: April 4, 1954 Fight Time: N/A Lure/Bait: N/A Tackle: N/ACourtesy IGFA / igfa.org

No. 20 — Black Marlin

Better than 60-to-1 ratio on a very large marlin fought over a lengthy time period on light line — a terrific catch.

20_black marlin_m12lb_levitt.jpg
Weight: 737 pounds, 7 ounces Line Class: M-12 Angler: Mike Levitt Location: Cairns, Queensland, Australia Date: Nov. 16, 1981 Fight Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes Lure/Bait: Scad Tackle: DuPont line; Penn International reel; Erskine rod Captain: Paul WhelanCourtesy IGFA / igfa.org

No. 19 — Tarpon

The greatest IGFA fly-rod tarpon catch of all time, amazingly only 8 pounds shy of the 20-pound tippet record. An outstanding catch on 12-pound tippet, likely to never be beaten.

19_tarpon_mfr12lb_evans.jpg
Weight: 194 pounds, 8 ounces Line Class: M-12 (fly) Angler: Thomas M. Evans Jr. Location: Pine Island, Florida Date: May 10, 2010 Fight Time: 2 hours, 10 minutes Lure/Bait: Brown Toad fly Tackle: Rio line; Tibor Gulfstream reel; Biscayne 12-weight rod Captain: Al DopirakCourtesy IGFA / igfa.org

No. 18 — Atlantic Blue Marlin

"The first-ever (IGFA-record) Atlantic blue marlin grander that showed all big-game anglers that granders in the Atlantic were possible." — Mike Leech

18_atl blue marlin_herrington_1142.jpg
Weight: 1,142 pounds Line Class: M-130 (now retired) Angler: Jack Herrington Location: Oregon Inlet, North Carolina Date: June 26, 1974 Fight Time: N/A Lure/Bait: N/A Tackle: N/ACourtesy IGFA / igfa.org

No. 17 — White Shark

The second-biggest fish ever caught on IGFA-approved tackle — caught by the same angler who holds the outright largest. The great white has since become a protected species in the region, and using marine mammals such as porpoise for bait is now an unethical practice, no matter where you fish.

17_white shark_m80lb_dean.jpg
Weight: 2,334 pounds Line Class: M-80 Angler: Alfred Dean Location: Streaky Bay, South Australia Date: Nov. 6, 1960 Fight Time: 45 minutes Lure/Bait: Porpoise Tackle: Ashaway line; Penn 14/0 reel; Silaflex rodCourtesy IGFA / igfa.org

No. 16 — Atlantic Blue Marlin

Campbell holds four records in our rankings — more than anyone — and this fabulous 51-to-1 marlin catch ranks as his highest-rated.

16_atl blue marlin_m16lb_campbell.jpg
Weight: 820 pounds Line Class: M-16 Angler: Stewart Campbell Location: Grand Bereby, Ivory Coast, Africa Date: April 9, 1992 Fight Time: 5 minutes Lure/Bait: Mackerel Tackle: Stren line; Shimano 12/30 reel; T-Bud Houston, Texas rodCourtesy IGFA / igfa.org

No. 15 — Striped Marlin

Enormous striped marlin on any class tackle, let alone 6-pound test. Note the brevity of the battle, an indication of highly effective coordination between angler, captain and crew. (Actual photo of record catch unavailable.)

15_striped marlin_courtesy montocchio.jpg
Weight: 385 pounds, 5 ounces Line Class: M-6 Angler: Guy Jacobsen Location: Poor Knight's Island, New Zealand Date: April 30, 2010 Fight Time: 5 minutes Lure/Bait: Live bonito Tackle: Momoi line; Shimano Tyrnos 2011 reel; Saltiga rod Captain: John BattertonCourtesy Marc Montocchio / 36north.com

No. 14 — Pacific Blue Marlin

“This record has stood for 31 years in defiance of some of the world’s best anglers and captains.” — Mike Leech

14_pac blue marlin_at_debeaubien.jpg
Weight: 1,376 pounds Line Class: M-130 / All Tackle Angler: Jay de Beaubien Location: Kona, Hawaii Date: May 31, 1982 Fight Time: 40 minutes Lure/Bait: Kita lure Tackle: Erskine line; Fin-Nor 12/0 reel; Erskine rodCourtesy IGFA / igfa.org

No. 13 — Atlantic Blue Marlin

Took the big-game fishing world by storm. Few predicted the next all-tackle record Atlantic blue would come from Brazil.

