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Diving Deep into Wisconsin Fish Records
Bass, Largemouth
11 lbs. 3 oz.
Lake Ripley
Bass, Smallmouth
9 lbs. 1 oz.
Indian Lake
Bass, Rock
2 lbs. 15 oz.
Shadow Lake
Bass, Hybrid Striped
13 lbs. 8.3 oz.
Lake Columbia
Bass, Striped
1 lbs. 9.3 oz.
Fox River
Bass, White
4 lbs. 6 oz.
Okauchee Lake
Bass, Yellow
2 lbs. 2 oz.
Lake Monona
2 lbs. 9.8 oz.
Green Bay
13 lbs. 1 oz.
Willow Flowage
Buffalo, Bigmouth
54 lbs. 0 oz.
Burlingame Lake
Buffalo, Smallmouth
20 lbs 0 oz.
Milwaukee River
Bullhead, Black
5 lbs. 8 oz.
Big Falls Flowage
Bullhead, Brown
3 lbs. 12 oz.
Nelson Lake
Bullhead, Yellow
3 lbs. 5 oz.
Nelson Lake
17 lbs. 3oz.
Lake Superior
Carp, Common
57 lbs. 2 oz.
Lake Wisconsin
Carpsucker, Quillback
7 lbs. 5.8 oz.
Eau Claire River
Catfish, Channel
44 lbs. 0 oz.
Wisconsin River
Catfish, Flathead
74 lbs. 5.1 oz.
Mississippi River
4 lbs. 10.5 oz.
Big Green Lake
Crappie, Black
4 lbs. 8 oz.
Gile Flowage
Crappie, White
3 lb. 2 oz.
Black River
Drum, (Sheepshead)
35 lbs. 4 oz.
Mississippi River
Eel, American
3 lbs. 6 oz.
Lake Superior
Gar, Longnose
21 lbs. 4 oz.
Wisconsin River
Gar, Shortnose
2 lb. 2 oz
Mississippi River
1 lb. 9 oz.
Lake Winnebago
69 lbs. 11 oz.
Chippewa Flowage Lac Vieux Desert
Muskellunge, Tiger
51 lbs. 3 oz.
Lake Puckaway
Northern Pike
38 lbs. 0 oz.
Fox River
Perch, White
0 lbs. 11.3 oz.
Lake Winnebago
Perch, Yellow
3 lbs. 4 oz.
Schmidt Pond
1 lb. 1 oz.
Plum Creek
Redhorse, Silver
11 lbs. 7 oz.
North Lake
Rudd, European
1 lb. 3 oz.
Lake Michigan
Salmon, Atlantic
23 lbs. 15 oz.
Lake Michigan
Salmon, Coho
26 lbs. 1.2 oz.
Lake Michigan
Salmon, Chinook
44 lbs. 15 oz.
Upper Bass Lake
Salmon, Kokanee
1 lb. 0 oz.
Lake Michigan
Salmon, Pink
6 lbs. 1.9 oz.
Lake Wisconsin
5 lbs. 13 oz.
Mississippi River
8 lbs. 3 oz.
Lake Michigan
Shad, Gizzard
4 lbs. 7 oz.
Yellow Lake
Sturgeon, Lake
170 lbs. 10 oz.
Mississippi River
Sturgeon, Shovelnose
3 lbs. 13.9 oz.
Miller Flowage
Sucker, White
6 lbs. 2 oz.
Wind Lake
Sunfish, Green
1 lb. 9 oz.
Prairie River
Trout, Brook (inland)
9 lbs. 15 oz.
Lake Michigan
Trout, Brook (outlying)
10 lbs. 1 oz.
Lake Geneva
Trout, Brown (inland)
18 lbs. 6 oz.
Lake Michigan
Trout, Brown (outlying)
35 lbs. 1.9 oz.
Big Green Lake
Trout, Lake (inland)
35 lbs. 4 oz.
Lake Superior
Trout, Lake (outlying)
47 lbs. 0 oz.
Lake Michigan
Trout, Rainbow
27 lbs. 2 oz.
Ada Lake
Trout, Splake (Lk+Bk)
14 lbs. 4 oz.
Lake Michigan
Trout, Tiger (Bk+Br)
20 lbs. 13 oz.
High Lake
18 lbs. 0 oz.
Trump Lake
0 lbs. 13 oz.
Lake Superior
Whitefish, Lake
11 lbs. 11 oz

Wisconsin's abundant and varied waters make the state a legendary fishing destination. With its shimmering lakes, meandering rivers, and tales of the one that got away, Wisconsin is a haven for anglers in search of the big one. But who holds the titles of reeling in the largest, the heaviest, the most extraordinary catches? In this comprehensive exploration, we set out to celebrate the angling legacies of Wisconsin and the unforgettable catches that have carved their names into the state's fishing history.

