Biggest Atlantic salmon you have seen

The flying Scotsman

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After reading the thread on that monster from Finland it got me thinking. We still have fish that size in our rivers.
What is the biggest Atlantic salmon that you have seen with your own eyes? Doesn’t have to caught or landed could even been netted.
The biggest I’ve ever seen was last season on the Tay. I’ve no idea of the exact weight but would guess over 50lb. I was fishing upper Farleyer with my son. It’s a beautiful beat prob my fav on the Tay. If you know the beat it starts at the junction of Tay and Lyon at the junction pool. The main river goes behind an island and there’s a smaller back water that runs other side. We had crossed the back water and fished the main river behind the island and were making our way back over the island to cross the back water to the bank. We were on a high bank looking down in the back water when my young lad asked is that a fish? What I seen was something around a foot in diameter slowly moving down stream with the current it was patchy white and I said no it’s a tree son. But on closer inspection it was a salmon :shocked it was massive but sadly dying with about 50% of it covered in fungus. It slowly swam down stream and out of site. It was a long fish but it was its girth I couldn’t get. It was so deep and round like really round so much so I mistook for a tree!!!
Was it 50-60-70lbs? I’ve no idea but it just shows you that these monsters still inhabit our waters. My thoughts are it was one of the really big jan/feb fish that run the loch. Last season the Tay dropped quickly early and warmed right up before we finally got more rain and figured the poor beast got caught in low warm water then.
So what’s the biggest Atlantic salmon you have seen in the UK?
I’ve heard stories of a 60lber being lost after an hour on the fishponds a few years back.
 

Rennie

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Biggest I've knowingly seen was a weighed(dead!) 35lber. That was massive, it was laid across the back of an Astra van and it was too big to fit!.The guy who caught it had had a 25lber earlier(or later) on and was sat in the passenger seat in a trance.The 25lber was a spanker, real big lump, but the 35 was in a completely different class!
I've also seen one or two other 30's from the same water of the Tay caught and on the bank.Big impressive fish!.
I've seen and heard some real heavy splashes on the Tay and one or two on the Tweed at the back end when it used to fish.Unsure as to size but when ones never had a 30 they all look big.
What I do know for absolute concrete and certain is one Sept. was just fishing out the tail of the "Grain" opposite the croy and I turned to wade out and I heard a splash-very heavy, in fact I thought some idiot had rolled a big stone in off the top of the croy.Seconds after I heard all the expletives and the "my word, wasn't that a big fish" or there about!.Two fish had shown at the croy, one heaved itself out and a second just rolled more or less simultaneously.Back at the hut at lunchtime and one of the syndicated rods at Almondmouth(a very very experienced Salmon Angler) came in for his lunch.
He said he was in the boat just below the Throat and two fish rolled slightly below him and they were massive.He rolled his line out for a cast at them and one porpoised almost along side the boat, at which point he reeled in.He said the fish was absolutely bloody well huge!, his own words were "going on for the size of the boat"!. He was of the impression if he had hooked it, he'd never have got it in!.When I spoke to him he was still visibly shaken!.He said he couldn't get near a coherent estimation of its size!, it left him speechless.
In these days I think a 20lb fish is big, a 30 lb fish is massive, much above thats a dream of fantasy and one of 50lb + a true monster.
Some of the old boys who I fished alongside on my first years on the Tay had their stories and tales to tell.One of whom is in Bullers book and list of fly caught 50lb+ fish(well was as he's sadly passed on now), the tales not 100% true, nor was the exact location, but the fish and its size were and it was a joint effort and a long tale to bank the fish.
In all honesty I've probably seen my share of big 20's and possible 30's moving and splashing about, but anything bigger?, hand on heart not sure I really have.Like to though!.Seen a few hooked and lost on the Tay though and the way they played the Angler, it was a pretty reasonable assumption they were of the bigger class, seen a couple of Marquis 3's completely emptied of 300 yds of backing, and not fouled fish neither!.
Yours forever living in hope, Pedro.
 

mc andy

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Good idea for a thread,

I'm not out for a argument but I'm not buying your fish guesstimates? I'm not saying you didn't see a big fish, just you possibly overestimated.

