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March 11, 2022

Which lures catch the most world-record fish?

Which lures catch the most world-record fish?

The International Game Fish Association (IGFA) is a nonprofit organization committed to the conservation of game fish and the promotion of responsible, ethical angling practices, through science, education, rulemaking, record keeping and recognition of outstanding accomplishments in the field of angling. They were founded in in 1939.

Listen to the podcast episode on the lures that have caught the most record fish.

The IGFA maintains the World Records for all species of game fish. You can search all IGFA World Records for freshwater and saltwater fishes. You can also download the application to submit a potential record, learn about scale certification, pretest your fishing line, and more.

The IGFA database includes 19,660 total records. This includes current and retired records. A retired record means that that record has been broken but was the world record at one time. There are 6,714 current records and 12,946 retired records in the database.

The fishing records include fresh and salt water fish, including 1,649 species, from Acara Paragaio to Zander Volga. There are 37 types of bass, including largemouth, smallmouth, guadalupe, striped, spotted, and white, among others. Men caught 14,003 of the record fish and 5,637 were caught by by women. That’s 29% by women. (You go girls!)

Many anglers hold more than one record. In fact, 208 people hold 10 or more records. The most records held is 433, by Martin Arostegui. His records include 85 different fish species from Bluegill to Baracuda to Carp to Tuna.

NOTE: Because each angler supplies their lure or bait information, there are some data inconsistencies. I was only able to analyze lure information when the angler included it with their entry. Many anglers did not include the lure type or brand.

There were 2,877 different lure entries. Some anglers provided more detail than others regarding the lure they used to catch a record fish. Some entries just use the word "lure," without any other identification. Others provided minimal detail, such as the word "jig," without sharing the type, brand, size or color. And then there is my hero, Bethany Gascho!

Bethany holds the record for largest Whiterock Bass, a hybrid species produced by a female striped bass and a male white bass. When Bethany submitted her data, she included that the fish was caught on a:

  • St. Croix AXS70MHF rod
  • Daiwa BG3000 reel
  • Power Pro Spectra Fiber Braided line
  • 3/8 ounce, Booyah, Double Colorado Blade, Spinnerbait, in White Chartreuse

If only all anglers were like Bethany! Nonetheless, here is my analysis of the 19,660 records by lure type and brand.

Most common LURE TYPES that have caught world-record fish

Lure type # record fish
Jig 1,105
Spoon 211
Plastic worm / grub 195
Plug 177
Spinner 110
Swimbait 93
Popper 67
Spinnerbait 57
Crankbait 31
Jerkbait 13


Most common LURE BRANDS that have caught world-record fish

Remember that I was only able to analyze the lure brand when the angler included it with their entry. Many anglers did not include the lure brand.

Lure Brand # record fish
Rapala 489
Mepps 99
Yo-Zuri 90
Halco 60
Storm 60
Homemade lures! 59
Bomber 50
Mr. Twister / Sassy Shad 50
Rooster Tail 39
Rebel 38
Blue Fox 34
Berkley 32
Krocodile 27
MirrOlure 26
DareDevle / Eppinger 24
Cordell 18
Panther Martin 17
Bass Assassin 16
Rat-L-Trap 13
Road Runner 13
Zara Spook / Heddon 12
Little Cleo 11
Woodchopper (Luhr Jensen) 11
Bass Pro 10
Norwegian Jigger 10
Smithwick 9
Yamamoto 9
Bandit 8
Jitterbug (Arbogast) 8
Beetle Spin (Johnson) 7
Hopkins Spoon 7
Johnson Spoon 7
GitZit 6
Reef Runner 6
Z-Man 6


Thanks to the International Game Fish Association for supplying me with the data! There nothing I like better than crunching numbers!