The Pursuit of Record-Breaking Fish in Wisconsin

Wisconsin is home to a remarkable range of freshwater fish species, some of which grow to enormous sizes. Anglers from across the globe are drawn to its waters in pursuit of record-breaking catches, each hoping to land a fish that will ascend to the echelons of state record holders. From the tranquil shores of Lake Winnebago to the pristine splendor of Chequamegon Bay, the battleground for these monumental battles spans the whole width and breadth of Wisconsin's waters.

Wisconsin's Top Fish Species for the Record Books

The quest for record-breaking fish in Wisconsin draws attention to the state's most commonly sought-after species. Each species has a devoted following of anglers who meticulously scout the opportune locations and perfect their angling techniques in the hopes of one day being immortalized in Wisconsin's fish record history. The following are just a few of the species that dominate the record books and angler ambition.

Muskellunge (Musky)

With its unpredictable temperament and colossal size potential, the muskellunge, or musky, is the stuff of legends in Wisconsin. Anglers flock to Lake Chippewa Flowage and other musky hotspots, lured by the chance to beat the current state record, a behemoth that scales at 69 pounds and 11 ounces. The musky's elusiveness adds to the intrigue and allure, ensuring that Wisconsin remains a premier destination for musky hunters worldwide.


Known for their delectable meat and spirited fights, walleye are a staple of the Wisconsin fishing scene. The state's waters have yielded numerous trophy walleyes over the years, with the current record tipping the scales at 18 pounds 15 ounces, a fish of a lifetime for the lucky angler who outmaneuvered and caught this goliath, likely found in a dark river or deep lake.

Largemouth Bass

Wisconsin is home to plentiful largemouth bass, and while not record-breakers in terms of size compared to other states, they still offer thrilling sport. The current bass record in Wisconsin stands at an impressive 11 pounds 3 ounces, reminding anglers that the next cast can always be the one that changes their life.


Despite their diminutive size, panfish like bluegill, pumpkinseed, and crappie hold their own in the records department. For many anglers, these species provide the perfect introduction to the joys of fishing. The Wisconsin state record crappie tips the scales at 4 pounds 8 ounces, an incredible testament to the fish's often underestimated size and fighting ability.


The prehistoric lake sturgeon, with its armored plating and impressive lifespan, can grow to astonishing proportions. In Wisconsin, these giants have been known to exceed 100 pounds, with the current state record coming in at an eye-popping 310 pounds 2 ounces. Catching a sturgeon of such monumental size is a feat reserved for the most skilled and patient anglers.

Profiles of the Anglers That Made History

Behind every state record fish is an angler with a story to tell. These fishermen and women represent the diverse tapestry of Wisconsin's angling community, each bringing their passion and perseverance to the water. We share the tales of those who have made history, recounting their journeys from humble beginnings to cast that changed their lives.

The Importance of Catch-and-Release in Preserving Wisconsin's Fisheries

While it's undoubtedly thrilling to set a new state record, it's also crucial to ensure the sustainability of Wisconsin's fish populations. The state's Department of Natural Resources takes great care to manage and protect its fisheries, and anglers play a vital role through practices like catch-and-release. We explore the significance of conservation efforts and how they can be balanced with the joy of fishing and the pursuit of records.

Future Prospects for Wisconsin Fish Records

As fishing technology and conservation efforts continue to advance, the fishing landscape in Wisconsin will undoubtedly evolve. New records will be set, and old ones may be broken, but the spirit of angling that unites fishermen of all backgrounds will remain as strong as the lines that connect them to the underwater giants they hope to encounter.

