King Salmon are awesome…and the truly giant ones are unbelievably special creatures. Here’s a list of 10 massive kings that will make you weak in the knees…
Close to 80 Pounds!
The Kenai River in Alaska has pumped out more monster Chinook than anywhere. This massive 53.5″ x 34″ buck weighed somewhere in the neighborhood of 75 to 80 pounds!
On July 15, 2009, angler Joel Atchison caught this massive Chinook on the Kenai River in Alaska. Guide John Whitlatch of Reel Adventures says he’s not sure if the fish was a world record or not…because he and Aitchison decided to forgo their own glory and instead let the big beast go and make babies. Very, very cool!
The Biggest of All!
The biggest king salmon ever caught was this 126-pound monster that was caught in a fish trap near Petersburg, Alaska in 1949. My friend and fellow Alaska guide, Chris Sessions, sent me this pic and said that a friend of his has one of the three replica mounts of the behemoth on his wall.
All I can say is OMG!!!
The King of Kings
No list of massive king salmon would be complete without the current All-Tackle IGFA All-Tackle World Record 97-pound, 4-ounce king caught by Les Anderson in the Kenai River back in May of 1985. The record fish measured a mind blowing 58.5″ x 37″ and was probably a 100 pounder considering it wasn’t weighed for several hours after it was caught.
You can read the whole story HERE
Imagine the surprise of California Department of Fish & game biologists when they found this Godzilla-sized Chinook carcass in Battle Creek, a tributary of the Sacramento River, nearly 300 miles upstream, from the ocean! The fish was almost 51 inches long and estimated to weigh 88 pounds… dead! In his prime, out in the salt, the fish could have been pushing 100 pounds!
See more photos HERE
83-Pound BC Beast (Released!)
Deborah Whitman-Perry of Newmarket, Ont., caught & released this huge king that weighed 83 pounds, three ounces in August 2012 at River’s Inlet, BC while fishing with guide Tyler Mills of Good Hope Cannery. Again, I’m loving the fact that people are letting these hogs go! Read the whole story HERE
The Good Ol’ Days: Columbia River June Hogs
Before all the dams royally messed the Columbia River up for good, it had some monster Chinook! Bound for the upper end of the watershed, “June Hogs” sometimes topped 100 pounds. The construction of Grand Coulee Dam, which has no fish passage, ultimately did these massive beasts in for good. :(
So, considering I’ve never caught a king remotely as big as this 80-pounder from River’s Inlet, BC… I can only imagine how ridiculously massive the fillets off a fish like this are! Kudos to the netter too… I’m thinking I’d have a sudden case of the shakes when this bad dude came to the surface!
85-Pound June Hog
Here’s another one from the “wish I had a time machine jet sled” files… An 85-pound Columbia River June Hog caught in 1925 at Astoria by Tony Canessa. Man, those fish were soon awesome!
Wolfgang Voelker, owner/operator of Kermode Bear Fishing Lodge in Terrace, BC writes:
Mrs. Ingrid Oeder, her husband Bernhard and their daughter arrived at Terrace Airport on August 6, 2001.
We went out fishing by boat the very next day. Fortunately, John Wright, the Kermode Bear Lodge Assistant Guide, joined us that day. We cast anchor right across the mouth of the Lakelse River. Suddenly, around 11 a.m., there was action on Ingrid’s rod. Bernhard hooked the fish and handed the rod back to her. Initially, there was no reaction on the other end of the line for about 10-15 seconds. All of a sudden, like an explosion, the fish headed toward the main current of the Skeena River.
At this point, I realized that this must be a really big one. We were lucky having John with us since we have been well-coordinated team for years. John released the anchor chain and started the boat engine. Now we’re prepared for the fight. I advised Ingrid to hold the rod up and to keep the line tight. In spite of her excitement she did everything right. We drifted downstream while Bernhard was operating the video camera. I would guess that we were fighting about 30 to 40 minutes with the fish, of course, Ingrid had to do most part of it. At last, the fish showed the first signs of tiredness and therefore the escape attempts lessened. Then it was my turn. After Ingrid finally managed to get the fish alongside the boat, I was able to net it. John and I lifted the salmon into the boat. Ingrid, meanwhile completely exhausted could not believe her luck. We drove back at full speed, since we did not want to set the fish back in the torrential current. I explained to Ingrid that we usually release all “the really big ones” to preserve the gene pool. She and her husband agreed to it without hesitation.
At this point, I want to thank them again for their understanding.
We took the measurements (136 cm x 98 cm) of the Salmon two times because could not believe it the first time. John and I put the giant back into the river approximately 10 minutes later, it swam into the deep water under its own steam.
There was a devout silence on the boat for a few seconds.
In the afternoon Bernhard caught his own smaller Chinook. This one, however, we took with us. Certainly, we will never forget this fishing day on the Skeena River.
The monster fish with a length of 53.5 inches and a girth of 38.5 using a formula (endorsed by FOC) of Length x Girth squared divided by 800 would weigh 99.125-pounds… clearly the largest Chinook (Kings as the Americans refer to them) ever landed. Along with witnesses a video was taken and a photograph made from the video.
Are you a steelhead junkie?
10 Mind Blowing Giant Steelhead