Biggest Atlantic salmon you have seen

ozzyian

Well-known member
Messages
5,160
Reaction score
860
Location
East Lothian
Here is a we story for these trying times . My father told me this story and sadly he and my grandfather are no longer with us . It would probably have been about 1948 now back then it was not uncommon to poach fish and salt them to eat through out the year . My father and grandfather set of one autumn night to get a few fish they used an old bsa bantam where they stayed it was not to far to the river teviot now there are two weirs or caulds as we called them on the Monteviot estate water well they were at the lower one my grandfather used a bullseye lantern and a gaff the story goes he lit the lantern and cast its beam over the shallow water below the cauld and amongst the huge shole of fish there was one that made the rest look like piglets my grandfather gaffed this big fish to get it home they strapped it to my fathers back and rode home on there old motor bike well I can imagine this would have been some sight lol . When they got it home they weighed it on the potato scales and it tipped the scales at 57lbs now it had been out the water for at least an hour by this time !!!! If only they had a camera lol . Maybe a fanciful story although I have no reason to doubt it

I'd make no comment on the weight but would have to congratulate your father and grandfather on getting a fish out of the second cauld in direct view from the Marquis of Lothians sitting room window:)
 

woodcockandsewin

Active member
Messages
1,204
Reaction score
5
Location
Great Missenden
On this day netting for the Aaroy hatchery in 2014, we took 4 fish over 21kgs, including this one at 23.45kg, (51 1/2lbs and only 123cms). Sounds quite an impressive start.......

Whilst drawing the net in on the 2nd, 3rd and 5th hauls, a huge fish smashed his way out of the net. He was so powerful, Knut almost went in with him. There were several people present who had seen it all before, and I'll never forget the look on their faces. I learned the full repertoire of the extensive Norwegian swearing vocab in seconds. It was huge, with full snow shovel propeller. Personally, I put it in the 70 - 80lbs range as it just looked so much bigger than the 50's I had been drooling over.

Later that winter, a rotting carcass of 130+cm was found.

It's a day I'll never forget!

DSCF2809.JPG
 
Last edited:

Roag Fisher

Well-known member
Messages
2,125
Reaction score
578
Location
Isle of Lewis
Although they were in a tank they were Atlantic salmon.....many years ago I remember two tanks full of broodstock (not sure which company) fish that had just been taken from the sea. They were being held in the tanks at the hatchery prior to stripping.
All 40lb plus and I was told some would have been 70 plus.
Farmed fish or not, it gave me an insight of what a big salmon looked like.
 

Stewfish888

New member
Messages
15
Reaction score
17
I know it beggars belief. My grandfather spent the night in ancrum jail !!!! For poaching .
 

simoncassidy

Active member
Messages
889
Reaction score
72
Location
Meath
Have a memory engrained of a Boyne fish I seen in my early teens,a tail on it literally as big as a shovel couldn't put an estimate on it but never seen one as big since.
Heres one that was never weighted but I call him my biggest. This fish broke through a net before being beached.Poor quality camera but one glimpse gives an idea of his size.
My 1st Springer of 2013 and what a cracker - YouTube
 

The flying Scotsman

Well-known member
Messages
1,499
Reaction score
2,254
Location
Dundee
I know it beggars belief. My grandfather spent the night in ancrum jail !!!! For poaching .

Not really mate the laws are ancient and they can still legally strip you of everything there and then car the lot then prosecute you in court. . Poaching was a big thing back in the day. Of coarse it still goes on but nothing like it used to. They used to go out in teams and net the rivers in the middle of the night. I know of people who served time for it. I mentioned this on another thread. A pal of mine an older guy new this poacher back in the day he’s dead now and when my pal was a lad he seen this salmon in the boys bath that’s head came out one end it’s tail out the other end says it was the biggest salmon he had ever seen and he’s had some massive fish himself. (Fishing not poaching)
The beast was netted from the Isla in the dead of night along with about 20 other fish some in the 20’s that looked like grilse next to it. It used to take them hours 2 or 3 fish each up and over the hill. Was a way of life for some.
Thankfully when the law changed and made it illegal for hotels/restaurants to buy wild caught salmon that pretty much finished the large scale poaching. Even now it’s illegal for us to sell a line caught salmon to hotels even if you caught it legally
 

The flying Scotsman

Well-known member
Messages
1,499
Reaction score
2,254
Location
Dundee
Have a memory engrained of a Boyne fish I seen in my early teens,a tail on it literally as big as a shovel couldn't put an estimate on it but never seen one as big since.
Heres one that was never weighted but I call him my biggest. This fish broke through a net before being beached.Poor quality camera but one glimpse gives an idea of his size.
My 1st Springer of 2013 and what a cracker - YouTube

