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Monster Game Fish Catches: The Big 10 IGFA World Records

Monster Game Fish Catches: The Big 10 IGFA World Records
blue marlin

Are you ready to uncover the monstrous catches that dominate the world of sportfishing? Prepare to be amazed by the staggering sizes of the largest catches on record! These IGFA All-Tackle World Records showcase the exceptional talents of anglers who have successfully reeled in these colossal game fish, pushing the boundaries of the sport.

Have your heart set on beating a record? See what you’re up against with the record-breaking sizes of these 10 game fish species.

Blue Marlin – IGFA World Record

The Blue Marlin, a prized game fish known for its speed, strength, and aerial displays, can reach lengths of up to 14 feet and weigh over 2,000 lbs in tropical waters across the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian Oceans. They feed on squid and pelagic fishes, displaying strong fighting abilities when caught. Anglers use trolling techniques with large bait to reel in these valuable creatures, engaging in epic battles that can last for hours. The current Blue Marlin IGFA World Record stands at 1375 pounds, caught in Hawaii in 1982.

Pacific Blue Marlin

Weight: 1376 lbs. (624.14 kg)
Location: Kaaiwi Point, Kona, Hawaii, USA
Catch Date: 31-May-1982
Angler: Jay de Beaubien

Atlantic Blue Marlin

Weight: 1402 lb 2 oz (636 kg)
Location: Vitoria, Brazil
Catch Date: 29-Feb-1992
Angler: Paulo Amorim

Black Marlin – IGFA World Record

The black marlin inhabits the tropical waters of the Indian and Pacific oceans, with occasional sightings in temperate regions. Recognizable by its sturdy pectoral fins and sleek body structure, this species is renowned for its strength and impressive size. Feeding on squid and pelagic fish, the black marlin surpasses the blue marlin in size and is a sought-after game fish, often caught using trolling techniques with large baits or artificial lures. The current Black Marlin IGFA World Record stands at 1560 pounds, caught in Peru in 1953.

Weight: 1560 lbs. (707.61 kg)
Location: Cabo Blanco, Peru
Catch Date: 04-Aug-1953
Angler: Alfred Glassell, Jr.

Swordfish – IGFA World Record

Swordfish can be found all around the world in both temperate and tropical waters, spanning from the surface to extreme depths. With their distinctive broad, flattened sword, these solitary hunters use their sword for both defense and to prey on squid, dolphin, and mackerel. They are commonly caught using trolling baits or deep drifting techniques, with squid being a popular choice as bait. The larger swordfish, typically females, are highly sought after for their meat in commercial fisheries. The current Swordfish IGFA World Record stands at 1182 pounds, caught in Chile in 1953.

Weight: 1182 lbs. (536.15 kg)
Location: Iquique, Chile
Catch Date: 07-May-1953
Angler: Louis Marron

Tarpon – IGFA World Record

The tarpon, commonly found in subtropical waters of the Atlantic Ocean, possesses a fascinating ability to breathe air by rolling at the surface. With its uniquely compressed body adorned in large scales, prominent lower jaw, and elongated dorsal fin, tarpons present a thrilling challenge for anglers. Utilizing live bait or artificial lures, fishing for tarpon yields optimal results at night. Renowned for their tenacious fights, these fish are known to leap up to an impressive 10 feet out of the water. Notably, tarpons were among the initial saltwater species to be recognized as a prized game fish. The current Tarpon IGFA World Record stands at 286 pounds 9 ounces, caught in Guinea-Bissau in 2003.

Weight: 286 lb 9 oz (129.98 kg)
Location: Rubane, Guinea-Bissau
Catch Date: 20-Mar-2003
Angler: Max Domecq

Striped Marlin IGFA World Record

The striped marlin, found in tropical and warm temperate waters of the Indian and Pacific oceans, is a highly predatory fish known for its acrobatic nature and fighting ability. It feeds on a variety of prey including pilchards, anchovies, mackerel, sauries, flying fish, and squid. This species can be caught close to shore and is more acrobatically inclined compared to larger marlin species. Fishing methods include trolling with whole fish, strip baits, lures, and live bait. The current Striped Marlin IGFA World Record stands at 494 pounds, caught in New Zealand in 1986.

