World Record Halibut: The Largest Halibut Ever Caught

Halibut is known to grow an average of 20 to 50 pounds – that’s a lot of fish! However, the largest recorded halibut ever caught surpassed the average weight about ten times – a whopping 515 pounds.

Learn more about this impressive world record and how the angler responsible managed this prized catch.

What is the Average Size of a Halibut?

The average size of a halibut varies depending on the species and region.

Pacific halibut (Hippoglossus stenolepis), the more common species, typically ranges from 20 to 50 pounds (9 to 23 kilograms) on average but can grow much larger, occasionally exceeding 300 pounds (136 kilograms).

On the other hand, Atlantic halibut (Hippoglossus hippoglossus), the largest species of flatfish, tend to be larger on average, ranging from 50 to 100 pounds (23 to 45 kilograms), with some individuals surpassing 400 pounds (181 kilograms).

Halibut can continue to grow throughout their lives, and older individuals can achieve impressive sizes.

What is the Largest Halibut Ever Caught?

The largest halibut ever caught, officially recognized by the International Game Fish Association (IGFA), weighed 515 pounds (233.6 kilograms) and was caught by Jack Tragis off Dutch Harbor, Alaska, USA, on June 11, 1996.

For perspective, this record is roughly the weight of one adult grizzly bear or two adult humans!

Tragis also caught the fish with a 130-pound test, breaking yet another record and speaking to his skill. Even more impressively, the record-breaking halibut was Tragis’ last catch of the day!

Where was the Largest Halibut Caught?

The largest halibut ever caught originated off Dutch Harbor, Alaska, USA. Dutch Harbor is a well-known fishing port in the Aleutian Islands of Alaska. It's a popular area for halibut fishing and is renowned for its rich marine biodiversity, making it an attractive destination for anglers.

What Techniques Were Used to Catch the Largest Halibut on Record?

Tragis was bottom jigging when he caught the record-breaking halibut, struggling to secure it for almost two and a half hours. The now-renowned angler used a Shakespeare Fishing Sturdy Stick and PENN Fishing Senator 4/0 reel, hoisting the fish onto the stern with a rope attached to the gaff.

For the world record to become official, Tragis had to catch the fish himself without the help of fellow anglers onboard.

Is There a 1,000 Pound Halibut?

Despite its ability to grow impressive sizes, no officially recognized halibut has been documented and verified to weigh 1,000 pounds.


While the angling community is still waiting for someone to beat Tragis’ all-tackle world record, it’s safe to say that halibut is one of the more impressively sized fish out there.

Whether you’re on a mission to break this record or simply want to sharpen your skills, visit our halibut fishing guide to learn all there is to know!

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