Biggest Saltwater Catches of All-Time

There are plenty of angler’s around the world, but only a few are lucky enough to catch record-breaking fish. These brave men & women took on the high sea to reel in outrageously big fish. It’s every angler’s dream, & making it a reality is harder than you can imagine. We all start off our careers just wanting to be able to catch a fish. After we catch a few, it’s only natural that our ambitions swell & we aspire to attain records. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to go big, & the ocean is so vast that there’s always a bigger fish. It’s essential to have goals, so world records are a good place to start.

Hands down the best part of saltwater fishing is the sheer size of the fish. Unlike rivers & streams, the ocean provides enough room for fish to grow into beasts. The constant threat from predators has forced all marine life to adapt or die. This continual fight for survival means that the fish are more cunning, but they also make epic records.

Taking on the monsters of the sea is a noble task, so it’s well worth looking at the record breakers. These stories are epic enough to give any angler some much needed inspiration. For this reason, we have compiled a list of some of the most impressive saltwater catches in the world. Prepare to be blown away by the magnitude of these larger-than-life fish! 

World Record Saltwater Catches

Record: 427 Pound Yellowfin Tuna

Angler: Guy Yocum

When: September 28th, 2012

Where: Cabo San Lucas

Out of all the fish in the ocean, yellowfin tuna are notorious for putting up a fight. They don’t go willingly, so catching one of this size is legendary. What makes this record even more impressive is the fact that it only took 50 minutes to subdue this monster. This impressive victory in Cabo San Lucas made Guy Yocum the king of the 400-pound-club for West Coast Tuna fishermen.

On top of the glory, Yocum & his crew got a hefty payday. Mustad was offering a $1 million dollar prize to anyone who caught a record breaking fish with their hooks. Knowing that they had a shot at hitting it big, Yocum’s crew took no chances. They had their lines tested & filed all the paperwork before embarking on this fateful journey. In the end all their hard-work paid off, they successfully got the million dollar prize!

Unofficial Record: 1,649 Pound Blue Marlin

Angler: Gary Merriman

When: 1984

Where: Kona, Hawaii

When this Atlanta tackle shop owner took a fishing trip in Hawaii, he had no idea that he would make history. It was 1984, & the Atlanta Falcons owner Rankin Smith invited Merriman to join him in Hawaii. After embarking on a legendary fishing trip, Merriman landed the biggest marlin of all-time.

Even though this Blue Marlin beat the current world record by 270 pounds, a technicality kept it from being official. Apparently, Merriman used a line & leader that wasn’t condoned by IGFA rules. Nevertheless, it’s still one of the most impressive catches of all time. To this day there’s a life-size replica of this catch outside of Merriman’s tackle shop in Atlanta. Come see it to get an idea of what a real marlin looks like! 

Record: 1,785 Pound Tiger Shark

Angler: Kevin Clapson

When: March, 2004

Where: Ulladulla, Australia

For over 40 years, Walter Maxwell’s 1964 tiger shark record was unbeatable. So many anglers failed to outdo it that it was widely considered impossible. But just when we thought we had the mystery of the ocean figured out, a new monster emerged.

In 2004, Kevin Clapson shattered the once unbeatable record while drifting off the coast of Alludulla, Australia. Armed with an 80-wide, he single handedly took on this massive tiger shark. Now that this record has been set, it may never be beaten. Every year tiger sharks are receiving more protection, so the ability to legally catch one is fading fast.