3 Hardest Saltwater Fish to Catch

There are plenty of endangered saltwater fish, but some are exceptionally hard for anglers to catch. Overtime these species have become legendary for being the rarest fish in the world.  Even though they aren’t critically endangered, their scarcity is due to many surprising factors. On top of hailing from exotic locations, these fish are physically taxing to catch. They are only found in the extreme depths of the ocean, so anglers rarely get their hands on them. They can only be found in remote locations, which makes them a rare treat.

Saltwater fishing is all about exploring what’s possible when harvesting exotic wildlife. While fishing endangered species is obviously harmful to the delicate balance of the ecosystem, catching the rarest fish is not. They are extremely hard to catch, so their populations remain intact to this day. For any angler that dares to shoot for something special, these fish can’t be ignored. They can only be caught with special lines that go to profound depths, so special equipment will be needed. These fish are almost impossible to catch, so they are perfect to test your skills!

Rarest Saltwater Fish in the World

Rare Saltwater Fish #1: Dr. Seuss Fish – This flamboyant fish gets its name from its wild looks. Each one sports a breathtaking color pattern that’s highlighted by a seductive shade of red. To make its appearance even more bizarre, the fish’s face looks contorted. These peculiar qualities have made this one of the most sought after fish for saltwater aquarium owners.

Despite being in high demand, this species is extremely difficult to catch. They can only be found off the coasts of Palau & the Marshall Islands. Instead of hanging out around the surface, these daring fish reside in the depths of the ocean. All these challenges have made collecting these fish an impressive feat. Only around a dozen specimens are caught each year, so they easily made our list!

Rare Saltwater Fish #2: Masked Angelfish – This species is so sought after that people have lost their lives trying to collect them. The Masked Angelfish is only found in the Hawaiian Islands. This turned out to be an advantageous position, since most of them reside in protected waters. This allowed them to resist over fishing, but it didn’t stop them from becoming a prized specimen for collectors. 

Capturing them isn’t just a legal conundrum, it’s nearly impossible. Masked Angelfishes love deep waters & can only be found 100 to 300 feet below the surface. This deep habitat makes it a daunting task for divers to catch them, & it’s even harder for an angler. One collector has already died trying to enter these extreme depths, so we advise staying on the surface. Catching these fish legally is an impressive feat, which is why they are one of the most coveted fish on earth!

Rare Saltwater Fish #3: Peppermint Angelfish – Most anglers have never heard of this fish, but aquarium enthusiasts still clamor for them. This is due to the fact that this is the rarest fish in the world. Even though these fish are covered in gorgeous red & white stripes, they are extremely hard to catch. The only place to find them is in the Cook Islands on the South Pacific.

Even though this is one of the most remote locations on the planet, there’s a more pressing obstacle for anglers. Peppermint Angelfish are notorious for hugging reef rock, which is located over 400 feet below sea level. These fish are only acquirable by divers, so it’s a miracle if you end up catching one from a boat!