Featured image above: Record size salmon in stream during breeding season.

Salmon Fishing World Records for All Species (Rod and Reel)

The International Game and Fish Association is tasked with keeping track of all the world records for all species of salmon and other fish in the world.

The following are the world records – meaning – the biggest salmon ever caught anywhere in the history of the world as we know it! If you’re checking the salmon YOU just caught against this list, remember that there are also national records and state records.

Some locations even keep track of local records – so, make sure you investigate and figure out where your big salmon stands against all the records.


Mr. Hendrik Henriksen, a fishing guide, landed a huge Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) in the Tana River in Norway way back before most of you were born, on January 1st, 1928 that weighed 35.89 kg  (79 lbs. 2 oz.)

The Tana River is located directly north of the country of Finland, and north of the city of Tana. It is a huge river that empties into the Barents Sea.


Mr. Les Anderson was lucky enough to land the biggest Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) ever caught in the world with his Kenai River, Alaska, USA catch on the 17th of May, 1985.

This big Chinook Salmon weight was measured at 44.11 kg (97 lb. 4 oz.). Kenai River comes out of Skilak Lake in the south-central Alaska wilderness and opens into the Gulf of Alaska near the city of Kenai, Alaska.


Mr. Todd Johansson was fishing for Chum salmon, and got lucky enough to catch the largest Chum Salmon (Oncorhynchus keta) ever caught while fishing in Edye Pass, British Columbia, in northwest Canada.

The world record Chum salmon was caught on the 11th of July, 1995 and the weight was measured on an official scale at 15.87 kg (35 lb.) 

Edye Pass is a saltwater channel located between Arthur and Prescott Islands, close to Porcher Island on British Columbia’s westernmost coast about midway between north and south of the province.

Chum are not known for their exceptional size, but they are delicious to eat!


Mr. Jerry Lifton was fishing on the Salmon River in Pulaski, New York, USA when he landed a big Coho Salmon (Oncorhynchus kisutch). The date of this world record was set on the 27th of September, 1989. The world record Coho weighed in at 15.08 kg (33 lbs. 4 oz. on the official scale.

The Salmon River begins at the great lake – Lake Ontario – and winds down through upstate New York into the “Lower Reservoir.”


Pink Salmon body detail.
Pink Salmon

On September 30, 2001, nine-year-old Alexander Minerich was fortunate enough to land his world record Pink Salmon (Oncorhynchus gorbuscha) in Monroe, Washington State, USA on 10-lb. line and a spinner (spinning spoon) artificial lure.

Alexander’s world record catch weighed in at 6.74 kg (14 lbs. 13 oz.) and was not only a world record, but he qualified for a junior angler record as well. Alex said of the record that he wasn’t aware it was anything special.

They were catching and releasing more than 20 fish during his time on the water with his father, Steve Minerich. Some anglers on a passing boat asked to see the big pink of theirs laying up on the bank, and they obliged.

They told the Minerich’s the fish looked bigger than the world record Pink salmon. Indeed it was!


Mr. Stan Roach was fishing one of the most famous salmon fishing spots in the world at Kenai River, Alaska when he got a bite and finally landed the biggest Sockeye salmon (Oncorhynchus nerka) ever caught – a 6.88 kg (15 lbs. 3 oz.) sockeye that goes in the world record book.


Kokanee salmon (Oncorhynchus nerka) are landlocked Sockeye salmon and occur in Japan, Russia, British Columbia, and the Yukon. Many states in the USA stock kokanee salmon in stocked lakes because they survive well in those conditions.

On June 10, 2010 angler Ron Campbell of Pendleton, Oregon was fortunate to land a very large 9 lbs. 10 oz. Kokanee salmon (landlocked sockeye) while fishing at landlocked Wallowa Lake, a stocked salmon lake in the far northeast corner of Oregon.

Denis Woodcox holds world record Kokanee salmon (landlocked sockeye).
Here’s Denis holding his world record salmon up after catching it floating in Lower Arrow Lake, British Columbia, Canada. It does look like a huge trout… but DNA tests don’t lie!

Then in 2017, in a strange twist of fate, another angler who would have broken the record, ate it instead, having mistaken his huge Kokanee salmon for a gigantic trout.

Perhaps hungry after his effort of lifting the fish out of the water (Lower Arrow Lake, British Columbia) with his bare hands (it was just floating on top), Denis Woodcox cooked it up and said it was delicious.

He saved the head and bones in his refrigerator, to discard later when it hit him that maybe that ‘trout’ was a kokanee salmon instead. A biologist proved it, and measured the length of the fish -confirming it would have been a world record Kokanee at 5.4 kg (12 lbs. 1 oz.)!


Masu Salmon world record taken in Japan, 2005.

Yuichi Yamao, of Japan with a 5.05 kg (11 lbs. 2 oz.) Masu Salmon (Oncorhynchus masou) to grab the world record for capture on rod and reel while fishing in the Kuzuryu River on Japan’s east coast in 2005. Masu salmon are found in Asia, and not in North America.

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