“Fighting Time.” That’s one of the blanks on the International Game Fish Association’s record-application form that must be completed when submitting a catch for world-record consideration.

While foremost factors are the species and line (or tippet) class, in some cases the time it took an angler to bring in a record fish can be of interest, hence this look at a few of the shortest and longest fight times for generally large fish.

It should be noted that however long the catch took (from hookup to grabbing the leader at the boat), all of these records were approved only after the IGFA ascertained that no angling rules were broken in the capture of a fish.

Often with the application form in the record folder are letters from the angler, crew and witnesses offering additional information or testimony. That’s particularly true when catches are outlandishly quick. But most of those are made by anglers out to set records, with a crew well-prepared to act quickly and decisively once a potential-record fish is hooked.

However, some “instant catches” are more serendipitous than calculated, as was the case with the two‑minute world-record tuna.

Monster Yellowfin in 120 Seconds

The very thought of battling — especially stand-up from a dead boat — a 388.5-pound yellowfin tuna is enough to make most bodies ache. But for Curt Wiesenhutter on April 1 (no fooling), 1977, there wasn’t time enough to experience any pain, nor much strain.

Landing a yellowfin approaching 400 pounds would be a formidable task in even an optimal situation. But on a drifting San Diego-based long-range boat (Royal Polaris, in this case), among dozens of lines in the water around a rail high above the water, where an angler can’t easily follow a fish around the boat on his

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