Wahoo lives in the warm waters of Florida and Louisiana. This species has a few names, including Mahi-Mahi and Dorado. Tuna is notoriously difficult to catch. Sea bass is one of the most promoted fish out there, for any adventurous angler.
Every angler has a list of game fish to catch in their lifetime. While every catch is something to be thankful for, there is nothing better than fighting for a cherished catch from time to time. Here is a list of the 15 hardest game fish for many anglers to catch. How many of them have you encountered and fought for in your career as a fisherman? There are plenty of wahoo that can be found in the warm oceans of Northeast Florida and Louisiana, looking for schools of smaller fish near wrecks and reefs.
These thin fish swim fast, reaching up to 60 miles per hour, so you're sure to fight for this. And when you hook one up, don't expect this species of fish to give up because they're going to have a fantastic fight. Make sure your arms are strong and you don't have sea legs because this fish can literally throw you off the boat. The Blue Marlin is considered one of the great.
Impressive to the eye with its medium size, majestic appearance and the biggest fight of your fishing life, this fish is a rare marine jewel. Hooking one of these fish requires a good amount of time and keeping it hooked requires patience and endurance. If you're lucky and skilled enough to hook one, you'll have to muster all your stamina because this fish will fight for life. Some of the most experienced fishermen have managed to lose one after five hours of fighting.
Be sure to use heavy tackle if you plan to get one of these trophies. Research has shown that shad has been swimming in our oceans since prehistoric times. There's plenty of time for them to become the acrobatic fish we all know today. This trophy fish, found in the waters of Florida, the Gulf of Mexico and the South Atlantic coast, is known to make a good splash when hooked.
They can jump as high in the air as 10 feet. You have a better chance of hooking one up at night. Come prepared with live mullet as bait and a bucket of bait to tempt them to approach. These fish are heavy, ranging from 60 to 100 pounds, sometimes even 200, so they come prepared with a reel with enough line capacity for those heavyweights.
Permits are not difficult to find, anglers usually find them in shallow water, where they swim for food, but they are difficult to hook. They are incredibly moody and easily frightened on shallow floors. These “gray ghosts” of the flats are also capable of cutting lines, throwing hooks with their strong nose jumps, or they can simply swim next to your baits without even a look (they also have an incredible view). No other fish can frustrate anglers better than they allow.
Many anglers consider catching one to be a story for life. Smaller musks aren't that hard to catch, especially in lakes in Wisconsin and Minnesota (especially Lake of the Woods, Green Bay, or Mille Lacs), but one the size of a trophy is a lifelong challenge. These game fish, known as the “10,000 cast fish”, are street smart, fickle and, in general, a difficult fish to catch. They will make you feel as if you have guided them with the hook and bait, before taking off the bait with their sharp teeth and strong jaws.
Nor are they that easy to lure with bait, as they can fight temptation once they have been fed. To catch one of these trophies, first master big bait casting, know your waters and invest in a GPS sonar system. Not to be confused with the dolphin, the dolphin fish (also known as mahi-mahi or dorado), has a majestically strange appearance, formidable swimmers and intelligent thinkers, making them difficult to catch trophy fish. They know how to evade hooks, but they are quite greedy, so you can easily hook them when you find them.
However, they can run with your hook with such a great speed. The first thing you'll notice about roosterfish is how incredible it looks with its exotic-looking dorsal fins. The second thing you'll notice, if you're able to hook one, is just playful, fast and strong. You can find them in the shallow waters of the Eastern Pacific, aggressively hunting for the next prey.
Commonly seen roosterfish range between 30 and 45 pounds and are quite difficult to pull. Once you've hooked one, it can play with you and the next thing you know it's pulling you back and forth instead of the other way around. Giant horse mackerel, affectionately named GT by anglers hoping to catch one, is the largest of the mackerel fish species. He is a big and solid fighter, a true “warrior of the sea”.
They won't give up until they've completely conquered your surface lure. If you're aiming for one of these trophy bad boys, come armed with a 20-pound test throwing tackle and a backrest. These fish species are found throughout the year in Hawaii, on the atolls of the South Pacific, as well as in the waters of Australia and the Philippines. Greater Amberjack is a fast and strong swimmer.
