The Chunkiest Charlie: What’s the Biggest Tuna Ever Caught?

In pounds, cans, and cold hard cash
The Chunkiest Charlie: What’s the Biggest Tuna Ever Caught?

Given that, for a lot of people, the vast majority of the tuna that theyll see comes in cans, they might not envision a massive honkin fish when they think of one. But all it takes is a couple travel shows visiting big fish markets, especially in Japan, and youll start to realize the sheer scale of some of these slippery seafolk. What were ideas of little wrigglers caught en masse in nets (though that still does happen) shredded into mush and slammed into cans are suddenly replaced with silvery, massive monsters being slid around on market floors via hook, auctioned off to the highest bidder.

So, obviously, after watching a couple tuna-auction videos, because Im a human with the internet and thats something I can do now, I started to wonder: Who was the granddaddy of them all? What tuna through history claims the crown for the biggest ever caught? One could argue its a crown that comes with shame, as Im sure it would rather be the biggest tuna never caught, but regardless. I wanted a specific bluefin, hopefully with photo evidence, that would have sent Tokyos most experienced mongers into a reverent hush.

Well, here’s my answer. Pictured below is the largest tuna ever reeled in, caught in Nova Scotia by a man named Ken Fraser. A bluefin that tipped the scales, even after drying out on deck for 10 hours post-catch, at 1,496 pounds. Enough to make me say a phrase Ive probably never uttered out loud before, but feels perfect for this specific achievement: Holy smokes!


Is that middle finger happenstance, or a subtle “fuck you” to everyone that will ever try to catch a fish in the future?

Were talking about the equivalent of hauling a damn medium-small male American bison out of the sea. Given five ounces of fish per can, this single monster could fill roughly 4,750 cans of tuna all by its lonesome (well ignore the skeleton for my sanity). Based on this price of fresh, wild bluefin tuna at $47.50 a pound, and again ignoring that annoying skeleton, when it hit the market counter, this whopper could be worth over $70,000. Of course, huge bluefin have sold for up to $3.1 million at auction in Japan, but it doesn't feel fair to use this price, given that those sky-high prices are mostly part of a tradition of bidding wars for the honor of buying the first and biggest bluefin of the year. 

Still, theres no doubt that if this guy showed up at the auction, records would be set.

Scroll down for the next article
Forgot Password?