The 10 Largest Fish Ever Caught in Rhode Island

Beavertail Lighthouse in Beavertail State Park aerial view in summer, Jamestown, Rhode Island RI, USA. This lighthouse, built in 1856, at the entrance to Narragansett Bay on Conanicut Island.
© Wangkun Jia/

Written by Kyle Glatz

Updated: November 17, 2023

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Rhode Island is an angler’s paradise. This state has plenty of lakes, rivers, and ponds in which people can fish. Also, the Ocean State has a long history of taking in the bounty of the Atlantic Ocean. Today, we’re going to focus on some of the best catches that anglers have ever made in the state. Discover the 10 largest fish ever caught in Rhode Island and learn about the massive fish that people have reeled in throughout this part of the country.

Bear in mind that this list is not just covering the 10 biggest fish of all time in the state. We’re showing you an assortment of species and the record-setting species caught in Rhode Island.

10. Carp

Fishing background. Young man hold big carp in his hands.

The largest carp caught in Rhode Island weighed 32 pounds 8 ounces.


Carp fish belong to the Cyprinidae family. These fish grow about 14 inches on average, and they can weigh anywhere up to 49 pounds. The largest one caught in the state weighed 32 pounds 8 ounces, and it measured 37 inches long. According to the state records, the angler who pulled this fish in was S. Wasilewski from Hope Valley. That individual caught the fish in Tiogue Lake in June 2001.

9. White Catfish

white catfish

The white


lives in several different places throughout the United States.

©M Huston/

White catfish (Ameiurus catus) is one of the smallest species of catfish, and it is also called the white bullhead. They’re one of the smallest catfish species. On average, they measure between 10 and 18 inches and weigh from 0.5 to 3 pounds. The largest member of this species ever caught was 16 pounds 12 ounces, and it was 33 inches long. L. Angell of Coventry took this fish in August 1994.  

8. Northern Pike

Freshwater fish Northern pike (Esox lucius) in the beautiful clean pound. Underwater shot with nice bacground and natural light. Wild life animal.

The northern pike is a very large fish.

©Rostislav Stefanek/

The northern pike (Esox Lucius) is the largest freshwater fish in Rhode Island. Most of the time, these fish measure between 16 and 22 inches in length, and their weight varies usually between 4 and 8 pounds.

The largest member of this species ever caught in Rhode Island was 47.5 inches long and it weighed 35 pounds. This record was set in October 1987. The angler who caught the fish was named D. LaRose from Coventry, Rhode Island. The individual pulled the fish from Hundred Acre Pond.  

7. Striped Bass

Striped bass caught by angler

Large striped bass put up a great fight on the line.

©Steve Brigman/

Striped bass are a saltwater species. These fish have a long lifespan, and they can grow up to 5 feet long and weigh 77 pounds at their higher measures. The largest fish ever caught in Rhode Island from this species was 77 pounds 6.4 ounces and measured 52 inches long. A fisherman named P. Vican of Greenwich caught this monster fish in June 2011.

6. Cod

Gadus morhua, Atlantic Cod, Portrait,close up, detail, Ocean deepwater fish.

The Atlantic cod is a large saltwater fish that lives in the Atlantic Ocean.


Cod, fish from the genus Gadus, vary in size. They can grow from 33 to 212 pounds, and they can measure from 30 to 80 inches. The record-setting cod from Rhode Island weighed 71 pounds. However, this record is old, set back in June 1965 by an individual named M. Deciantis from Warwick, Rhode Island. So, we don’t know the fish’s length or any other information about the catch.

5. White Marlin

White Marlin

The largest fish ever caught in Rhode Island from the white marlin species weighed 125 pounds.


White marlins (Kajikia albida) are a very large saltwater fish with a long bill. These fish can grow very large in size, commonly between 62 and 70 inches. The largest fish ever caught in Rhode Island from the white marlin species weighed 125 pounds, and it measured 8 feet and 0.5 inches long! J. Luty Sr. of Preston Connecticut caught this fish off of South Block Island in August 1987.  

4. Yellowfin Tuna

Yellowfin tuna out in the open ocean in crystal clear blue water

The average yellowfin tuna weighs 180 pounds but can get much larger.

©Al McGlashan/

Yellowfin tuna (Thunnus albacares) are large saltwater fish. Generally speaking, these fish can reach weights up to 450 pounds and lengths of 7 feet. Yet, the largest yellowfin tuna ever found in the Ocean State was 265 pounds and 6 feet long. R. Hughes of Arlington, Massachusetts caught this fish in October 1997.

3. Swordfish

Swordfish on the beach

Swordfish can reach lengths up to 15 feet.


Swordfish (Xiphias gladius) are massive fish with an elongated bill. These fish can grow anywhere between 9 and 15 feet long, and they may weigh 150 to 1,430 pounds when they are fully grown. The largest swordfish in Rhode Island was caught in August 2018. The angler, Lance Banfield of Saunderstown, RI, captured the 588-pound swordfish.

2. Mako Shark

A diver swimming with a Shortfin mako shark. These sharks are aggressive predators and should be avoided if possible.

Shortfin mako sharks can jump 20 feet above the water.


The longfin and shortfin mako shark are two fish species commonly confused with one another. Unfortunately, the state’s record of the largest mako shark catch makes no differentiation between the two. Still, an angler named W. Alessi from Boston, Massachusetts set the record for the biggest one in June 1993. The angler reeled in a shark weighing 718 pounds and 12.5 feet long off the coast of South Block Island.

1. Bluefin Tuna

Bluefish tuna swims in the ocean with a fishing net in the background

The largest bluefish tuna can weigh up to 2,000 pounds.

©Alexius Sutandio/

The bluefin tuna is the largest fish species ever caught in Rhode Island. The record-setting fish in this case weighed 1,142 pounds 12 ounces. No length was listed for the fish. However, we know that J. Dempsey caught this fish off of Block Island in September 1971. That record has stood for decades. Typically, this species measures between 6 and 14 feet at its largest. Scientists believe that members of this species can reach a maximum of 40 years of age. The largest members of the species can weigh 2,000 pounds!

Summary of the Largest Fish Ever Caught in Rhode Island

RankFish SpeciesWeight
1.Bluefin Tuna1,142 pounds 12 ounces
2.Mako Shark718 pounds
3.Swordfish588 pounds
4.Yellowfin Tuna265 pounds
5.White Marlin125 pounds
6.Cod71 pounds
7.Striped Bass77 pounds 6.4 ounces
8.Carp32 pounds 8 ounces
9.White Catfish16 pounds 12 ounces
10.Northern Pike35 pounds

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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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