Picture this: You cast your line into the sparkling water and feel that exciting pull. You’ve caught something, but it’s more than just a regular fish—it’s a valuable catch that could be worth a good sum of money. Welcome to the world where fishing is more than just a hobby; it’s like a treasure hunt on the water.
Have you ever wanted to catch something truly amazing? Get ready because we’re about to explore the 10 most valuable fish you can catch. These aren’t just any fish; they are known for their rarity, their beauty, and yes, their value.
So, make sure your fishing gear is ready. Your next fishing trip could be about more than just relaxation and fun—it might also add a new, exciting layer to your fishing stories.
Ah, the Bluefin Tuna—often considered the crown jewel of the sea. Esteemed especially for its unparalleled flavor, this deep sea fishing marvel is the ingredient of choice for the most exquisite sushi and sashimi dishes. Value of this fish ranges from $20 to $5,000 Per Pound, and you’ll find shows like Wicked Tuna out there highlighting captains going after Bluefin.
In culinary circles, it’s akin to the finest cut of steak, except this steak swims powerfully through the icy waters of the Atlantic Ocean. It’s the most expensive fish you can eat, so it’s understandable why it’s on the bucket list of many.
With mature specimens weighing in at an astonishing 900 pounds or more, catching one is the epitome of fishing triumphs.
American Glass Eel
This small eel species often get around $100 per pound, but are known for one period of time during a shortage where the price went up to $3000 per pound. Nuts right? Because of the size of these eels (they are just baby American eels, catching enough for a lot of value can be difficult.
Native to the cold, clear rivers that flow into the Pacific Ocean, this ancient species is a living relic, capable of reaching an astonishing age of up to 100 years. But it’s not just the fish itself that’s awe-inspiring; it’s what it produces.
The eggs of the White Sturgeon are the raw material for some of the most opulent caviar on the planet. This culinary gem elevates the White Sturgeon from merely interesting to extraordinarily valuable. While the fish itself often goes for $20 per pound, the eggs are used for caviar and are over $90 per ounce.
You’ve probably heard of pufferfish being deadly to consumers, but also expensive! Due to its difficult preparation, and allure, the price per pound of pufferfish is often between $100-$200.
Alaskan King Salmon
We couldn’t have this list without the king salmon! Often anglers can get upwards of $70 per pound.
Halibut is a delicious species of fish that is commonly caught and eaten in the Pacific and Atlantic oceans. These fish can also get huge at over 400 pounds in the Pacific, and 300 pounds in the Atlantic, which can lead to a very valuable catch since they often can be around $30 per pound.
Living up to its name, the Goliath Grouper is a spectacle to behold. Found in the tropical waters of the Atlantic, this giant commands attention not just for its size, but also for its delicious, flaky meat—making it a dual treasure for both sport and table.
Its distinctive, deep vocalizations, which can be heard during its spawning season, have added an almost mythical aura to this already captivating creature. This is often a fish that can’t be harvested, but in some areas, you can be a lucky winner of a lottery to catch and keep this species.
This fish isn’t commonly eaten, and we aren’t even sure it is legal to sell the fish if you do legally catch and get a tag, but it likely would be an expensive fish to purchase.
A staple in fine dining, Atlantic Salmon’s wild version is a special catch. Primarily found in the northern Atlantic Ocean, their meat has a unique texture and flavor that set it apart from its farmed counterparts, hence commanding a higher market price.
These fish are often sold between $10 and $25 per pound depending upon the location and quality.
Renowned for its speed and its iconic bill, the Swordfish is a prize catch for any angler. Often found in warm and tropical ocean waters, its meat is highly valued for its rich, meaty texture and is often featured in high-end culinary dishes.
These fish are often sold between $10 and $25 per pound depending upon the location and quality, but can be upwards of $60 per pound.
With a limited habitat confined to the Amazon River, the Arapaima is an exotic catch that can grow up to 15 feet long. Its scarcity and the thrill of the catch make it a prized target, adding a layer of excitement to any fishing expedition in South America. These fish were commonly eaten by the natives of the area, but would raise a large price for anyone harvesting with a permit. This is likely not allowed for resale.
A classic among freshwater anglers, especially fly fishermen, the Brown Trout is both elusive and valuable. Typically found in cold, fast-flowing rivers, its selective diet and wariness make it a challenging yet rewarding catch, which elevates its market value.
Most trout species that are caught commercially range between $5 and $25 per pound.
It may be the Bluefin’s lesser-known cousin, but the Yellowfin Tuna is by no means any less remarkable. Often found gliding through warm tropical and subtropical ocean waters, this species is a mainstay in different culinary traditions—from gourmet seafood restaurants to homemade dishes. Its meat is celebrated for its succulent, tender texture and rich, distinct flavor.
Anglers can often get $30 to $35 Per Pound.
This vibrantly colored fish is as eye-catching as it is valuable. Native to warm, tropical oceans, the Mahi-Mahi is coveted for its striking appearance and delectable taste, making it a must-catch for both amateur and professional anglers alike.
Anglers often get $5-$15 per pound for this fish.
In the world’s rivers, lakes, and oceans swim magnificent creatures that elevate angling to both an art and an enterprise. Whether you’re lured by the culinary promise of Bluefin Tuna, the luxurious caviar potential of White Sturgeon, or the sheer thrill of battling a Golden Dorado, these fish offer a compelling blend of challenge and reward. So the next time you cast your line, know that you’re participating in a pursuit as ancient as time, but ever so modern in its complexities and opportunities.
Max DesMarais is the founder of hikingandfishing.com. He has a passion for the outdoors and making outdoor education and adventure more accessible. Max is a published author for various outdoor adventure, travel, and marketing websites. He is an experienced hiker, backpacker, fly fisherman, trail runner, and spends his free time in the outdoors. These adventures allow him to test gear, learn new skills, and experience new places so that he can educate others. Max grew up hiking all around New Hampshire and New England. He became obsessed with the New Hampshire mountains, and the NH 48, where he guided hikes and trail runs in the White Mountains. Since moving out west, Max has continued his frequent adventures in the mountains, always testing gear, learning skills, gaining experience, and building his endurance for outdoor sports. You can read more about his experience here: hikingandfishing/about