Record-breaking catches: These 3 world records revolved around fish have yet to be broken

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A fishing record can always be broken, but some prove particularly challenging to beat. 

The International Game Fish Association (IGFA) has been clocking fishing accomplishments since its beginnings. The organization is home to fishing records for both freshwater and saltwater fish in all-tackle, line class, all-tackle length for male, female and junior anglers. 

If you’re planning to break a record, you can pretest your line with the IGFA for a fee, and you can pre-certify your scale with the nonprofit organization. 


If you believe you have broken a record, you’ll need to send in your application to the IGFA.

There are certain fishing records that have maintained their status for many years.

A close-up photo of fishing pole

Do you want to shatter a fishing world record? Some record-breaking feats are accomplished more often, while others have proved more challenging by withstanding the test of time. (iStock)

Take a look at three challenging fishing records set in the past and where you can go to attempt to break them.

  1. Black marlin world record
  2. Swordfish world record
  3. Bluefin tuna world record

1. Black marlin world record

On Aug. 4, 1953, a Texas oilman named Alfred Glassell Jr. caught the largest black marlin to date in Cabo Blanco, Peru.

The enormous fish clocked in at 1,560 pounds, according to the IGFA’s official records. This black marlin was not just the largest ever caught of that species, it was the largest fish ever caught on rod and reel.

Glassell was the first angler to catch a black marlin over 1,000 pounds, but he held his record for only a few days. He later regained his record when he caught a 1,090-pound fish and then beat his own record with the 1,560-pound fish that gave him the record that stands today.

Alfred Glassell in front of record-breaking black marlin

Footage of Glassell’s 1,560-pound catch was used in the film “The Old Man and the Sea.” (Getty Images )

Remarkably, a Warner Brothers film crew was on the water on the same day when Glassell caught the record-breaking fish, and the crew shot footage of the fish in the water for the movie “The Old Man and the Sea.”

The black marlin reportedly jumped out of the water fully 49 times in the catch, according to Salt Water Sportsman. 


There have been others that have come close to Glassell’s record but not enough to beat it. For example, Kimberley Wiss, a public relations expert from New York, caught two black marlins weighing in at 1,540 pounds and 1,525 pounds, according to the source. 

If you want to break a black marlin catching record, Australia’s Great Barrier Reef is one hot spot to go, according to Marlin Magazine. 

2. Swordfish world record

Louis Marron holds the record for the largest swordfish ever caught. He broke the record on May 7, 1953, when he caught a 1,182-pound swordfish in Iquique, Chile, according to the IGFA’s official records. 

After two hours on the boat, Marron caught the fish that earned him the world record.

To date, no one has even come close to beating Marron’s record. The next-largest catch behind Marron’s was an 891.5-pound fish caught in New Zealand, according to Salt Water Sportsman. 


If you are attempting to catch swordfish, squid is the most popular bait to use, according to the IGFA. However, you can attach other bait to your hook, like Spanish mackerel, eel, mullet, herring, tuna or bonito, according to the source.

A swordfish jumping out of the water

The most popular bait used to catch swordfish is squid. (iStock)

Swordfish are found around the world, including the United States, where places like Massachusetts, Florida, Texas and California are all popular places for swordfishing. 

3. Bluefin tuna world record

Weighing in at a whopping 1,496 pounds, Ken Fraser holds the record for the largest bluefin tuna ever caught. This record was set on Oct. 26, 1979, according to the IGFA’s official records. 

The jaw-dropping fish was caught in Aulds Cove in Nova Scotia, Canada. Fraser spent many years hunting for giant bluefin tuna. Several that he caught have weighed more than 1,000 pounds, according to Salt Water Sportsman, but only one has come close to 1,500 pounds. 

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Besides Nova Scotia, where the record-breaking bluefin tuna was caught, other places you can go are Sicily, California and North Carolina. 


For bait, mackerel, herring, mullet and squid are all popular choices, according to the IGFA.

Bluefin tuna in the water

The record for the largest bluefin tuna caught goes to Ken Fraser. He set the record in 1979, and it has yet to be broken. (iStock)

Of course, whenever fishing for a potential world-record catch or otherwise, be sure that you are following fishing guidelines and regulations plus hold proper licensing in the area where you are.

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