13_atl blue marlin_atl_amorin.jpg
Weight: 1,402 pounds, 2 ounces Line Class: M-130 / All Tackle Angler: Paulo Amorim Location: Vitoria, Brazil Date: Feb. 29, 1992 Fight Time: 1 hour, 20 minutes Lure/Bait: Moldcraft lure Tackle: Ande line; Penn International 80 STW reel; Capt. Harry's rodCourtesy IGFA / igfa.org

No. 12 — Pacific Blue Marlin

This outstanding marlin catch of nearly 37-to-1 is made even more remarkable by the fact that Everette lost his right leg and nearly lost his right hand in an Alaskan pipeline accident 11 years earlier. “Kelley would never complain about anything,” says Raleigh Werking.

12_pac blue marlin_m30lb_everette.jpg
Weight: 1,103 pounds, 8 ounces Line Class: M-30 Angler: Kelley Everette Location: Kona, Hawaii Date: June 25, 1987 Fight Time: 1 hour, 50 minutes Lure/Bait: Skipjack Tackle: Ande Tournament line; Penn International 50 reel; Custom Tom Green rodCourtesy IGFA / igfa.org

No. 11 — Black Marlin

One of the great all-time record catches that required a legendary quest to achieve: “She pursued this record for 7 years before success,” says Mike Leech.

11_black marlin_w20lb_mulholland.jpg
Weight: 998 pounds Line Class: W-20 Angler: Ms. Kay Mulholland Location: Lizard Island, Australia Date: Oct. 23, 1982 Fight Time: 20 minutes Lure/Bait: Scad Tackle: Erskine Amilan line; Penn International 30 reel; Erskine & Chambers rodCourtesy IGFA / igfa.org

No. 10 — Black Marlin

“The only marlin grander over 50-to-1.” — Gary Carter

10_black marlin_m20lb_mahood.jpg
Weight: 1,051 pounds Line Class: M-20 Angler: Peter Mahood Location: Cairns, Queensland, Australia Date: Oct. 7, 1976 Fight Time: 40 minutes Lure/Bait: Scad Tackle: Penn International 30 reel; custom rodCourtesy IGFA / igfa.org

No. 9 — Striped Marlin

A member of the ultra-rare 100-to-1 club, this catch ranks as Jacobsen’s crowning light-line achievement.

9_stried marlin_m2lb_jacobsen.jpg
Weight: 231 pounds, 7 ounces Line Class: M-2 Angler: Guy Jacobsen Location: Middlesex Bank, New Zealand Date: March 8, 2009 Fight Time: 10 minutes Lure/Bait: Live bait Tackle: Shimano Tyrnos reel; Saltiga rod Captain: John BattertonCourtesy IGFA / igfa.org

No. 8 — Atlantic Blue Marlin

The line tested under 4 pounds, according to former IGFA president Mike Leech, and at 160-to-1, Cloostermans’ marlin ranks as the greatest weight-to-line-strength-ratio catch of all time.

8_atl blue marlin_m4lb_cloostermans.jpg
Weight: 573 pounds Line Class: M-4 Angler: Leo Cloostermans Location: Azores, Portugal Date: Aug. 1, 1995 Fight Time: 18 minutes Lure/Bait: Squid Tackle: Stren line; Shimano size 4 reel; Rod by DruCourtesy IGFA / igfa.org

No. 7 — Black Marlin

The line tested well under 6 pounds, with the catch ratio settling at 146.2-to-1. How such a huge marlin could be caught on such whisper-thin line boggles the mind. A fight-time of just 15 minutes is indication that boat handling played a crucial role.

