When casual sports fans think about the most popular games, their mind seldom drifts toward fishing or other water competitions at all. Those events are considered niche—for diehards. Ignorant fans view them as obscure. Emphasis on ignorant.
Nothing could be further from the truth. Professional fishermen may not make as much as NBA, NFL or soccer players, but they still do well for themselves. The best on the circuit earn noticeably into the six figures and comfortably north of $250,000. Also, like golf, the real money isn’t in competitive winnings. It’s with sponsorships. Pro fishermen land endorsement deals with equipment companies attempting to market to those who enjoy the outdoors, and the payoffs can be quite lucrative.
So anyone who thinks that pro fishing isn’t all that popular is kidding themselves. Information and odds on the top tournaments wouldn’t be found on all of the best betting sites if it wasn’t an eminently watchable sport with a loyal fanbase.
With all that said, pro-fishing records are not recited nearly as often as those from one of the other four major North American sports. That comes with the nature of not being highly televised or as watched by the most casual sports enthusiasts.
And make no mistake, that’s a shame. A lot of people should want to know about, say, the largest fish ever hooked during a major tournament or competition. Even if you’re not a fan of the sport itself, the sheer size of these record-breaking hauls are bound to pique your attention.
Don’t take our word for it, though. Here’s the list of the largest, heaviest fish reeled in, courtesy of information provided by the International Game Fish Association.
1. White Shark: 2,664 pounds
Um, wow. Just, wow.
This white shark was reeled in all the way back in 1959, when such attempts were widely legal, by Alfred Dean in Aduna, Australia. For context, if you’re wondering how heavy 2,664 pounds actually is, it’s roughly the weight of a Kia Rio sedan.
For the record, Dean was able to hook the white shark in roughly 50 minutes, which at once seems super quick and like an eternity.
2. Tiger Shark: 1,785 pounds, 11 ounces
This haul is not a blast from the past. It’s more recent.
The 1,785-pound tiger shark was bagged by Kevin James Clapson in March of 2004, during a competition in Ulladulla, Australia.
3. Greenland Shark: 1,708 pounds, 9 ounces
Not every fish on this list is actually a shark. Promise.
But the third-heaviest catch is a shark—a greenland shark to be more specific. This 1,708-pound beast was snagged by Terje Norvedt in 1987 somewhere in Trondheimsfjord, Norway.
4. Black Marlin: 1,560 pounds
Imagine reeling in a black marlin that weighs nearly 1,600 pounds. That, just so you know, is approximately the size of an American Bison. Which, oh my god.
This mutant black marlin was caught by Alfred Glassell Jr. all the way back in 1953. He made the catch in Cabo Blanco, Peru.
5. Atlantic Bluefin Tuna: 1,496 pounds
Admit it: You were waiting for a bluefin tuna to make an appearance on this list. But did you really expect it to be in the top five, when three of the first spots were awarded to sharks?
Pro fisher Ken Fraser bested this monster back in 1979 during a competition in Nova Scotia, Canada.
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