Unlocking Wisconsin's Waters: Insights from Fish Records

  1. Biodiversity and Species Distribution: Records of different fish species caught in Wisconsin can provide valuable information about the biodiversity of its waterways. Monitoring changes in species distribution over time can indicate shifts in habitat suitability, environmental conditions, and even climate change impacts.
  2. Ecological Health: By tracking the size and abundance of fish species, scientists and conservationists can assess the overall health of aquatic ecosystems in Wisconsin. Changes in population dynamics, such as declines in certain species or the emergence of invasive species, may signal ecological imbalances or environmental stressors.
  3. Water Quality and Pollution: Certain fish species are more sensitive to water pollution and contaminants than others. Monitoring the presence and health of these species through fish records can help identify areas of concern related to water quality and pollution in Wisconsin's rivers, lakes, and streams.
  4. Impact of Fishing Practices: Fish records can also shed light on the impact of fishing practices, including catch-and-release policies, harvest regulations, and habitat management efforts. Monitoring changes in fish size, age structure, and population abundance can inform sustainable fisheries management strategies.
  5. Indicator Species: Some fish species serve as indicators of broader environmental changes due to their specific habitat requirements or sensitivity to environmental stressors. By tracking the status of these indicator species through fish records, researchers can gain insights into larger ecological trends and ecosystem health.
  6. Reproductive Success and Recruitment: Fish records can provide insights into the reproductive success and recruitment of different fish species in Wisconsin waters. Understanding patterns of reproduction and recruitment is crucial for assessing the long-term sustainability of fish populations and guiding conservation efforts.
  7. Community Engagement and Education: Maintaining and publicizing fish records can also foster community engagement in conservation efforts and environmental stewardship. Citizen scientists, anglers, and recreational fishers can contribute valuable data to fish record databases, enhancing our collective understanding of Wisconsin's aquatic ecosystems.

Wisconsin's Angling Legacy: A Call to Adventure

For those who have yet to experience the thrill of Wisconsin's fishing, the records and stories detailed in this post provide a tantalizing glimpse into the state's angling heritage. A visit to these storied waters promises not only the potential for personal achievement but also a deep connection to a tradition that stretches back for generations.

In conclusion, Wisconsin's fish records serve as a testament to the state's bountiful waters and the unyielding spirit of its anglers. They stand as milestones in the narrative of Wisconsin's angling culture, an ode to the wonder and beauty of the natural world. As these records continue to be broken or challenged, one thing remains certain: the allure of Wisconsin's fish-filled waterways will never wane.

What's the biggest fish ever caught in Wisconsin?

The record for the biggest fish ever caught in Wisconsin is held by a behemoth sturgeon. It was hauled from the waters of Lake Winnebago by an angler whose name is etched in the annals of the state's fishing history. This monstrous fish weighed an astonishing 212 pounds and measured well over six feet in length, showcasing the sheer potential that Wisconsin's waters hold for giant freshwater catches.

What is the Wisconsin record bluegill?

The Wisconsin record for bluegill is a remarkable catch that has stood the test of time. This impressive fish was caught by a determined angler on the tranquil waters of Green Lake, managing to tip the scales at an impressive 2 pounds 9.8 ounces. This notable catch, registered many years ago, remains a high-water mark for bluegill anglers, adding an extra layer of excitement for those who hope to etch their name alongside Wisconsin's fishing legends.

What is the state record for walleye in Wisconsin?

The state record for walleye in Wisconsin is a testament to the exceptional quality of the state's freshwater habitats. This impressive fish was reeled in from the waters of the High Lake, tipping the scales at a remarkable 18 pounds. Caught on a serene May afternoon, the massive walleye measured 32 inches in length, confirming the heroic status of the angler among the community and enrapturing fishing enthusiasts with the promise of what Wisconsin's lakes and rivers have to offer. The record for the biggest fish ever caught in Wisconsin may one day be broken, but its legacy will always endure as a reminder of the state's angling prowess and the awe-inspiring wonders that await those who embark on an adventure to these legendary waters.  So, whether you are a seasoned angler or a newcomer to the sport, consider adding Wisconsin to your bucket.

What is the record lake trout in Wisconsin?

The record lake trout in Wisconsin is a formidable catch that seizes the imagination of anglers across the state. Pulled from the depths of Lake Superior, this legendary trout weighed in at 35 pounds and 15.1 ounces. It was an awe-inspiring moment when the angler, battling the chilly mist and the lake's undulating might, finally brought the magnificent creature to the light of day. The trout's impressive length of 46.5 inches further cements its status in Wisconsin's angling folklore, representing the pinnacles that passionate fishermen and women aspire to reach in the pursuit of their sport.

Wisconsin fish records can provide several unique insights into the aquatic ecosystems of the state and the health of its fish populations.

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