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Top 8 Game Fish In The World

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Game fishing is a form of recreational activity one can engage in. There’s something quite fulfilling about casting a line, waiting for hours, and finally reeling that fish onto your boat. What’s even more rewarding is when you catch the species of fish you’ve been hoping to catch.

It might be overwhelming and exciting for anglers to encounter so many fish in the sea. Whether you’re a beginner or considering game fishing, it pays to know what your bait should lure. Remember that each fish lives in different bodies of water and has different stamina levels. 

That said, check out this list of the world’s top game fish before you cast your lines.

fish caught fishing game

1. Bluefin Tuna

For a good reason, bluefin tunas are a favorite catch among anglers on the east coast of the United States. They’re huge and make delicious steaks if you decide to eat them. In Japan, the home of sushi and sashimi, the largest fish can cost thousands of dollars. 

Bluefins are bigger than yellowfin tuna. And to reel one in, you’ll need high-quality fishing gear and excellent techniques. If you're interested in catching bluefin tuna, check out this guide from Melton Tackle for some helpful tips. Remember that they can grow to over 10 feet long and weigh over a thousand pounds, making them heavy and robust. Consequently, it may take hours to catch them.  

You can spot the larger ones when they are most active in the summer. However, spotting them in frigid waters in the winter, where they can still thrive, is not surprising. Bluefin tunas are a challenging catch and not for the faint of heart. But if you have the right equipment, it won't harm to give it a shot.

2. Bass

Bass fish, particularly black bass, is often regarded as the symbol of sport fishing. They’re strong, tenacious game fish that may challenge beginner and seasoned anglers. However, there are other saltwater and freshwater varieties, so it’s best to know how they differ. Here are some of them:

White seabass

They’re saltwater fish you can find near shores and sandy areas. If there’s a kelp bed nearby, they’re probably there. Anglers often use lures and live bait, such as squid, to catch these fish.

Largemouth bass

They’re one of the most popular freshwater game fish because of their strength at the end of the line. They come in olive shades, similar to spotted sunfish. You can tell if you’ve caught a largemouth bass if it has a deep dip between its first and second dorsal fins.  

Rock bass

They look similar to largemouth bass except for their spines near their fins. The best time to catch rock bass is during the summer in fresh water.

Redear sunfish

These fish resemble a mix between a rock bass and a largemouth bass. You can also find them in freshwater but in warmer areas. 

If you’re game fishing for the first time, bass fish are excellent targets. They’re easy to catch and abundant in most parts of the United States. They can swim around nearby rivers, lakes, ponds, and canals.

woman holding a bass fish

3. White Sturgeon

Sturgeons are the largest freshwater sport fish in the world, commonly found in Asia, Europe, and North America. They’re bottom feeders and resemble small sharks. 

They are most active in the summer, as are many other fish species. The beginning of summer is prime breeding season for them. During the warmer months, you're more likely to see them around the riverbanks. 

They may grow up to 1,800 pounds and have a length of seven to eleven feet. Sturgeons, like many other fish, have a lot of endurance. Therefore, whether you go fishing in Vancouver or California, you can count on seeing at least one jumper.

4. Blue Marlin

A blue marlin's natural habitat is the warm waters around Hawaii, Australia, and Central America. They are another prized trophy fish because they present a formidable challenge even to the most seasoned anglers.  

They’re very acrobatic when jumping out from the surface. Thus, they may take 45 hours or more to land successfully. Most smaller marlins are only around 50 to 70 pounds. But some can grow up to a whopping 2000 pounds. 

To catch a blue marlin, have enough trolled lures and dead and live baits. Remember to stock up on essential fishing gear as you'll have to venture out to sea.

striped marlin in the south pacific

5. Catfish

The 'whiskers' that give this fish its name is found worldwide. Anglers and food connoisseurs adore them for their tasty meat, which you can cook in many ways. You can usually catch catfish with a fishing rod and various rigs. Nonetheless, some anglers are successful even with just a bucket. 

There are three popular kinds of catfish caught in game fishing. These are:

  • Blue catfish
  • Channel catfish
  • Flathead catfish

You’ll find these catfish in most deep lakes, rivers, or dams around the globe. Hence, they’re ideal for novice anglers looking to practice without traveling too far.

6. Trout

Another favorite game fish is the trout. These fish are closely related to salmon and taste just as amazing. Fly anglers consider catching one of these fish a highlight of their sport. 

Rainbow trout and brook trout are two common species that fishermen regularly catch. The rainbow trout's many colors inspired the fish's name. Meanwhile, brook trout are olive green with yellow spots and red or orange back.  

Trout are common in a wide variety of freshwater habitats. However, spotting them in saltwater when they’re adults is also possible. You may only expect to see them in freshwater again during mating season.

fly fisherman with brown trout

7. Crappie

Black crappies are best for novice anglers since they’re relatively small. You can find them in deep, clear, and cold water. But if you want to catch them, you must stay up all night. They’re most active from midnight to two in the morning in spots with few currents. 

In addition, crappies are attracted to live bait like minnows, jigs, and worms. If you have difficulty finding one, track for largemouth bass. These larger fish make crappies their prey.

8. Salmon

Last but not least, there's the salmon everyone loves. They like the colder climates of places like the United States, Canada, and Japan, where they have thrived. Salmon is an excellent catch for anglers of any skill level and is delicious when cooked. 

They regularly migrate from freshwater to open seas. You may have seen a whole school of salmon populating rivers to breed. Coho salmon and Chinook salmon are the most common types anglers catch. It’s not surprising to find them intermingling in the water. They’re also a favorite target for anglers who are fly fishing in the U.S.

kokanee salmon spawning

Wrapping Up

These fish may be the top game fish in the world, but any angler knows you shouldn’t limit yourself.

As long as you have permission, you may practice catching other fish.

Lastly, if you accidentally catch an endangered species, take responsibility and release it as soon as possible.


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Baptiste is an adventurer with a passion for urban and wilderness exploration and adventure, and a lover of vintage objects with timeless charm. As a Founding member of the Eiken team, he tries to share his passion and expertise for travel and vintage fashion through his articles.

1 comment

  • Caleb Dickhed

    What about king fish

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