Your right mate that is an “absolutely f*cking magnificent” fish :D
 

Slaneysider

Active member
Messages
624
Reaction score
72
Location
South East of Ireland
Have a memory engrained of a Boyne fish I seen in my early teens,a tail on it literally as big as a shovel couldn't put an estimate on it but never seen one as big since.
Heres one that was never weighted but I call him my biggest. This fish broke through a net before being beached.Poor quality camera but one glimpse gives an idea of his size.
My 1st Springer of 2013 and what a cracker - YouTube

Fionn Mac Cumhaill would of been proud of that one?
 

heather point

Well-known member
Messages
1,281
Reaction score
179
Location
Fife
Here is a close up of the one in my Avatar.
River Tay in February, possibly the most perfect springer I ever caught as well as the biggest.
10.jpg
 

Walleye

Well-known member
Messages
2,815
Reaction score
1,477
I've had two encounters with huge Wear salmon in my life.

The first was in my early 20's fishing the worm. Fishing a fast run at the head of the pool, I was only maybe 10ft from the lie where big sea trout were always to be found. I've had three double figure sea trout out of that lie over the years.
Trotting a worm down and it stopped in the right place. I lifted into it and thought I was stuck solid on the bottom. Spent the next minute or so trying to jiggle it free then realised I could see the worm. Then I saw where the worm was - in the scissors of an enormous mouth just below a big eye in a huge head. At the very moment I realised what I was looking at it moved up near the surface and I got a glimpse of the head of the fish - enormous it was, with my worm in the scissors. Then the hook came free and it sunk slowly back to the bottom. I never saw the whole fish but I remember the size of that head clearly and it was way bigger than anything I'd seen then or since.

Then a few years ago my 2nd encounter was at Durham while stood at the wall opposite the hydro watching the dam, I was stood right near where 3 big carp about 10lb were holding in the flow. I stared into the deep bit of the flow then noticed the thin white tell tale line of a fish's mouth...again the whole fish could suddenly be seen and it was huge - very long, broad shoulders - to me it looked like a mini-submarine. I got video of the fish but there is nothing in the shot to give any sort of scale but I estimated it to be about 4 ft long which would put it in the 40lb+ bracket. OK, even if it was 30lb, such fish are huge for the Wear.
 

Pollowick

Well-known member
Messages
2,457
Reaction score
35
A friend took a 40+ fish on the Spey on year and it was finally sent to a taxidermist for mounting and I have some pictures somewhere. It now sits above her fireplace. That was a confirmed, prize winning fish, although when you see it, you actually wonder about he weight.

I took a 35lb (approx) fish off the Avon one year. Early afternoon, sitting on the sand at the edge when a fish came across the water and onto the sand - it objected to someone dropping 250v into the water, partially stunned, I was able to pick it up and put in a holding tank where it recovered.
 

Jimmcl

Active member
Messages
140
Reaction score
94
Location
Somerset
The biggest fish I've ever caught was 41 ½" long and estimated at 30+ as it was as fresh as a daisy & a hen. I also hooked, but not landed a fish estimated by the guide on the Kharlovka at 1.5 metres as he watched from the cliff above me. I did see it, and he was about right. However, three years ago on the Tweed, at Holylee, I was fishing down the Barr Stream, when the biggest fish I've ever seen in my life rose obliquely across the river about 15 yards downstream of me. I stood aghast at the size of it - it was at least 5 ½ -6 ft long and as fat as a pig. I've seen the casts of Miss Ballantine's fish often enough, and this was in a different league. Obviously I cast for it, without success, and when I returned to the hut at lunchtime I told the ghillie & other guests I'd seen quite the biggest salmon I'd ever see. I reckon to would have weighted well over 80lbs, but estimating the weight of these things is nigh on impossible because the weight increases almost exponentially with length because of the effect of the great girth of these things. The image of that fish will stay with me for many years to come, I just wish I'd hooked & landed it
 

tawpug

Member
Messages
325
Reaction score
19
Not many Westcountry tales on here.

This was relayed to me by my Father who is now almost 90. In the seventies he traveled widely around North Devon as part of his job and one sunny May day called in to see the blacksmith at in his workshop at Colleton Mills which is on the Upper Taw below Chulmleigh. After chatting awhile the smithy asked my Dad if he'd ever seen a really big salmon. Funnily enough my old man had seen a few thanks mainly to the netsmen (now no longer) on the estuary. The smithy led him down to the Bridge at Colleton and there in the gloom of the arch, right up tight to the stanchion lay a fish. It took a while to figure out what he was looking at but he realised the first thing he could properly make out was its eye - "about the size of a two shilling bit". After a while the fish rose up in the water before sinking back and its full size was revealed. My Pa reckoned it was around four feet long and very deep and quite fresh. The smithy agreed. It was certainly well in excess of 35lbs and could have possibly been bigger. Certainly the biggest salmon that he had ever seen anywhere.

