Bluefin Tuna Records

Bluefin tuna are one crazy fight. Take a look at the anglers who were able to land the biggest and baddest fish in the Northeast.

World Record

World Record bluefin tuna record
Ken Fraser with his 1496-pound IGFA All-Tackle World Record bluefin tuna. (Blue Water Magazine)

Ken Fraser caught the world record bluefin tuna on Oct. 26, 1979. Fraser was fishing with Capt. Eric Samson aboard the Lady and Misty out of Port Hood, Novia Scotia. Fraser hooked up with his incredible bluefin while trolling a mackerel behind his boat. The fight lasted 45 minutes before the crew could get a gaff in the fish.  After lying on the boat for 10 hours, the bluefin still had an unbelievable weight of 1,496 pounds back at shore. The record has stood for just over 50 years!


Lester Debetta holds the Connecticut state record bluefin. Debetta was fishing by Block Island Sound in 1990 when he caught his record fish. The bluefin weighed in at 770 pounds flat.


Jerry Jamison caught the Bluefin state record in August 1977. Jamison was fishing out of Bath when he hooked up with his massive tuna that weighed in at 819 pounds.


Marlene Goldstein reeled in a tuna weighing 1,228 pounds, making it the Massachusetts record, and the second-largest tuna in the Northeast. She was fishing in Cape Cod Bay in September of 1984 when she landed her record catch on her husband’s boat, Rookie. They were fishing a brand new rig at the time, a foot-long plastic squid on a spread. The crew of four were able to finish off the fish off with a harpoon.

Massachusetts bluefin tuna record
Marlene Goldstein and the crew of the “Rookie” with the Massachusetts record bluefin featured in the New York Times on Dec. 16, 1984. (New York Times)

New Hampshire

The New Hampshire bluefin tuna record was landed by Captains Rick Green, Garth Morin, and Bruce DelleChiaie in 2013. The crew was fishing onboard the Salt Shaker, out of New Castle, N.H. when they hooked into the monster 962-pound tuna in the Gulf of Maine. The tuna fought for more than 3.5 hours and measured 119 inches.

Captain Morin gave his account of the day to On The Water back in 2013:

“The fish was first spotted in the chum slick as it fed directly under the boat for 15 minutes before we tricked it with a hook bait. The fish stayed on the surface for most of the fight and sprinted towards the bottom in 380 feet of water, and died. We winched him one foot at a time before he surfaced headfirst with a mouth full of floating Herring. A large blue shark was circling the boat, chasing seagulls and eyeing our precious catch. Fortunately, he decided not to try the sushi. The 150-pound Seaguar Fluorocarbon leader held tough as it was chafed quite severely in the mouth of the giant. We used a Shimano 130 Tiagra Reel and a Chatham Special rod.”

New Hampshire bluefin tuna record
The crew of ‘The Saltshaker’ with their New Hampshire state record bluefin tuna.

New Jersey

Royal Parsons caught the New Jersey bluefin tuna record of 1,030 pounds off the coast of Point Pleasant in 1981. Parsons landed the tuna during a downpour. He claimed to have landed over 800 tuna throughout the entirety of his fishing career. Sadly, he passed away from a heart attack in 1988. His wife, Joyce, called him the “gentle giant” and told, “He was at peace on the water. He loved it.” Bob Pisano of the “Ol’ Salty” was the captain of the legendary crew that included Parsons. Between the two years of 1979 and 1981, his crew broke the state record four times.

New Jersey bluefin tuna record
Royal Parsons (left) and Bob Pisano stand with the New Jersey bluefin tuna record. (

New York

The New York bluefin tuna record was caught in mid-august of 1977. Larry Thompson hooked up with the giant tuna that had an official weight of 1,071 pounds.

New York bluefin tuna record
The Aug. 23, 1977 edition of The New York Times misprints the weight of Larry Thompson’s New York record bluefin but correctly records the catch as being the largest ever caught in U.S. waters. (New York Times)

Rhode Island

J. Dempsey caught the Rhode Island state record bluefin tuna in Sept. of 1981. Dempsey was fishing off Block Island when the massive bluefin slammed his line. The tuna weighed in at 1,142 pounds and 12 ounces.

14 on “Bluefin Tuna Records

  1. Koyi Abimbola

    I sincerely like looking and watching the big fish on the television and many other places.

  2. Linda Anderson

    I was waiting for someone to say it was a joke fish story…wow. They were incredible.

  3. Ted Wheeler

    Those are some beautiful fish!
    Must’ve been great fights.
    Good memories.
    Too bad they’re going extinct.

    1. Keith Lambert

      Not going extinct by the way they are managed off of Nova Scotia Canada.

      And So Cal is getting the best bite since 1930’s fishing.

      Hope they can keep up the good management practices for the long term health. But they are not going extinct.

      1. Stanley G. Tobin

        Circle hooks are good on the fish.

  4. Keith Lambert

    The World Record holder, Ken Frasier was out on the water to see the Big Tuna not long ago.
    Carl Lambert Interviews Ken. Just for the fun of it.

    See the interview of the old salt on the big tuna fishing grounds of Nova Scotia as the Tuna feed in the background.

  5. Keith Lambert

    PS – missed this state… California State DFW info on Bluefin Tuna

    Data recently updated with this big one for the Left Coast.

    tuna, bluefin Species: Thunnus orientalis

    Weight: 384 lbs 0 oz
    Location: San Clemente Island
    Date: 10/25/2020
    Angler: Cody Silberfein

    info lifted from

  6. Travis Carter

    Maine now has a New record of 928 pounds! Congratulations Josh Harvey and Troy glidden

  7. Joel

    Ken Fraser’s record will be 44 years old on Oct 26, 2023 – still not over 50. It is Oct 14, 2023 today, so the record is still 43 years old. At the time the article was written (Apr 8, 2021) the record was 41 years old. I was born in 1975 and i’m not 50 yet, so the number looked fishy 😛

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