Lake Monsters! The 10 Biggest Trophy Fish ever Caught in Oklahoma

Written by Cindy Rasmussen
Updated: October 31, 2022
© iStock.com/FedBul
Share this post on:
Continue Reading To See This Amazing Video

Whether you are casting a line on Eufaula Lake or spending the day on Grand Lake or Texoma, there are record-breaking fish just waiting for you in Oklahoma. There are even a few records from Oklahoma that are World Records! Looking at both rod & line records and unrestricted records let’s look at the 10 biggest trophy fish ever caught in Oklahoma!

Black Buffalo 57 lbs. 12 oz. (Unrestricted/Trotline)

Eufaula Lake Oklahoma
Eufaula Lake is the biggest lake in Oklahoma and has excellent fishing.

©JohnDSmith/Shutterstock.com

Buffalo fish are sucker fish that have several different species. In Oklahoma you can find Black Buffalo, Smallmouth Buffalo and Largemouth Buffalo. Bigmouth buffalo are the largest but you can catch some good sized Black ones as well. The largest Black Buffalo ever caught in Oklahoma was 57 lbs. 12 oz. caught by Chester Penn on June 30, 1984. Chester used a trotline to catch this large Buffalo on Tenkiller Lake along the Illinois River. Trout are another popular fish that are abundant in Tenkiller Lake.

4,360 People Couldn't Ace This Quiz

Think You Can?

Bigmouth Buffalo 66 lbs. 4 oz. (Unrestricted/Bow & Arrow)

Bigmouth Buffalo Fish
Bigmouth buffalo is a type of sucker fish that’s native to North America.

©A-Z-Animals.com

The Biggest Bigmouth Buffalo (say that three times fast) in Oklahoma was a 66 lbs. 4 oz. taken by bow & arrow on Greenleaf Lake in Greenleaf State Park. Boe Daniel Meehan shot this large trophy fish on April 15, 2020. The catch is larger than the Rod & Line record which incidentally is also caught on Greenleaf Lake. The Rod & Line record is a 59 lbs. 15 oz. Bigmouth caught by Leroy Broaddrick.

Grass Carp 68 lbs. 15 oz. (Rod & Line)

grass carp
A 68 lbs. 15 oz. Grass Carp is one of the biggest trophy fish ever caught in Oklahoma.

©Vladimir Wrangel/Shutterstock.com

Grass Carp are larger than Common Carp and more torpedo-shaped. They also do not have barbels like the Common Carp. Both can weigh more than 50 pounds and record-breaking trophy fish are even more. In Oklahoma, the biggest Grass Carp caught by Rod & Line is a 68 lbs. 15 oz. fish caught by Jereme Budgick on Chelsea City Lake. It measured 49 inches long which is an inch more than 4 feet! One of the biggest trophy fish ever caught in Oklahoma!

Grass Carp 77 lbs. (Unrestricted/Bow & Arrow)

An even bigger Grass Carp shot with a bow & arrow to break the unrestricted record in Oklahoma. A 77 lbs. Brandon Taber took the Grass Carp on July 30, 2002. He found this one on the Lake of the Arbuckles which is a 2,350-acre reservoir which is about 90 miles SE of Oklahoma City. A record breaking Spotted Gar was also taken by Bow & Arrow from the same lake. That record is for an 11 pound 10 oz. Spotted Gar shot by Tyler Lampkin on March 27, 2020.

Flathead Catfish 78 lbs. 8 oz. (Rod & Line)

Flathead Catfish
The biggest Flathead catfish caught by rod & line in Oklahoma was 78 lbs. 8 oz. by Richard Williams.

©slowmotiongli/Shutterstock.com

The next few biggest trophy fish ever caught in Oklahoma are all catfish. You can find Channel cats, flathead and blue catfish in many of the lakes and rivers in the state. Blue cats are the biggest with flatheads coming in behind. The biggest flathead caught with a rod & line was a 78 lbs. 8 oz. in El Reno Lake. Richard Williams caught it on May 11, 2010. El Reno Lake is a small lake just 30 minutes west of downtown Oklahoma City.

Blue Catfish 98 lbs. (Rod & Line)

The biggest Blue catfish caught by rod & Line in Oklahoma was almost 100 pounds! Billy Nabors holds the record with a 98 lbs. Blue cat caught on November 11, 2004. Pulled from Lake Texoma, on the border with Texas, and a great place to catch striped bass as well. Get this! The biggest Blue catfish caught by rod & line in Texas is on Lake Texoma! Cody Mullenix pulled a 121 lbs. 8 oz. blue cat from the Texas side of the lake on Jan. 16, 2004.