7_black marlin_m6lb_capozzi.jpg
Weight: 735 pounds, 3 ounces Line Class: M-6 Angler: Enrico Capozzi Location: Port Stephens, New South Wales, Australia Date: Feb. 7, 2000 Fight Time: 15 minutes Lure/Bait: Mackerel Tackle: Stren Hi-Impact Gold line; Shimano TLD20 reel; Bill Boyd custom rodCourtesy IGFA / igfa.org

No. 6 — Tiger Shark

Caught from a pier, this legendary catch produced an epic stand-up battle for Maxwell, with more than 100 spectators cheering him on. “The fish was taking out line so fast that the reel would start smoking,” remembers Marilyn Small, who snapped the only known photographs of the shark, including this famous picture.

6_tiger shark_1780_maxwell.jpg
Weight: 1,780 pounds Line Class: M-130 Angler: Walter Maxwell Location: Cherry Grove, South Carolina Date: June 14, 1964 Fight Time: 2 hours, 45 minutes Lure/Bait: Skate Tackle: Ashaway line; Penn Senator 16/0 reel; custom rodCourtesy Marilyn Small / Cherry Grove Pier

No. 5 — White Shark

The largest fish ever taken within IGFA regulations. Period. With great whites now protected, this IGFA record is destined to stand for the ages.

5_white shark_at_dean.jpg
Weight: 2,664 pounds Line Class: M-130 / All Tackle Angler: Alfred Dean Location: Ceduna, South Australia Date: April 21, 1959 Fight Time: 1 hour Lure/Bait: Porpoise Tackle: Ashaway line; Penn 14/0 reel; Fiberglass rodCourtesy IGFA / igfa.org

No. 4 — Swordfish

Even with today’s massive recreational pressure on swordfish, Marron’s giant remains the only IGFA record for this species over 1,000 pounds. “This record may well be unbeatable even with modern-day tackle, ”says former IGFA president Mike Leech.

4_swordfish_at_marron.jpg
Weight: 1,182 pounds Line Class: M-130 / All Tackle Angler: Louis Marron**** Location: Iquiqui, Chile Date: May 7, 1953 Fight Time: 1 hour, 55 minutes Lure/Bait: Bonito Tackle: Cortland line; Fin-Nor 12/0 reel; Black Palm rodCourtesy IGFA / igfa.org

No. 3 — Bluefin Tuna

What a monster! Fraser's famous 1,496-pound bluefin ranks as the largest IGFA-record tuna ever caught. Though it is a relatively recent catch, it's also "another record that will likely never be beaten," according to Mike Leech.

3_bluefin tuna_at_fraser.jpg
Weight: 1,496 pounds Line Class: M-130 / All Tackle Angler: Ken Fraser Location: Nova Scotia, Canada Date: Oct. 26, 1979 Fight Time: 45 minutes Lure/Bait: Mackerel Tackle: Garcia line; Penn International reel; Fenwick rodCourtesy IGFA / igfa.org

No. 2 — Black Marlin

This is the largest IGFA-record marlin ever caught by a female angler. Mrs. Hughes' huge black is bested only by Alfred Glassell’s famous 1,560-pounder, taken at Cabo Blanco a year earlier. Hughes, a New York public-relations account executive (then known as Kimberly Wiss) had only caught a few mahi in her fishing lifetime before latching into this epic fish.

2_black marlin_kimberley wiss mrs. charles hughes 1525 black 4-54 cabo.jpg
Weight: 1,525 pounds Line Class: W-130 Angler: Mrs. Charles Hughes Location: Cabo Blanco, Peru Date: April 22, 1954 Fight Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes Lure/Bait: Mackerel Tackle: Ashaway line; Penn Senator 14/0 reel; Tycoon rodCourtesy IGFA / igfa.org

No. 1 — Black Marlin

It stands as the largest marlin ever caught on IGFA regulation tackle. Glassell was a famed sportsman who fished the world over and helped found the legendary Cabo Blanco Fishing Club in Peru. Throughout the 1950s, Cabo Blanco produced the greatest scores of giant marlin the planet had ever seen — and this fish was the grandest of them all, ranked by our experts as Sport Fishing's greatest IGFA world-record catch of all time.

1_black marlin_at_glassell.jpg
Weight: 1,560 pounds Line Class: W-130 Angler: Alfred Glassell Jr. Location: Cabo Blanco, Peru Date: April 22, 1954 Fight Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes Lure/Bait: Mackerel Tackle: Ashaway line; Fin-No 12/0 reel; Tycoon rodCourtesy IGFA / igfa.org