Biggest I have seen /. Helped Land was a fish of 25lb from hoddam possibly 10 years ago now.

A fish had shown at the tail of the dukes pool and the gentleman covered it with a flying c. Then some 25 later fish was landed. Not a overly long fish but some girth. Not the prettiest fish I've ever seen. But was a pleasure to of been on hand to be part of the capture.

Cheers andy
 

The flying Scotsman

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Good idea for a thread,

I'm not out for a argument but I'm not buying your fish guesstimates? I'm not saying you didn't see a big fish, just you possibly overestimated.

Biggest I have seen /. Helped Land was a fish of 25lb from hoddam possibly 10 years ago now.

A fish had shown at the tail of the dukes pool and the gentleman covered it with a flying c. Then some 25 later fish was landed. Not a overly long fish but some girth. Not the prettiest fish I've ever seen. But was a pleasure to of been on hand to be part of the capture.

Cheers andy
Like I said I’ve no idea of the weight but have seen lots of big fish in and out of the water. Last big one I seen was a few years back from the Isla it was 28lb and was nothing like in the same class as this fish. I can’t stress how deep or round it was. To the point I didn’t believe it to be a fish.
Growing up my dad used to take me to a place off the sma glen called buchanty spout. The salmon I’ve seen at the falls there were impressive. If the water was low thousands of salmon some monsters would be holed up in the pool before the falls. But still none that looked like this.
 

Bruino

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The biggest salmon I have seen and landed for someone was over 30 years ago on the first day of the season on the river fourth, from the green bank pool opposite the rocks by a young boy who had dogged the school to go fishing. My wife and I had went up to meet up with old pals (for those who fished the fourth at that time Maxie (the pole) and wee Phil (the Ghurka) ). We where all standing talking when the young boy shouted he had hooked something probably a kelt was the group opinion. After 10 to 15 minutes we realised that this was something special as it continually tried to head upstream strongly the battle went on for another wee while and it was not helped by the fact that the boy had missed out an eye on the top section of the rod and the line was at a very acute angle and we still had not seen the fish.
Eventually the fish began to tier and you could catch glimpses of it when it rolled and boiled just below the surface when it was payed out it just lay on the bottom and did not come to the surface, I waded in to the water and tried to put my hand around the wrist of its tail but it was too large had to put both hands round it and push it along the bottom until it shelved up onto the bank, as was the way then the fish was dispatched and weight at 32lb.
The young man was a celebrity he appeared in the local paper, won fish of the week and I think the trout and salmon monthly prize and sold the fish.
 

rotenone

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The biggest Atlantic salmon I have seen have all been on the Kola river in Russia where have seen 40lb plus salmon caught, the biggest salmon I have seen in Ireland was well over 35lb dead on the Nore in the 1980s, my dad lifted the dead cock fish out by hooking it with a spinning rod which actually broke in the process, it was slightly decayed with fungus on it yet it maxed out the old 35lb scales he carried, that was on the Thomastown anglers water I think I was 6 or 7 at the time so maybe 86, I remembering him saying it was the weight of our black Lab an exaggeration I'm sure but the fish was absolutely huge, what fish the Nore and Suir had in them I'm sure theres still a few ...

The Kola river I believe at some stage will throw up a modern day monster, there is some hope now the river is going to be more or less private

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MCXFisher

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I have seen two really huge Atlantic salmon, coincidentally both in the same place in the same pool, but in different years.

The first was in May of 2104 or 15, when I was about half way down the Frodle Dub pool on the Ure. There generally aren't many fish that far up the system in May, but it's a great place for getting the cobwebs out of your casting before fishing elsewhere while having an outside chance of a springer. I spotted what look like a very big fish entering the tail of the pool and resolved to fish down towards it. However, before I got into a position to do so, a salmon came to the surface about 3-4 feet from me, showing its entire length from eye to tail, before sinking out of sight and continuing upstream. Nuclear submarine was the first phrase that came to mind. It was almost as if it had come to inspect me. Calibrating what I had seen against my rod produced an estimated length in the range 4' - 4' 6", which for a fresh fish equates to over 50 lbs. It was majestic, massive and immensely broad.

