Biggest Fish Found in Connecticut

The Biggest Fish Found in Connecticut: Record-Breaking Species

Connecticut, known as the “Nutmeg State,” is more than just a haven for history buffs and foodies. It’s also a paradise for fishing enthusiasts.

With a coastline stretching approximately 96 miles along the Long Island Sound and numerous inland water bodies, the state offers a diverse range of fishing opportunities. From the thrill of saltwater fishing in the Sound to the tranquility of freshwater fishing in serene lakes and rivers, home to trout, pike, walleye, and catfish, this state has something for every angler.

Connecticut Fishing

But what truly sets it apart is the size of the fish that can be caught in its waters. The state is home to some of the largest fish species in the country, making it a prime destination for trophy fishing. This article will take you on a journey through the waters of Connecticut, introducing you to the biggest fish that have been caught in the state.

We’ll explore the stories behind these record-breaking catches, delve into the habitats and behaviors of these aquatic giants, and provide tips on where and how you can potentially land your own record-breaking catch.

The Giants of Connecticut’s Waters

Fishing the Connecticut River

Connecticut’s waters are home to a variety of large fish species. From the Atlantic Sturgeon to the American Eel, these aquatic giants are a testament to the biodiversity and health of the state’s water bodies. Let’s take a closer look at some of these species:

  1. Striped Bass (Morone saxatilis): The Striped Bass, or “Striper,” is a popular catch among anglers. The state record for the largest Striped Bass stands at an impressive weight of 75.5 lbs, showcasing the potential size these fish can reach.
  2. Northern Pike (Esox lucius): Known for their aggressive behavior and sharp teeth, Northern Pikes are a thrilling catch for any angler. The biggest Northern Pike caught in Connecticut weighed a staggering 29 lbs, proving that these freshwater predators can grow to substantial sizes.
  3. Common Carp (Cyprinus carpio): Carp fishing is a popular pastime in the Nutmeg State, and the state record for the largest Common Carp (43.75 lbs)is a testament to the size these fish can reach.
  4. American Eel (Anguilla rostrata): While not traditionally thought of as a “big” fish, the American Eel holds a unique place on this list. The largest American Eel caught here was a significant catch weighing 10.19 lbs, demonstrating that even smaller species can surprise with their size.

The Record Breakers

39 Inch Northern Pike

The Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) maintains an official list of record-breaking fish caught in these waters. Here are some of the most impressive catches:

Species Weight (lbs) Location Angler Year
American Eel 10.19 Shetucket River, Norwich Charles J. Lobacz 1993
Striped Bass 75.5 Outer Southwest Reef Greg Myerson 2011
Northern Pike 29 West Branch Reservoir, Colebrook-Hartland Leslie Slater 2020
Common Carp 43.75 Connecticut River, Hartford Michael Hudak 2012
American Shad 9.25 Connecticut River, Windsor Edward Cypus 1981
Bluegill 2.25 Private Pond, Madison Daniel Gesner 1996
Bowfin 9.69 Connecticut River, Hartford Fejzo Akaratovic 2022
Brook Trout 9.19 Blackwells Brook, Brooklyn David Andes 1998
Brown Bullhead 4.94 Prospect Pond, Southington Robert Richey 1990
Brown Trout 19 West Hill Pond, New Hartford James M. Lucas II 2014
Calico Bass 4 Pattagansett Lake, East Lyme James M. Boss 1974
Chain Pickerel 8.56 West Twin Lake, Salisbury Alden L. Foss 2005
Channel Catfish 29.38 Mashapaug Lake, Union Appleton Barrows 2004
Fallfish 2.25 Farmington River, Simsbury Chad Tessman 2012
Kokanee 2.88 East Twin Lake, Salisbury Tom Pasko 2011
Lake Trout 29.81 Wononscopmuc Lake, Salisbury Dr. Thompson 1918
Largemouth Bass 12.88 Mashapaug Lake, Union Frank Domurat 1961
White Catfish 12.75 Connecticut River, Middletown John L. Shatas 1999
White Perch 3.06 Crystal Lake, Ellington Jacob Niemczyk 2018
White Sucker 5.25 Crystal Lake, Ellington Zach Stoltenberg 2021
Yellow Perch 2.81 Black Pond, Woodstock Miller B. Bassett 1973

The Surprise Catch

shortnose sturgeon

In August 2017, an angler made a surprising catch in the Connecticut River upstream of the Turners Falls Dam: an adult-sized Shortnose Sturgeon. The Shortnose Sturgeon is a species of sturgeon native to the eastern coast of North America. It’s a relatively small species of sturgeon, with adults typically ranging from 2 to 3.5 feet in length.

This catch was particularly significant because it was the first documented report of a Shortnose Sturgeon in this part of the river. The Shortnose Sturgeon is an endangered species, and its presence in this part of the river was a surprise to both the angler and the local fishing community.

This event marked a significant moment in Connecticut’s fishing history, highlighting the state’s rich biodiversity and the importance of conservation efforts. It serves as a reminder that these waters are home to a wide variety of species, some of which are rare and endangered.


Fishing is not just about the catch; it’s about the thrill of the chase, the anticipation of the bite, and the satisfaction of landing a big one. Whether you’re an experienced angler or a novice, the thrill of reeling in a record-breaking catch is an experience like no other.

Visit Connecticut, where the waters teem with a variety of large fish species, this thrill is amplified. Every cast is a chance to make history, challenge the records, and experience the joy of fishing in its purest form. So grab your fishing gear, and set out on your own fishing adventure!

Explore the state’s diverse water bodies, from the vast expanse of the Long Island Sound to the tranquil waters of its inland lakes and rivers. Learn about the fish species that inhabit these waters, respect the regulations that protect them, and immerse yourself in the rich fishing culture of the state.

Who knows, you might just land the next biggest fish in the state, etching your name in the annals of its fishing history!