Did You Just See the Largest Arctic Char Ever Caught?

Written by Colby Maxwell
Updated: June 17, 2023
© FedBul/Shutterstock.com
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Key Points:

  • Fishing is a quest for a record catch, and a recent Bass Pro Shop commercial highlighted a whopper of a catch by featuring John Paul Morris and the giant arctic char he caught.
  • The Arctic char is a large, red-bellied fish that can be found in cold, freshwater lakes and rivers, as well as the coastal waters of the Arctic Ocean.
  • The current world record for an Arctic Char is the 25-pound, 11-ounce beauty that was landed by Ilya Sherbovich on Taymyr Peninsula in northern Russia.

Fishers are always on the search for the biggest one ever caught. For most, that lifelong goal of setting some type of record won’t ever come true. For all those that have searched and sought-after fishing records, the closest that they can easily get to these records is by watching other fishers around the world catch them. Does that make fishers a bit jealous? Sure, probably, but at the same time, fishing, along with most other outdoor sporting hobbies, is just one big family anyway.

In the most recent Super Bowl ad from Bass Pro Shops, a lot of fishers around the world were probably jealous!

The Bass Pro Shop Super Bowl Commerical Showed One Of The Largest Arctic Char Ever Caught

John Paul Morris via Facebook

During the game, an advertisement for Bass Pro Shop came on and showed off an impressive catch: an arctic char.

Arctic char is a species of fish found in the Arctic and sub-Arctic regions of the world. They are closely related to both salmon and trout and sort of look like a strange combination between the two separate species. Arctic char can be found in cold, freshwater lakes and rivers, as well as the coastal waters of the Arctic Ocean. They typically grow to be about 20-30 inches in length and can weigh up to 10 pounds.

The one in the video clip for the Super Bowl doesn’t exactly say how large it was, but judging from the photo, it was absolutely massive. The red-bellied fish was stretched out across the screen and was held by John Paul Morris, the man who caught and eventually released the fish. The reason that the photo was shown in the first place was, of course, because of the rather prominent Bass Pro hat that John Paul Morris was wearing!

What’s the Current World Record for Arctic Char?

arctic char under water
The world record for Arctic char is 25-pounds, 11-ounces.


The people who handle and record most of the fishing world records are known as the IGFA, or The International Fish and Game Association. As of October 2021, the world record for Arctic char on their website was a truly incredible 25-pound, 11-ounce beauty that was landed by Ilya Sherbovich.

Sherbovich caught the fish in the Taymyr Peninsula in northern Russia, an extremely remote region within the Arctic Circle that can be accessed only by helicopter. If there were a place where the world record Arctic char was going to be, a remote body of water in Siberia seems to make sense!

The fight took seven minutes and ended with Sherbovich finally reeling it in on his fly. Like a true sportsman, Sherbovich took his measurements, snapped a few all-important photos, and released the monster char back into the cold waters from whence it came.

Where is Taymyr Peninsula Located on a Map?

The Taymyr Peninsula is a Siberian peninsula belonging to Russia. At 74°N 98°E, it is the northernmost part of the mainland of Eurasia. Part of the Krasnoyarsk Krai Federal district of Russia, it has an area of 400,000 square kilometers and is due north of the northwestern corner of Mongolia.

The Point of the Bass Pro Commercial

Besides creating brand equity and selling more products and services, the real message behind the commercial was one exemplified in how Sherbovich and John Paul Morris handled their fish: respect for the wild things in nature.

Happy fishing!

The Featured Image

arctic char
arctic char
© FedBul/Shutterstock.com

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About the Author

Colby is a freelance writer from Charlotte, North Carolina. When he isn't distracted by his backyard birdfeeder, you can find him camping, exploring, and telling everyone around him about what he's recently learned. There's a whole world to learn about and Colby is content to spend his life learning as much as he can about it!

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