Some years later I had an almost identical experience while stood within 5 yards of the same spot, with a salmon that was slightly smaller but still huge.

Historically the Ure had a record of producing large salmon. The largest photographed catch was 54 lbs in the 1930s by the nets at Naburn. In the late 1990s a fully spent dead cock fish was recovered from the stream at Jervaulx, which even in that state tipped the scales at 35 lbs, which suggests a fresh weight close to 50 lbs. There are few obstacles to running, so if a spawning survivor can avoid predators, there is a decent possibility of multiple spawning visits and hence the occasional emergence of huge salmon.


Naburn 54.png
 
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Rrrr

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Not that big by others standards but netted a fresh 21lb fish for another angler a couple of years back on the lower main tyne. Worst conditions you could imagine too, sweltering heat, not a cloud in the sky with sun on the water which was low and clear. He spotted it sticking its head up so put the fly on its head and was in. Couldnt belive his luck.

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Wee-Eck

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I landed a kelt many years ago on the Dee at Lower Durris that measured 48". The ghillie estimated that it would have been over 40 lb when fresh.
 

LouisCha

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Also not big relatively, but I remember standing below an impassable waterfall in Norway, late august a couple of years ago. There were coloured fish leaping all over the pool every few minutes, a few looked to be 20-30lb+, quite a sight! (none biting of course...)

Last year, in July low water I saw one particular fish leap in the same lie over a few days. I can't estimate how big, but significantly bigger than anything else in the pool. When it leapt it sounded like someone dropped a cement mixer into the pool :shocked:
 

ozzyian

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After reading the thread on that monster from Finland it got me thinking. We still have fish that size in our rivers.
What is the biggest Atlantic salmon that you have seen with your own eyes? Doesn’t have to caught or landed could even been netted.
The biggest I’ve ever seen was last season on the Tay. I’ve no idea of the exact weight but would guess over 50lb. I was fishing upper Farleyer with my son. It’s a beautiful beat prob my fav on the Tay. If you know the beat it starts at the junction of Tay and Lyon at the junction pool. The main river goes behind an island and there’s a smaller back water that runs other side. We had crossed the back water and fished the main river behind the island and were making our way back over the island to cross the back water to the bank. We were on a high bank looking down in the back water when my young lad asked is that a fish? What I seen was something around a foot in diameter slowly moving down stream with the current it was patchy white and I said no it’s a tree son. But on closer inspection it was a salmon :shocked it was massive but sadly dying with about 50% of it covered in fungus. It slowly swam down stream and out of site. It was a long fish but it was its girth I couldn’t get. It was so deep and round like really round so much so I mistook for a tree!!!
Was it 50-60-70lbs? I’ve no idea but it just shows you that these monsters still inhabit our waters. My thoughts are it was one of the really big jan/feb fish that run the loch. Last season the Tay dropped quickly early and warmed right up before we finally got more rain and figured the poor beast got caught in low warm water then.
So what’s the biggest Atlantic salmon you have seen in the UK?
I’ve heard stories of a 60lber being lost after an hour on the fishponds a few years back.
Around 2015 also on the Tay.

I've mentioned this before on the forum, it happened on an unlikely day and I thought unlikely circumstances. Unlikely because I would have expected big fish to keep their heads well down and only move in favourable conditions. This was a hot sunny day in late May (from memory) in the pool where the Tummel runs in on Kinnaird Lower (also a beautiful beat) You probably know the pool

We'd fished pretty hard all day with the fly, seen a couple, touched nuthin, ghillie had said to walk up and give the junction pool a few casts and left his spinning rod (you can't really fish it with the fly)

Like most fast flowing junction pools its all currents and eddies in there. I had a couple of casts and the toby was swept around, just didn't look right so I decided to walk up a few meters, I did and turned to face the water. Just a few feet out from where I had been standing this big black back quietly broke the surface from head to aft of dorsal fin. I was absolutely shocked. I stood there questioning whether I had actually seen what I'd seen. I'm not going to put a weight on it - it would be total guesswork but the thing was a barrel, an absolute barrel. I think I was in the presence that day of an extraordinary fish. Had a couple of casts where it had shown, looking back I don't think it was a fish to be caught.
 
