The Largest Brown Trout Ever Caught in Ohio was a Record-Breaking Beauty

Written by Kyle Glatz
Updated: September 19, 2023
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Ohio has many different lakes and waterways, including the famous Ohio River and Lake Erie. Although anglers in the state lack the opportunity to fish in saltwater environments, the state’s freshwater fishing is great. Brown trout are a popular target for anglers since they put up a great fight and taste good. Discover the largest brown trout ever caught in Ohio! Find out just how big it was, where it was caught, and what other fish share its environment!

The Average Size, Looks, and Locations of Brown Trout

Wild brown trout caught and released in early spring on the Owyhee River, Oregon

Brown trout in North America can have different appearances stemming from their ancestry.


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Brown trout (Salmo trutta) are originally from Europe, but they were introduced to the Americas and other places throughout the world. Typically, brown trout are medium-sized fish that have a narrow head and a thin body.

This species often measures between 7 and 14 inches long, but large brown trout measure over 20 inches long. The fish can be olive-colored or brown on the dorsal side, and they have a white belly. The sides of the fish have tan to yellow colors. The dorsal fins are often a dark olive to yellowish color. These fins, along with the species’ back and sides, are covered in spots. Usually, the spots on the dorsal fin are dark in color, such as brown or black.

The spots on the fish’s sides and back range in color from black or brown, to orange and red. Sometimes, these spots are surrounded by another distinct color, like white or even blue. The variety in brown trout in the United States stems from their diverse ancestry coming from Europe.

Brown trout prefer to live in cold water. These fish live in lakes, ponds, and rivers with cool temperatures. The species is widespread throughout North America, and it’s found in the majority of the states in the U.S. The fact that they are so widely available contributes to their desirability as a fishing target.

Smaller brown trout usually seek out insects to eat. Larger members of the species, those measuring over 12 inches long, often go after smaller fish, small amphibians, and mollusks.  

What Was the Largest Brown Trout Ever Caught in Ohio?

Brown Trout

Brown trout usually measure 7 to 14 inches long.


The largest brown trout ever caught in Ohio was 14 pounds 10.8 ounces and measured 27.25 inches long. That fish officially measured 14.675 pounds. An individual named Robert B. Campbell of Dunbar, Pennsylvania caught the fish on July 14, 2012.

The previous record for brown trout in Ohio was 14.65 pounds and 29.25 inches long. A man named Timothy Byrne previously held the record. Campbell’s brown trout was shorter but also slightly heavier than Byrne’s. Officials approved the record for the largest brown trout, ensuring that the new record would stand.

Robert Campbell caught the record-setting brown trout on Lake Erie near Geneva State Park. He was fishing on a charter boat at the time, not from the coast.

Although the brown trout was big for its species, it was not an exceptionally large fish in general. Presumably, he caught the fish using a hook and line rather than an alternative fishing method. Mr. Campbell would have had a fight on his hands reeling in the lake monster.

No further information about the fate of the fish or the catching process was available at the time of this article.  

The Record-Breaking Brown Trout’s Location and the Other Fish That Live There

Boat shipping into the sunset on one of the Great Lakes

Lake Erie is a vast freshwater lake.

©Thomas Leikam/

The largest brown trout ever caught in Ohio was pulled from the waters of Lake Erie. As one of the Great Lakes, Lake Erie is a fantastic place to catch all sorts of fish. The large body of water has cooler portions that would be perfect for brown trout to live in.

Looking at a map of Ohio, Lake Erie is along the northern border of the state for about two-thirds of the state’s length. The huge lake is a very popular place to go fishing because so many different species of fish live in the waters.

Some of the fish that people can catch at Lake Erie include:

  • Walleye
  • Perch
  • Salmon
  • Largemouth bass
  • Smallmouth bass
  • Pickerel

Also, people that fish in this area can fish from the shoreline or head out onto the lake using boats. Lake Erie’s vastness makes many anglers seek out fishing charters to travel to remote areas on the water. That way, they can try to catch fish that prefer deeper, cooler water.

Anglers travel to Lake Erie to fish because the lake is beautiful and vast, and it contains a variety of species.

Was the Brown Trout from Ohio a World Record?

Plane Heading to New Zealand. Map is Royalty Free Off a Government Website.

The world-record for the largest brown trout came from New Zealand in 2020.

©Jesse Kunerth/

No, the largest brown trout ever caught in Ohio was not the world record for the species. Instead, the largest brown trout ever caught in the world was 44 pounds 5 ounces. A man caught the fish in the Ohau Canal in Twizel, New Zealand.

The monstrous fish measured 38.58 inches long and it had a girth of 34 inches! The angler that brought in this fish was Seumas Petrie. This record is a recent one. The angler caught the biggest brown trout in the world in 2020.

The largest brown trout caught in the United States was 41 pounds 7.25 ounces. The angler, Tom Healy, caught the fish in Manistee River, Michigan in 2009. The angler briefly held the world record. At least, some sources claim his fish was the largest until the New Zealand record.

All in all, the largest brown trout ever caught in Ohio was a very large specimen, but it was not the biggest one caught in the country or the world. Lake Erie is a very large body of water with a bunch of great fish to catch, but the lake may not contain massive brown trout.

The photo featured at the top of this post is © Peterkin

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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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