Sunday Series: True Fish Stories of the World’s Strongest, Fastest and Most Challenging to Catch
By Debbie Kay
Fishermen are notorious for telling tales that inflate the sizes, weights and fighting prowess of the fish they’ve – supposedly – reeled in. But what are the actual biggest, fastest and strongest fish out there? If you’re looking for a challenge, here’s a quiz at some of the extreme fish around.
As per usual, let us know how you scored in the comments below, and send us a message or contact us on social media if there’s a topic you would like to see a future quiz on.
The biggest freshwater fish in North America is what species?
- Alligator Gar
The biggest saltwater fish in North America is what species?
- Mola (Giant Sunfish)
- Whale Shark
- Great White Shark
The most expensive game fish is what species?
- Beluga Sturgeon
- Mahi Mahi
- Bluefin Tuna
The most populous fish in North America is what species?
- Walleyed Pollock
The oldest/most primitive fish species in existence today is what?
- Six-Gilled Shark
The fish that has the highest number of eggs per spawning period is a kind of:
- Sturgeon. The white sturgeon can grow to an impressive 20 feet long and 1500 pounds. It is the second largest freshwater species in the world, behind the beluga sturgeon. Two other North American species also crack the top ten in the world. The alligator gar ranks number 5 in the world at 350 pounds and 10 feet long, and the paddlefish rounds out the number ten slot at 5 feet long and 60 pounds.
- Whale Shark. If you’re looking for the world’s largest living fish species, the whale shark takes the prize. At 41 feet long and approximately 47,000 pounds, the whale moniker is appropriate. The whale shark is classified as a cartilinageous fish, and is different from the bony fishes that are typically caught. The largest of the bony fish in North America is the Mola, or giant sunfish, which can reach 11 feet both long and wide, and 2,200 pounds. The largest sport fish commonly landed in North America is the Halibut, which can reach over 10 feet long, and just under 500 pounds.
- Bluefin tuna. This popular fish is prized by sushi and sashimi chefs for the fatty toro meat, found just under the skin on the back and belly. In 2013, a single fish sold for 1.8 million dollars at a Japanese fish market. The beluga sturgeon creates the most expensive roe or caviar in the world, at $5000 dollars per kilogram.
- Walleyed pollock. The Walleyed or Alaska pollock is a relative of the Pacific Cod, and one of the major species caught by fishermen in the Bering Sea. It is the most populous species in the world, and also is the world’s largest single biomass, meaning the total weight of all the pollock in the world is greater than the combined weight of any other single species.
- Coelocanth. This primitive fish was believed to be extinct until it was rediscovered in 1938. Before that, it was only found in fossil records. The species dates back to the age of the dinosaurs.
- Grouper. The greasy grouper can release 340 million eggs per female per spawning period. This Arabian species is by far the most fertile. There is a tradeoff between the quantity of eggs and their likelihood of survival, and as a result less than one percent of these fish make it to adulthood.