The biggest Taw fish I have seen grassed in recent years was a springer of 22lb (just under 38") but it would be lovely to think that the odd leviathan still ran the Westcountry rivers.
 
Last edited:

Kype King

Active member
Messages
332
Reaction score
184
Location
Bath
The biggest salmon I've ever seen was one I hooked on the Wyeseal beat of the Bigsweir Estate on the Wye, about four or five years ago. I was fishing a 3/4" Willie Gunn Gold Conehead and fishing down to a rock at the start of the main run. My fly stopped and I assumed that it had caught the rock. I gave it a good 'tug' and then felt a steady thumping - yikes, that's a fish. After a short while it took off diagonally downstream at a steady but not slow pace. I cranked the drag on my loop classic as far as I dared (15lb Maxima leader) but it made no difference - the power was incredible. I eventually got level with the fish, retreiving line, and it stopped for a breather on the edge of the main current, which is when I first saw it's tail - it was huge, just like a big shovel as others have described. We then settled down to a game where the fish took off to the far side of the river and I got line back inch by inch before it took off again. We zig-zagged down the pool for about 250 yards to a point just above a croy. I was standing in a backwater and got my Sharp's gym net ready in anticipation - the fish had been on for about half an hour by then. At one point I managed to get the end of the 10ft polyleader through the top ring of my Hardy Sintrix 14 1/5' rod and was licking my lips in anticipation! I got a really good look at the fish and it took my breath away - I reckon it was a good four foot long and very deep. Unfortunately the fish also got a good look at me and took off upstream at some speed, taking me way into the backing and with the clicker on my reel screaming. I eventually got level with it and it decided to lie doggo on the edge of the current on my side. I could see it quite clearly but could do nothing to make it budge. It had been on for about fifty minutes by this stage and my shoulders were screaming. If my beat partner had been there that day I'd have handed to rod to him to have a rest, but unfortunately work commitments meant he couldn't make it. I had visions of being stuck like this for hours so decided I had to do something to try to get the fish to move. I began to exert side pressure from slightly downstream. At the point where the rod was bent double the fly parted company from the fish's mouth and shot straight past me into the bank behind! I sank to the ground, with hands shaking from all the adrenaline, and wished that I was still a smoker. Strangely, I didn't feel particularly disappointed - I guess I was just grateful to have at least made contact with such a magnificent fish, that confirmed that the Wye still produces leviathans from time to time. I had to tell someone so I got in my car and drove down to Llandogo beat where I met Herbie and his beat partner (I can't remember his name!) - both old Wye hands. I was castigated and told that, with big fish, you have to take your time. If someone had been with me the outcome may well have been different. How big was the fish? It's impossible to say but I guesstimated it to be between 30-40lbs. It certainly looked similar the one in this photo from the Royal beat of the Avon, which I'm told measured 44". I still dream of that epic battle! View attachment 43899 My biggest fish landed to date is a 21lb 'crocodile' from the Alness River in Scotland - on an 11'3" switch rod.
 

nickolas

Well-known member
Messages
440
Reaction score
338
Location
Nr Newbury
Largest fish I've seen coming out of a river was two years ago in Lakselve, biggest scales to be easily found were at the airport where the fish clocked in at I think 54lbs. It was caught the previous day by a guy with a spinning rod the fish he eventually lost, this fish was found the following day floundering at the edge of the river, it was dispatched and put on the scales at the airport. Over the 10 years fishing the river i have seen several verified at over 40lbs on scales ( none on the end of my rod, one day !!!! ), sadly most dispatched.
 

lax0341

Active member
Messages
816
Reaction score
81
Location
Leipzig/Germany
The biggest fish I‘ve caught was a 30lb salmon from the Baltic which was 112cm long. The biggest salmon that I‘ve seen caught directly beside me was a salmon of nearly 50 pounds which was 119cm long. This was on the river Mörrum in Sweden.
But two years ago I‘ve seen a fish jumping out of the water on the Tyne ( Styford )
which was a good piece longer than that. I would expect it of 60 pounds and 130cm in length . It looked a bit like a small whale. But it was a salmon. I‘ve caught a catfish of 135 cm in March and the salmon was nearly that size.
 
Last edited:
Top