Discover the Largest Fish Ever Caught in Arizona

Written by Kyle Glatz
Published: October 25, 2023
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Arizona is a landlocked state in the American Southwest. Although people often think of the arid climate, the state offers great fishing to the anglers who call this state home. Don’t believe us? Well, we’re going to look at the largest fish ever caught in Arizona. Take a look at this list of 8 different fish species that have been captured in parts of the state and see just how massive they were!

8. Blue Catfish

Blue catfish

Blue

catfish

are some of the largest fish in their genus.

©Thomsonmg2000, cropped and adjusted by Kostka Martin / CC0 – License

WeightBody of Water
31 poundsRandolph Park

Starting off the list, we have a blue catfish that weighs 31 pounds. Blue catfish (Ictalurus furcatus) can get much larger, though. The biggest blue catfish ever caught weighed 143 pounds! This catfish is the largest of any catfish species in North America. The largest blue catfish caught in Arizona came from a body of water in Randolph Park back in July 1970. The angler was named Richard Lujan.

7. Channel Catfish

Channel catfish

Channel catfish have whiskers around their mouth, giving them the “catfish” name.

©Jenniveve84/iStock / Getty Images Plus via Getty Images

WeightBody of Water
35 pounds 4 ouncesParker Canyon Lake

Another one of the largest fish ever caught in Arizona belongs to the channel catfish species. Channel catfish (Ictalurus punctatus) live in rivers, lakes, and reservoirs. They are some of the most popularly targeted fish in the United States. They can reach weights as high as 58 pounds as evidenced by the largest member of the species ever caught. Chuck Berndt caught Arizona’s largest specimen in Parker Canyon Lake on April 24, 1987.

6. Black Buffalo Fish

Buffalo fish

The record-setting black

buffalo

fish in Arizona weighed 35 pounds and 6.72 ounces.

©Eden, Janine and Jim / Flickr – License

WeightBody of Water
35 pounds 6.72 ouncesCanyon Lake

Black buffalo fish (Ictiobus niger) typically measure between 20 and 30 inches, but they can reach lengths of about four feet long. Also, these fish can weigh between 10 and 30 pounds. The record-setting black buffalo fish in Arizona weighed 35 pounds and 6.72 ounces. David Hoenshell caught this fish in Canyon Lake on May 24, 1995. While this was not the largest member of the species ever caught, it was a sizable record for the state.

5. Bigmouth Buffalo Fish

Bigmouth Buffalo

The largest bigmouth buffalo fish caught in Arizona weighed 36 pounds 6 ounces.

©USFWS Mountain-Prairie / Public domain, Flickr – License

WeightBody of Water
36 pounds 6 ouncesRoosevelt Lake

Bigmouth buffalo fish (Ictiobus cyprinellus) are a species of fish that can grow large and live for a very long time. In fact, at least one member of the species lived for over 120 years. The fish usually measure between 1.5 and 2.5 feet and weigh between 2 and 14 pounds. The largest fish ever caught in Arizona that belonged to this species weighed 36 pounds 6 ounces! A man named Leon Stewart captured this fish in Roosevelt Lake on March 14, 1995.   

4. Common Carp

Wild common carp (Cyprinus carpio). Wild life animal.

In 1979 Gary Ramsfield caught a carp weighing 42 pounds.

©Vladimir Wrangel/Shutterstock.com

WeightBody of Water
42 poundsLake Havasu

The common carp (Cyprinus carpio) is an omnivorous fish that lives in streams and rivers. These fish can often measure between 12 and 25 inches and weigh about average, with much higher possible weights of 8 to 10 pounds. In this case, the largest common carp ever pulled from the waters in Arizona weighed 42 pounds. Gary Ramsfield captured this massive specimen in March 1979 while fishing on Lake Havasu.

3. White Amur

grass carp

Kevin Baylor Jr. caught a grass carp in Arizona that weighed just over 47 pounds.

©Rostislav Stefanek/Shutterstock.com

WeightBody of Water
47 pounds 1 ounceEncanto Park Lake

The white amur, also called the grass carp, is a non-native fish that the United States brought to the nation to control algae growth. These herbivorous fish can reach sizes of 4 feet long and 75 pounds at their greatest measure. The largest member of this species ever captured in Arizona was 47 pounds 1 ounce. Kevin A. Baylor Jr. captured this fish at Encanto Park Lake on July 12, 2002.

2. Striped Bass

angler holds striped bass in canal

The largest striped bass captured in Arizona was found in the Colorado River and weighed 67 pounds 1 ounce.

©Tfreeman_Films/Shutterstock.com

WeightBody of Water
67 pounds 1 ounceColorado River

Striped bass (Morone saxatilis) are a very popular fish for anglers to pursue in Arizona and throughout many parts of the United States. These fish grow between 20 and 34 inches long on average, and they often reach weights between 20 and 40 pounds. The record-setting member of this species in Arizona weighed 67 pounds 1 ounce. Jeff Smith captured this fish from the Colorado River on August 15, 1997.

1. Flathead Catfish

Two flathead catfish on bottom of the river floor.

Flathead catfish can grow very large when they’re allowed to age.

©iStock.com/stammphoto

WeightBody of Water
74 poundsColorado River

The largest fish ever caught in Arizona was a 74-pound flathead catfish. Chuck Berndt captured this massive fish on April 24, 1987, while fishing in Parker Canyon Lake. These fish usually reach lengths of 20 to 30 inches, but the largest members of this species can reach over 100 pounds and can grow upwards of four feet long!

All in all, the largest fish ever caught in Arizona was a flathead catfish that weighed an incredible 74 pounds. This fish lived in the Colorado River. However, this state’s record-setting fish is not very large compared to other states. For example, anglers in places like Rhode Island have access to fish in the oceans, so they can pull in bluefin tuna that weigh 1,142 pounds and 12 ounces! So, Arizona’s fishing records are good for freshwater, but the fishing records are limited by the waterways in the state.

Summary of the Largest Fish Ever Caught in Arizona

RankSpeciesWeight
1.Flathead Catfish74 pounds
2.Striped Bass67 pounds 1 ounce
3.White Amur47 pounds 1 ounce
4.Common Carp42 pounds
5.Bigmouth Buffalo Fish36 pounds 6 ounces
6.Black Buffalo Fish35 pounds 6.72 ounces
7.Channel Catfish35 pounds 4 ounces
8.Blue Catfish31 pounds

The photo featured at the top of this post is © iStock.com/stammphoto


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About the Author

Kyle Glatz is a writer at A-Z-Animals where his primary focus is on geography and mammals. Kyle has been writing for researching and writing about animals and numerous other topics for 10 years, and he holds a Bachelor's Degree in English and Education from Rowan University. A resident of New Jersey, Kyle enjoys reading, writing, and playing video games.

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