Fishing is a popular activity around the world, and it has been for more than 40,000 years. While many still use this prehistoric practice as a source of food and others see it as more of a leisurely pastime, some anglers are out there sportsfishing for glory.
Using world record rankings from the International Game Fish Association (IGFA), we discovered which of these anglers were the big winners and can boast that they reeled in one of the 30 largest world-record fish ever caught. To earn world record status, the fish had to have been caught according to the IGFA International Angling Rules.
Since sharks are some of the largest fish in the world, it’s no surprise that 17 of the 30 biggest fish ever caught have been sharks. The largest fish ever caught has held the record for more than 60 years and is the most ferocious of them all, the great white shark. Dive into this infographic to see just how much this world-record fish weighed and the unbelievably short amount of time it took the angler to reel in this massive shark.
What Was the Largest Fish Ever Caught?
According to IGFA records, the largest fish ever caught was a great white shark that weighed an unbelievable 2,664 pounds (1,208.389 kg.). Caught off the coast of Ceduna, Australia, in 1959, it took angler Alfred Dean just 50 minutes to win the fight against this one-ton shark. That’s an amazing feat when you’re reeling in the largest shark ever caught!
Out of the 30 sportsfishing world-records on this list, 11 of them weighed in at more than 1,000 pounds, but the great white shark was the only fish to weigh in at more than 2,000 pounds. With almost 900 pounds separating this catch from the second-place tiger shark, Dean should easily continue to hold his world record for the largest fish ever caught for at least another 60 years.
The 10 Largest Fish Ever Caught
- Great white shark: 2,664 pounds (1,208.38 kg.)
- Tiger shark: 1,785 pounds 11 ounces (810 kg.)
- Greenland shark: 1,708 pounds 9 ounces (775 kg.)
- Black marlin: 1,560 pounds (707.6 kg.)
- Atlantic bluefin tuna: 1,496 pounds (678.6 kg.)
- Atlantic blue marlin: 1,402 pounds 2 ounces (636 kg.)
- Pacific blue marlin: 1,376 pounds (624.1 kg.)
- Sixgill shark: 1,298 pounds (588.8 kg.)
- Hammerhead shark: 1,280 pounds (580.6 kg.)
- Mako shark: 1,221 pounds (553.8 kg.)
What Is the Biggest Fish in the World?
The biggest fish in the world didn’t make it onto this list. The largest fish in the world is also the largest shark, the whale shark, which can reach lengths of more than 40 feet and weigh in at 20.6 tons, or more than 41,000 pounds. Since it’s about the size of a school bus, there’s no way one angler could reel in that catch without some assistance (or a much bigger boat)!