Flathead Catfish 106 lbs. (Unrestricted/Trotline)

Using a trotline, C. Clubb caught a 106 lbs. Flathead Catfish that was 5 feet long! This is one of the older records on the list dating back to April 5, 1977. Mr. Clubb caught it on Wister Lake which is in eastern Oklahoma, almost on the border with Arkansas.

Blue Catfish 118 lbs. 8 oz. (Unrestricted/Jugline)

Blue catfish
Blue catfish are the biggest catfish in Oklahoma. The largest one ever caught in OK was 118 lbs. 8 oz. by Dan Grinder.

©Billy Ogle/Flickr – License

The biggest catfish ever caught in Oklahoma was caught using a Jugline. It was caught on May 4, 1988 by Dan Grider and it weighed in at 118 lbs. 8 oz. and measured 57 inches long (nearly 5 feet!). Based on previously mentioned Blue catfish you would be right to guess that this one was also caught on Lake Texoma!

Paddlefish 164 lbs. (Rod & Line)

The American paddlefish (Polyodon spathula)
The paddlefish can get to be 6 feet long or longer. The record-breaker in Oklahoma was 164 lbs and 6 feet 9 inches long.

©Marina Veder/Shutterstock.com

The odd looking paddlefish gets to be bigger than catfish. It’s long paddle snout can sometimes be a third of their body length. The latest record breaker was caught recently on June 22, 2021 by Grant Radar. It is the second heaviest and second longest fish caught in Oklahoma. Grant’s Paddlefish weighed 164 lbs. and was 81 ¾ inches long (6 feet 9 inches). Can you imagine 2 feet of that being just the paddle-like snout!

Alligator Gar 254 lbs. 12 oz. (Rod & Line)

This spectacular Alligator gar (Atractosteus spatula) swims in the freshwater with sunlight rays shining on its body.
The alligator Gar is the biggest trophy fish ever caught in Oklahoma weighing 254 lbs. 12 oz.

©Cheng Wei/Shutterstock.com

The biggest trophy fish ever caught in Oklahoma was a 254 lbs. 12 oz. Alligator Gar by Paul Easely. It is also the longest fish ever caught in Oklahoma measuring 97 ¾ inches (a tad over 8 feet long!). The former record holder was 192 pound so he crushed the record by 62 pounds. This record was broken on April 23, 2015. It looks like catfish are not the only giant fish sharing Lake Texoma, because that is exactly where Paul hauled in this trophy Alligator Gar.

World Record Fish from Oklahoma

Besides these state records there are a few fish that have been caught in Oklahoma that hold world records. According to the International Game Fish Association here are two All-Tackle World Record fish from Oklahoma:

  • Bass, meanmouth 8 lbs. 8 oz., Dru Clayton Kinslow, March 27, 2006, Veterans Lake in Sulphur, OK
  • Carpsucker, river 7 lbs. 11 oz., W. Kenyon, April 18, 1990, Canadian Co., OK

Up Next


The Featured Image

Musky or Muskellunge
© iStock.com/FedBul

Share this post on:
About the Author

I'm a Wildlife Conservation Author and Journalist, raising awareness about conservation by teaching others about the amazing animals we share the planet with. I graduated from the University of Minnesota-Morris with a degree in Elementary Education and I am a former teacher. When I am not writing I love going to my kids' soccer games, watching movies, taking on DIY projects and running with our giant Labradoodle "Tango".

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

What are world records help by fish caught in Oklahoma?

Besides these state records there are a few fish that have been caught in Oklahoma that hold world records. According to the International Game Fish Association here are two All-Tackle World Record fish from Oklahoma:

  • Bass, meanmouth 8 lbs. 8 oz., Dru Clayton Kinslow, March 27, 2006, Veterans Lake in Sulphur, OK
  • Carpsucker, river 7 lbs. 11 oz., W. Kenyon, April 18, 1990, Canadian Co., OK

What type of fish in Oklahoma hold the best records?

The biggest trophy fish ever caught in Oklahoma are all catfish. You can find Channel cats, flathead and blue catfish in many of the lakes and rivers in the state. Blue cats are the biggest with flatheads coming in behind. The biggest flathead caught with a rod & line was a 78 lbs. 8 oz. in El Reno Lake. Richard Williams caught it on May 11, 2010. El Reno Lake is a small lake just 30 minutes west of downtown Oklahoma City.

Thank you for reading! Have some feedback for us? Contact the AZ Animals editorial team.