Once they've bitten your bait, they'll swim back home in the depths of the water, so let's hope that when you've caught a heavy one (hooks commonly range from 20 to 30 pounds, but can occur at 60 pounds), you'll be armed with a rope that can withstand their stubbornness while continuing to dive deep. If you're targeting white sturgeon, make sure you come prepared with an 80-pound test line and heavy-duty reels. Sturgeon can fight and can jump, despite its appearance. You can find this species of fish in the freshwaters of Idaho and British Columbia, which range from 200 to 600 pounds.
Sailfish are quite majestic to behold, and even more majestic to catch. However, they are deceptive in their diva appearance. They are elusive, prefer to settle at deep depths, and are fast swimmers, with some reportedly swimming at a speed of 68 miles per hour. They are also known to inhabit warmer tropical and subtropical waters, so you can only target them in the waters of Thailand or Costa Rica.
You often hear fishermen brag about how hard they fought their catch. And it's true, there are a lot of species out there that will make you work hard to catch them. But when it comes to the hardest fish to catch, only a handful of species can cover that parenthesis. As one of the most desirable catches in existence, shad is a kind of “right of way” for countless inshore fishermen.
Affectionately known as the Silver King, these brilliant beasts have been crossing fishermen's lines for years. There are a few things that make Tarpon a special catch. On the one hand, they are notoriously difficult to hook. Hooking a shad requires patience and skill, so losing the first (or dozens) shouldn't discourage you.
However, when you hook one up, don't think for a second that the job is done. As soon as they take your bait, Tarpon will start putting on an acrobatic show like you've never seen before. Gills rattle, jump out of the water, twist and turn — these guys will do their best to cast your hook. When you see a shad preparing to jump, the best thing to do is to “bow to the king”.
Simply lower the rod to reduce tension in the line and enjoy the show. Overcoming a shad is a bad idea. Most attempts result in loss of equipment and a bruised ego. The only way to catch these guys is to tire them out.
When a shad runs out, it will tip over to the side. That's when you start to attract them. In most places, shad is a strictly catch and release species, so make sure you handle them with care. If you want your share of the Silver King, head to the coastal waters of the Gulf of Mexico or the coast of the South Atlantic.
As you can imagine, the best place to hook a shad is Florida. Shifting the focus to freshwater, the next rod bender on our list is sure to give you a shot for your money. Known as the fish of ten thousand launches, the Muskellunge is as elusive and unpredictable as it seems. These fish are native to many lakes and rivers in the Northeast, and are the favorite catch of countless anglers.
It's not that permissions are hard to find. In fact, they are quite plentiful: you can find a permit anywhere from Massachusetts to Brazil. The thing is, Permit are some of the most stubborn, unpredictable, and downright frustrating fish out there. And that's precisely why catching one is so rewarding.
Permission to spend most of their time near shipwrecks on the high seas, but that's not where most anglers catch them. As any Permit angler will tell you, these fish show their faces when feeding, and that happens on shallow floors. Watching a small fish jump out of the water is exciting, but watching a 1000 lb beakfish do it is enough to make your heart stop. That's exactly what you get from a Blue Marlin, one of the most iconic game fish on the planet.
What is it that I don't like about this fish? Between a sleek look, impressive size and impressive physical ability, Blue Marlin has everything a fisherman could want. On top of that, it has a fighting spirit to compete with any sea creature on the planet. It's no wonder that the IGFA has it in its logo. Putting a hook in the hard mouth of a Blue Marlin requires skill and patience.
Getting one to the boat requires that, in addition to good muscle at the top. Hell, some people have battled these fish for five hours just to lose them in line. That's not to say you have to be an Olympic athlete to catch these Billfish. But rest assured, if you catch or lose one, you'll be in pain the next day.
There is no list of “hardest fish to catch” without brown trout. Revered by fly fishing enthusiasts, browns are arguably responsible for more angling obsessions than any other fish out there. Not to be outdone by the biggest rainbow trout, these fish are the kings of freshwater pound for pound. What is it that makes these particular trout so special? In short, brown trout is smarter than other fish.
In fact, brown people learn and remember things better than any other species of trout. For a fisherman looking for a challenge, that means a lot. Once hooked, Brown Trout will engage in a fight that would embarrass many saltwater species. They'll use every inch of their thick bodies to cast your hook, so you'll have to bring your best set if you want to land them.
