Largest freshwater fish to catch

Fishsurfing Blog Czech Republic
Fishsurfing Blog
11. 08. 2020

If you are planning your next fishing trip, this list of the five largest freshwater fishes from around the world might give you some nice inspiration. Size is not everything, but it matters! 

Although there might be some larger freshwater species, they are the largest that can be fished since some other species are protected by local authorities. Let’s fish responsibly! 

Alligator gar 

This hard to catch fish is sure to provide an exciting experience for those visiting the waters along the Gulf of Mexico, in both fresh and saltwater bodies. They are called alligator gars because their resemblance to North American alligator species and will sure keep you entertained. 

This species can reach up to 3 meters in length and weigh up to 159kg according to anecdotal evidence. Wow!  

One of the reasons this species is so hard to catch is because its upper jaw and mouth are quite cartilaginous and bony which makes it resistant to penetration by hooks. That is why experienced anglers give the alligator gar a bit more time before attempting to reel it out. 

White Sturgeon

This is one of the largest freshwater fish in the world after the endangered Beluga Sturgeon. The White Sturgeon can measure up to 7 meters in length and weigh up to 900 kilograms! 

If you want to catch a White Sturgeon you better head to the North American pacific coast, especially in the Columbia River where there is the highest concentration of this species. 

From the shore or from a boat, fishing for White Sturgeon is sure to be an adventure. Keep in mind that unless you plan to catch and release, states have a set amount of sturgeons you can keep in order to protect the fish populations in the rivers. 

Arapaima or Piracucu 

This massive fish is native to the Amazon river basin, and although it is one of the most sought after it is also one of the most protected fish species in the world. 

It has also been introduced to freshwater lakes in Malaysia and Thailand and can weigh up to 200 kilograms and reach up to 4.5 meters in length. One of the surprising characteristics of this fish is that it has to come to the surface periodically to breathe air. 

In the Amazon this fish can only be caught and released, a great way to come into contact with this giant and help preserve the species at the same time. 

Hucho Taimen - Siberian Taimen 

This is becoming a popular game fish for fly-fishers. Found in Siberia, this is the largest member of the salmonid family which includes salmon and trout and can reach up to 1.8 meters in length and weigh up to 105 kilograms! 

These fish are special among others in the salmonid family because they spend their entire lives in freshwater rivers and travel to spawn in smaller tributary rivers before dropping back to larger rivers. 

Due to its dwindling populations it is strictly caught and released. If you’ve been wanting to travel to Siberia this could be part of your great adventure. 

Wels Catfish

This is one of the largest freshwater fishes in Europe with a length of up to 5 meters and a weight of up to 300 kg. Originally found in the basins of the Baltic, Black and Caspian sea, the species has now been introduced as a priced sport-fish in other parts of Europe. 

The Wels Catfish has a bit of a reputation for there are many stories and alleged attacks to humans. Looking for these giants can certainly be a thrilling experience, and if you have caught one we would love to hear about it and see your photos. 

Despite its original geographic area, the Ebro River in Spain is now one of the most popular places to go catch a Wels Catfish. 

Have you caught any of these species? Share your photos and experiences with the community. 

Sturgeon photo: Olivier feeder Fishman / Aligator gar photo: Wikipedia / Arapaima photo: Wikipedia / Taimen photo: Fly Fishing Croatia / Wels catfish photo:


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