5 Biggest Fish Caught in a Kayak

April 13, 2018

Joel Abrahamsson’s 1,247-pound Greenland Shark

Whether you fish for passion, sport or hobby, there is no greater feeling in the world than catching a big monster fish. And to do this aboard a tiny craft is even more impressive. Let’s just say you deserve more than a year or two of bragging rights if you ever caught a monster fish in your little kayak. Back when people thought it was ridiculous to even fish on a kayak, these people proved them wrong. In this article, we’re going over some of the best documented stories about the biggest fishes ever caught in a fishing kayak

1. Joel Abrahamsson’s 1,247-pound Greenland Shark

Swedish angler, journalist, and big-fish fanatic Joel Abrahamsson currently holds the record for catching the biggest monster fish in a solo kayak: the elusive Greenland shark. Greenland Sharks also known as the grey shark are known for their impressive size. They can grow to as long as 8ft-15ft and around 800-2000lbs. Joel’s catch was a 1,247-pound Greenland Shark.

A lover of the cold, extreme, and freezing weather, Joel loves to fish the waters of Sweden, Norway, and Russia. Catching a Greenland shark wasn’t easy, in fact, he encountered many challenges and risked a lot to make the expedition happen. From more than a year of planning, finding sponsors and funding a film crew to document his adventure, it sure was tough for Joel. But his love for fishing and aching desire to catch one of the colossal predators in Northern Norway got the best of him. Known as the record breaker, Joel now works as a self-employed angling journalist and is always on the move to find the best fishing spots in the world. 

“Most of the world is covered by water. A fisherman's job is simple: Pick out the best parts.”

2. Cape Coral’s Giant Grouper at 552 pounds

Cape Coral’s Giant Grouper

A man named John Black from Cape Coral, Florida caught a Giant Grouper while fishing in his kayak. His video which went viral and was viewed online more than 9.2M times on YouTube. John Black fought with the giant fish for around six minutes before it gave up and surfaced. The grouper was estimated to be around 552 pounds in weight, 83 inches long and over 73 inches in girth. Grouper experts believe that it is so far “the largest bottom fish ever caught from a kayak”. 

Giant Groupers are big and strong fishes that like to swim in warm, shallow waters. Black’s caught Giant Grouper was so big it was almost as big as his kayak. According to the reports, the fisherman was able to guide the fish to shore to get its measurements before releasing it back to the wild. Goliath Groupers are one of the many endangered species in the marine environment of Florida, as such the catching and selling of them for profit are prohibited by law.

3. Andy Cho’s 225-pound Marlin

Andy Cho 225 pound Marlin

The record for the largest marlin ever caught in a kayak was made by Andy Cho, a two-time Makahiki Tournament champion from Hawaii. Andy Cho is a well-known local angler who loves to fish on his kayak. Known to his friends by his alias F.B.I which essentially means (From Big Island), Cho always loved fishing and the sea. 

Cho who was aboard his Ocean Kayak Prowler Big Game (the largest fishing kayak during that year 2008) when he caught the marlin. He then called his brother as soon as he figured he had a large marlin swimming under his kayak. The two wedged the marlin between their kayaks and each paddled to one side like a canoe.  They took the fish home and had it scaled. Later they cut it up, smoked, and shared to everyone.

4. 183-pound Pacific Halibut in Alaska 

Howard Mckim Pacific Halibut

Back in 2003, an angler known as Howard Mckim decided to fish in his kayak. He was a newcomer in Ketchikan as he was from southern California. Locals would often tease him about his choice of fishing platform, since back then nobody fished on a kayak. And that’s when he decided he’s tired of it and want to prove them all wrong. 

A few hours later while fishing in his kayak, he felt a tugging and knew that the fish he caught was too big for his kayak, nevertheless, he wanted to know what it was, so he kept fighting. It wasn’t an easy fight, the currents have already pulled him far out in the sea in an unpredictable area. But still, McKim persisted and with all his might paddled his kayak with the fish towards the shore.

5. 350-pound Salmon Shark in Alaska

350 pound salmon shark caught in Alaska

The year was 2008 when friend Allen Bushnell, Christopher Mautino, and Allen Sansano decided to load their kayaks onto their charter boat for a once in a lifetime adventure. They were going fishing during the pink salmon migration, also known as the time when salmon sharks come to the shallows to feed. It was an extreme kayaking moment, fishing in the shark-infested cold waters of Alaska. 

The team of four started paddling wildly behind the sharks that were on average around 300-500 pounds. They baited their Avet 50 reels with salmons and managed to catch not one or two but four salmon sharks! The sharks were estimated to have weighed around 350-375 pounds and were around 7 ft in length. 

About the author 

Richard Dravick  -  I created this site to help people who like myself enjoy kayaking and fishing. Kayaking allows you enjoy all the great themes of nature that are around us everywhere and combining this with fishing can create some of the most memorable times in life.
Please let me know if you have enjoyed these reviews and if you have thoughts on what you would like to see for future reviews so that I can keep the content fresh.

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