Weight: 494 lb (224.1 kg)
Location: Tutukaka, New Zealand
Catch Date: 16-Jan-1986
Angler: Bill Boniface

Mako Shark – IGFA World Record

Mako sharks, which encompass both the shortfin and longfin species, are swift, oceanic predators commonly found in tropical and warm temperate waters. Renowned for their thrilling encounters with anglers along the shore, these sharks exhibit aggressive behavior when hooked, often leaping out of the water in a display of power. Typically caught through trolling or live bait fishing techniques, their flesh is highly sought after and likened to that of swordfish. Many are inadvertently hooked while trolling for marlins, further enhancing their reputation as a prized catch. The current Mako Shark IGFA World Record stands at 1221 pounds, caught in the USA in 2001.

Weight: 1221 lbs. (553.84 kg)
Location: Chatham, Massachusetts, USA
Catch Date: 21-Jul-2001
Angler: Luke Sweeney

Sailfish – IGFA World Record

Sailfish are majestic creatures that thrive in tropical and subtropical waters near coastlines, preferring depths greater than 6 fathoms. These fish can be spotted either solo or in small groups, gracefully navigating the midwater areas around reefs and current eddies. Renowned for their fierce fighting spirit and impressive aerial displays, sailfish are a sought-after prize for saltwater anglers. They are most effectively hooked using trolling, live bait, or kite fishing techniques near the water’s surface. The current Sailfish IGFA World Record stands at 221 pounds, caught in Ecuador in 1947.

Pacific Sailfish

Weight: 221 lb (100.24 kg)
Location: Santa Cruz Island, Ecuador
Catch Date: 12-Feb-1947
Angler: Carl Stewart

Atlantic Sailfish

Weight: 142 lb 6 oz (64.6 kg)
Location: Lobito, Angola
Catch Date: 12-Mar-2014
Angler: Marco Couto

Bluefin Tuna – IGFA World Record

Bluefin tuna, known for its impressive size and strength, can be found in the subtropical and temperate waters of the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans. With the ability to grow rapidly, they can reach lengths exceeding 8 feet and weigh up to 700 pounds by the age of 14. Anglers typically use still fishing or trolling with live bait to catch these prized game fish, valued for their power and speed. Bluefin tuna hold significance both in the world of sportfishing and commercially on a global scale. The current Bluefin Tuna IGFA World Record stands at 1496 pounds, caught in Canada in 1979.

Weight: 1496 lbs. ( 678.58 kg)
Location: Aulds Cove, Nova Scotia, Canada
Catch Date: 26-Oct-1979
Angler: Ken Fraser

Dolphinfish – IGFA World Record

The dolphinfish (aka Dorado or Mahi Mahi), inhabiting tropical and warm temperate waters, stands out with its vibrant colors and unique characteristics. This species is known for its speedy swimming abilities and diet consisting of flying fish, squid, and other small fish. Often spotted near floating objects, the dolphinfish is a prized catch for anglers who employ successful techniques like trolling with surface baits or using artificial lures. Not to be confused with the marine mammal, the dolphinfish is not only a top-rated game fish but also a delectable treat on the dinner table. The current Dolphinfish IGFA World Record stands at 87 pounds, caught in Costa Rica in 1976.

Weight: 87 lbs (39.46 kg)
Location: Papagayo Gulf, Costa Rica
Catch Date: 25-Sep-1976
Angler: Manuel Salazar

Wahoo – IGFA World Record

The wahoo, a pelagic and seasonally migratory fish, can be found in tropical and warm temperate seas worldwide. Often spotted near wrecks, reefs, and far out at sea, this speedy predator preys on smaller fish and is known for its lightning-fast speeds of over 50 mph. When hooked, the wahoo puts up a fierce fight, with its initial burst capable of stripping off hundreds of yards of line. Anglers typically use trolling techniques with various baits to lure in this elusive fish. While it is a prized catch for sportfishing enthusiasts, the wahoo also holds commercial value in certain regions for its delectable and sweet-tasting flesh. The current Wahoo IGFA World Record stands at 184 pounds, caught in Mexico in 2005.

Weight: 184 lb (83.46 kg
Location: Cabo San Lucas, Mexico
Catch Date: 29-Jul-2005
Angler: Sara Hayward

Elevate Your Sportfishing Passion

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Resources: IGFA 

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