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World-Record-Fish Catches That Will Blow Your Mind

These 21 world-record fish weighed at least 10 times the breaking strength of the line used to catch them.

July 12, 2016
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Before you brag to your fishing pals about the 20-pounder you caught on 12-pound line, check out these line-class current world records from the archives of the International Game Fish Association. I’ve ordered them per the ratio of fish weight to line weight (strength). (For example, a 48-pound fish landed on line testing in the 8-pound class would be a 6-to-1 catch — and while impressive, not impressive enough to make this list.) The ratios are rounded off to the nearest whole number, by the way. Some fight times are crazy-short, but every record application warrants that catches were taken within the constraints of IGFA rules.

176-to-1 MAKO SHARK

world-record mako shark

351 Pounds, 13 Ounces on 2-Pound Liine

Angler: Guy Jacobsen
Place: Poor Knights Rise, New Zealand
Date: May 2016
Bait/lure: Swordfish
Fight time: 1 hour Note: this was recently submitted and remained pending as a record at press time
Courtesy IGFA / igfa.org

53-to-1 TARPON

World-record tarpon

106 Pounds on 2-Pound Line

Angler: George Hogan, Jr.
Place: Marathon Key, Florida
Date: June 1992
Bait/lure: Mullet
Fight time: 27 minutes
Courtesy IGFA / igfa.org

31-to-1 PACIFIC HALIBUT

world-record pacific halibut

244 Pounds on 8-Pound Line

Angler: Gene Grimes
Place: Chicagof Island, Alaska
Date: August 1988
Bait/lure: Salmon head
Fight time: 1 hours, 5 minutes
Courtesy IGFA / igfa.org

29-to-1 DOLPHINFISH (MAHI)

world-record dolphinfish

58 Pounds, 3 Ounces on 2-Pound Line

Angler: Gary A. Carter
Place: Piñas Bay, Panama
Date: April 2007
Bait/lure: Ballyhoo
Fight time: 10 minutes
Courtesy IGFA / igfa.org

23-to-1 BLACK DRUM

world-record black drum

90 Pounds, 8 Ounces on 4-Pound Line

Angler: Raleigh Werking
Place: New Smyrna Beach, Florida
Date: March 1998
Bait/lure: Crab
Fight time: 1 hour
Courtesy IGFA / igfa.org

18-to-1 COBIA

world record cobia

73 Pounds, 10 Ounces on 4-Pound Line

Angler: Robert Cunningham, Jr.
Place: “Gulf of Mexico”
Date: April 1999
Bait/lure: eel
Fight time: 40 minutes
Courtesy IGFA / igfa.org

18-to-1 THRESHER SHARK

world-record thresher shark

73 pounds, 13 ounces on 4-Pound Line

Angler: Paul T. Hoofe
Place: Newport Beach, California
Date: May 2009
Bait/lure: not listed
Fight time: 50 minutes
Courtesy IGFA / igfa.org

16-to-1 YELLOWFIN TUNA

world record yellowfin

64 Pound, 4 Ounces on 4-Pound Line

Angler: John E. Richardson
Place: Piñas Bay, Panama
Date: June 2011
Bait/lure: Live blue runner
Fight time: 1 minute
Courtesy IGFA / igfa.org

15-to-1 WAHOO

world record wahoo

60 Pounds on 4-Pound Line

Angler: Guy Jacobsen
Place: Minerva Reefs
Date: October 2014
Bait/lure: Rapala
Fight time: 25 minutes
Courtesy IGFA / igfa.org

14-to-1 GREATER AMBERJACK

world record amberjack

83 Pounds, 12 Ounces on 6-Pound Line

Angler: Marion Hudson
Place: Virginia Beach, Virginia
Date: August 1987
Bait/lure: Bucktail jig
Fight time: 2 hours, 40 minutes
Courtesy IGFA / igfa.org

14-to-1 KING MACKEREL

world record king mackerel

28 Pounds, 8 Ounces on 2-Pound Line

Angler: Elizabeth Hogan
Place: Marathon, Florida Keys
Date: April 1992
Bait/lure: Ballyhoo
Fight time: 35 minutes
Courtesy IGFA / igfa.org

13-to-1 LINGCOD

world record lingcod

52 Pounds on 4-Pound Line

Angler: Steve Kwiat
Place: Gulf of Alaska
Date: July 2007
Bait/lure: Kandlefish jig
Fight time: 5 minutes
Courtesy IGFA / igfa.org

13-to-1 RED DRUM

world record red drum

52 Pounds, 5 Ounces on 4-Pound Line

Angler: George Hogan, Jr.
Place: Indian River Lagoon, central Florida
Date: February 1996
Bait/lure: Crab
Fight time: 21 minutes
Courtesy IGFA / igfa.org

12-to-1 BLUEFIN TUNA

world record bluefin tuna

190 Pounds on 16-Pound Line

Angler: Alan Elenson
Place: Unspecified
Date: January 2005
Bait/lure: Ballyhoo on an Ilander lure
Fight time: 2 hours
Courtesy IGFA / igfa.org

12-to-1 JACK CREVALLE

world record jack

24 Pounds, 4 Ounces on 2-Pound Line

Angler: Wendy Fuller
Place: Pensacola Bay, Florida
Date: September 1993
Bait/lure: Menhaden
Fight time: 9 minutes
Courtesy IGFA / igfa.org

11-to-1 GREAT BARRACUDA

world record barracuda

44 Pounds, 1 Ounce on 4-Pound Line

Angler: Jeanne Woods
Place: Groote Eylandt, Australia
Date: November 1987
Bait/lure: Nils Master lure
Fight time: 55 minutes
Courtesy IGFA / igfa.org

11-to-1 PERMIT

world record permit

44 Pounds, 12 Ounces of 4-Pound Line

Angler: Bill Riesenfeld
Place: Key West, Florida
Date: April 1987
Bait/lure: Crab
Fight time: 1 hour
Courtesy IGFA / igfa.org

11-to-1 STRIPED BASS

world record bass

45 Pounds on 4-Pound Line

Angler: Fred Cousins
Place: Chesapeake Bay
Date: December 2012
Bait/lure: Live eel
Fight time: 2 hours
Courtesy IGFA / igfa.org

11-TO-1 WHITE SEABASS

world record seabass

42 Pounds, 13 Ounces on 4-Pound line

Angler: Tom Pfleger
Place: unspecified
Date: July 2009
Bait/lure: Squid
Fight time: 1 hour, 30 minutes
Courtesy IGFA / igfa.org

11-to-1 ATLANTIC BIGEYE TUNA

world record tuna

130 Pounds, 4 Ounces on 12-Pound Line

Angler: Lionel Willmore
Place: Hout Bay, South Africa
Date: May 1994
Bait/lure: CD18 Rapala
Fight time: 1 hour
Courtesy IGFA / igfa.org

10-to-1 PACIFIC BIGEYE TUNA

world record tuna

83 Pounds on 8-Pound Line

Angler: Robert Kurz
Place: San Diego
Date: October 1990
Bait/lure: Zuker lure
Fight time: 33 minutes
Courtesy IGFA / igfa.org
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