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American Fishing Records

American Fishing Records

Photo Courtesy of Brian Baca

Most serious anglers are well aware of the American fishing records within their state. If you’re a Colorado angler, there are two major state records that The Colorado Parks and Wildlife keeps track of. The first is State Records by Weight. This the oldest of the state’s recognition programs. This program keeps track of the heaviest of 43 different species of fish in Colorado. If you feel you have caught a fish that may break the American fishing record, certain steps must be taken to set the new record.

Setting American Fishing Records

The first step is the angler must possess a valid Colorado fishing license or be under the age of 16. The fish in question must be weighed on a state-certified scale. There must also be a weight receipt signed by a person who was there to witness the fish being weighed. The fish must not be frozen, gutted, or altered in any way prior to being weighed. This fish must also be examined and identified by a Colorado Parks and Wildlife biologist or wildlife manger before the application is submitted. The biologist or wildlife manager will fill out and return the application form to the Sportfish Program Manager located in Denver, CO.

Catch-and-Release Records_MG_5176

For those anglers who are strictly catch-and-release there is a program for you as well! In the interest of promoting conservation of Colorado’s fish population, Colorado Parks and Wildlife started a State Record Program by Fish Length around 10 years ago. This allows fish to be measured and then returned to the water to be caught another day! This program works in conjunction with the Master Angler Program, which honors Colorado anglers for outstanding catches each year. Below is a list of some of the largest trout catches in not only Colorado but in the nation!

  • 26″ Brook Trout caught by Mark Armstrong in the Gunnison River (Colorado)
  • 38″ Brown Trout caught by Darrel Armstrong in the Colorado River (Colorado)
  • 40lbs 4oz Brown Trout caught by Rip Collins in Little Red River (Arkansas)
  • 41lbs Cutthroat Trout caught by John Skimmerhorn in Pyramid Lake (Nevada)
  • 30lbs 8oz Brown Trout caught by Alan Schneider in Roaring Judy Ponds (Colorado)

Now that you have big fish on your mind, be sure to get out there on the river yourself and catch that next American fishing record! If you’re looking for more tips or want to book a guided fly fishing trip be sure to give us a call!

Cheers and good luck fishing!


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