Like Permit, roosterfish like to hunt on shallow floors. The difference is that the roosters get so close that you can easily spot them from the shore. That still doesn't mean you can catch them easily, okay?. Roosterfish are common in the 30-45 pound range, so if you pull one off shore, your hands will be full.
Besides that, these guys don't make fun of it when it comes to hunting. They enter aggressively, attacking their prey without hesitation. One of the rare occasions that swordfish approach the surface is during their nightly feeding runs. That's why most traditional swordfishing expeditions take place at night.
But in recent years, more and more anglers are choosing to hunt swordfish during the day. Whichever way you decide to do it, catching one of these monsters will require serious equipment. However, swordfish and swordfish occupy very different depths and are usually caught using different techniques. In that sense, the two species are less similar than, for example, Marlin and Sailfish.
The swordfish and the blue needle are not related at all. Swordfish are alone in their breed designation Xiphias gladius. Two of my target fish on the bucket list were achieved fishing in Costa Rica's beautiful Pacific waters. I have photos but I don't know how to attach them.
And it took a little more than 2 hours and the rooster weighed about 25 pounds. And it took 30 full minutes. It wasn't on your list, but it deserved to be. Long Mako shark that was more than an hour from the boat and then broke loose.
That was while fishing for marlin in the Caribbean off Cancun, Mexico. I'm still looking for some more specific fish, such as a bluefin tuna and an Alaskan halibut. Having all this time locked up makes me yearn even more for the next challenge. Its 32 surgically sharpened teeth, its deep body built for speed and agility, its incredible jumping ability, its brute force and its tip size that exceeds the 150-pound mark, make the Goliath tiger fish one of the baddest fish to honor planet Earth.
With a death chamber as their mouth, musks inhale their prey and rarely comes out. The perimeters of their jaws are lined with dagger-shaped teeth designed to grasp and pierce, while the tops of their mouths are covered with hundreds of sharp teeth that lean toward their throats. Their propensity to fish lures on the shore of the boat in Figure Eight gives the fishing an additional jitters. Its superior size exceeding 400 pounds, its crimson-tipped scales, its prehistoric anatomy that includes a primitive lung that allows atmospheric breathing and a head as hard as steel, make the arapaima a twisted fish worthy of any angler's attention.
The wide snake-like head and the formidable teeth of giant snake heads are things of horror movies. Its stealth, power and tackle destroying nature are enough to cause nightmares for any angler. Razor-sharp teeth, powerful jaws, petty demeanor and bright gold coloration with black stripes give gold gold its nickname “river tiger”. A basic anatomy that hasn't changed since the time of dinosaurs, and a high-end size of more than 400 pounds distinguishes the crocodile from all other fish out there.
They sit so high on the twisted meter that anglers have begun to mix facts of alligators and mythical legends. A fish is rare if it is exceptional, and that means that there is someone who is already trying to catch one. Tiger fish, Apache trout and macabache are rare because they live in specific habitats that force anglers to go a long way to find one. Fish that only live in a specific area or body of water create limited opportunities for anglers, but also make landing a once-in-a-lifetime fishery.
Since these fish are hard to find, chasing them requires a lot of planning and effort, but it's a great way for anglers to get unique and memorable experiences they'll appreciate. After all, a wish list is a collection of experiences that you would like to do at least once in your life. Equally majestic and challenging, both Atlantic and Pacific blue marlin are known to live up to 27 years and exceed 14 feet in length and 1,500 pounds in weight. The world record for all IGFA tackles for the Atlantic blue needle is 1,402 pounds and 2 ounces, and the Pacific blue needle is 1,376 pounds.
Able to make impressive jumps and mix greyhounds on the surface and high-speed dives during the fight, the blue marlin shows its incredible power the moment they feel the hook, a reason they are highly coveted by anglers around the world. Black marlin, the only one with rigid pectoral fins that do not fold against its body, is found in the tropical waters of the Indian and Pacific oceans, and is one of four species of garfish (along with swordfish and blue marlin from the Atlantic and Pacific) known to exceed 1,000 pounds in weight (called” great). In fact, the world record for all IGFA tackles is a weight of 1,560 pounds caught in Cabo Blanco, Peru. Black marlin's diet consists of squid and several pelagic fish, including flying fish, bonito, various tuna, mackerel, dolphin and others, and unlike blue and striped marlins, blacks often venture into shallow water (juveniles sometimes seek food at depths of less than 20 feet in parts of Australia) , which adds to the great appeal of its incredible strength, endurance and acrobatic nature.