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heather point

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I have just put up a couple of photos in the "Another monster salmon from river Utsjoki." thread which may be of interest.
 

Timmins

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These posts are a great read !
the biggest fish I’ve seen landed was 32lb fish from a syndicate rod on the tweed and my pb is a 29lb salmon from the earn landed over 20 years ago not long after starting salmon fishing . I’ve been lucky enough to have caught my fair share of 20lbers but never a 30. The auld boys from the good old days on that syndicate with there stories of big fish from all over Scotland used to always say and most were in agreement if the British record was to be broken it would come from the river earn !
 

AlanT

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Late eighties I saw a fish in the Ettrick close up which was huge, biggest salmon I've ever saw. Strange shape and fat as a pig.

A month after I landed a big well conditioned Autumn fish off the Teviot at 42.5 inches whatever that puts it at. A few days after that I hooked a bigger fish but lost it. Both on a whitewing, a fly I still love. My fishing pal landed a shiny new 18lber the same day!
 

Aled

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I live in serious sea trout country so unsurprisingly I've seen quite a few lumps of them, one of our club members landed a near 20lb sewin 3 to 4 years ago. However this is a salmon thread, and I've only seen one salmon i'd put at around 30lb on the River Tywi, that was back in 1988, and on the same day I saw two salmon of 20lb caught.
However one fish I saw try to take a waterfall which I would put at around at a safe 20lb possibly 25lb, not a big fish by some of the weights on here but where I saw it was interesting, and also a nice sight to see it was absolutely shining silver.....it was running up the River Taff in Cardiff not far from the Principality Stadium, and less than a couple of miles from the City Centre!
Tight Lines
Aled
 
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Occasional salmon fisher

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Might have to finally get round to reading Fred Buller's Giant Salmon (vol 2) whilst this lock down continues ! Still keeping my eyes open for a cheap vol 1.
 

rs2ford

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The 2 biggest fish I ever saw were;

1- June 2016, River Lochy, beat 4 at "Big Rock". Sitting on the picnic bench facing the river with Glyn (Bankwheel), when I saw a huge silver fish come clean out the water which was easy 25lb/35lb. Ran upstream for a cast but no luck in seeing it again.

2 - September 2018 , River Tay, Upper Farleyer, Junction Pool. It was just where the flow changes direction away from the bank. I saw a few fish in quick succession then hooked one. Never saw it for about 30 minutes but it just held the current and had a couple of runs. I could not budge the fish it was so strong. The fisherman (Tomas Koleniskas) on the Bolfracks side was shouting that it was a huge fish. I finally managed to see its back and tail which confirmed that it was indeed huge. Easy 30lb plus. Then after about 45/50 minutes the line went slack. No snap, no straightening of the hook etc just came unstuck. Gutted but really enjoyed the fight and was priveleged to experience it. The bend on my Bruce and Walker Norway 14ft was unreal.

Cheers Diarmid.
 
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kinnaber

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Can’t remember exact date but late February or early March in the early nineties I wandered into the Killin hotel after a fruitless day on the loch . What a sight , a brace of fishing lying on the floor at the bar 30lb and 32lb . Caught by different anglers . Absolutely chrome bright with that lovely cobalt blue sheen on the back . Both very short with huge girth’s . Not cracked 30 myself yet although have come close.....
 

Bonito

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Had this in low water, bright sun April, 1985 on a yellow belly from the R. Leven. Ballif gaffed it and weighed then at 32lb 3oz. Checked it on brand new scales at the shop about 3hrs later came out at 29lb 12oz so that`s the weight. decalbush023.jpg
 

The flying Scotsman

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Had this in low water, bright sun April, 1985 on a yellow belly from the R. Leven. Ballif gaffed it and weighed then at 32lb 3oz. Checked it on brand new scales at the shop about 3hrs later came out at 29lb 12oz so that`s the weight. View attachment 43633
Wow. I don’t know what’s more impressive the fish or that moustache :lol:
Fish of a lifetime. Maybe one day.
 

ibm59

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" Auld Rab " also had a 30lb + fish from the Leven a good few years back.

Perhaps Para1 could scan and paste the image.
‘It’s a cracking fish too.
 
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