Trawling live or dead baits, or lures that resemble them, either in appearance or action, are among the proven fishing methods. However, anglers who throw plugs or flies successfully attack smaller black needles on a regular basis. While some anglers take advantage of the fact that bluefin tuna often stops at depths of less than 200 feet to catch it with 50- or 80-pound equipment, the largest Atlantic and Pacific bluefins (known as “giants”) weighing more than 1,000 pounds are said to have the power of a freight train, so few anglers dare to use something lighter than a 130-pound tackle for them. Unlike other bluefin tuna species, the south is usually caught with live bait trolling or free-line, sometimes close to shore, but rarely caught with dead bait.
Also known as a broadbill because of its wide, flattened beak, which is significantly longer and wider than that of all other species of beakfish, swordfish have rigid, non-retractable dorsal and pectoral fins, lacks ventral fins, and has a single, very large keel on either side of the caudal peduncle (tail). Adults lack scales, the reason for their elegant appearance, their large eyes are excellent at detecting prey at night and at great depths, and their oversized tail propels them at high speeds and allowing astonishing jumps. Swordfish, found in temperate and tropical waters around the world, are migratory, but usually travel alone. And while they are considered a deep-sea game fish, some are found sunbathing on the surface with their dorsal fins and caudal out of the water.
Swords use their big beak to defend themselves, occasionally attacking ships and to kill or stun squid, mackerel, bonito, dolphins and other pelagic species they feed on. Although the preferred fodder of striped marlins are anchovies, mackerel, spectacled eyes (called little horses or ojones in Latin America), sauries, flying fish and squid, they are opportunistic feeders that rarely miss an easy meal, making them excellent candidates for a range of fishing tactics, ranging from trawling natural baits or lures, to throwing live into sight specimens that flap on the surface, and bait and switch to trick them into shocking flies. Like the blue spire, two species are recognized, an Atlantic and a larger Pacific, both easily identifiable by their sail-shaped dorsal fin, which they often use to corner bait fish in cooperation with other members of a pack. Rounded back makes whites easy to differentiate from other marlin species.
Quick identification is useful in places like Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, where whites share their offshore hunting spots with the small blue spire that abound in the region. Catfish are arguably one of the easiest fish to catch. Why is that? They tend to inhabit many bodies of water. Permit, Bonefish, and Tarpon are all popular bucket list fish and perfect examples of the different ways fish can be picky and avoid being caught.
Yes, it's a Finding Nemo reference, so you might be laughing with laughter, but don't be afraid that you'll probably learn a little more about fishing when you finish reading about the different types of fish that I've included in my own list. Preferred fishing methods include deep baits drifting at night, generally squid, bonito, mackerel or large mullet rigged, illuminated by small strobes or cialume sticks, casting live bait in front of fish, flapping on top, and slowly fishing live or dead baits at depth with the help of downriggers or weights. There are plenty of wahoo that can be found in the warm oceans of Northeast Florida and Louisiana, looking for schools of smaller fish near wrecks and reefs. The challenge of catching fish generally becomes easier as an angler gains experience, but some fish are elusive regardless.
While fish under 20 pounds are sometimes found closer to shore, larger fish frequent schools, canyons and artificial structures on the high seas, such as oil platforms in blue waters, around which bait fish congregate. Proven fishing methods include drifting or trolling, live glasses, anchovies, sardines, horse mackerel, hardtails (also known as blue runners), trolling baits or bait with tackle, anchoring and chopping, and throwing plugs over the water and suspending plugs around the surface to feed fishes. Huk Gear reports that these fish feel more at home “in warm, tropical waters such as the Gulf of Mexico, the Caribbean Sea and the coasts of the Bahamas, but you can also head to Hawaii, Portugal or Australia to embark on the fishing effort of a lifetime. .