Colorado is home to some beautiful lakes, reservoirs, and rivers that don’t just provide people with great views and swimming, but offer anglers an opportunity to drop their lines for some fantastic fishing.

Right here in Northern Colorado, there are plenty of fantastic options to be had, whether it's Horsetooth Reservoir or the Poudre River.


While fishing can be a relaxing and enjoyable activity, almost every angler has the same thought going through the back of their mind when they cast their rod; “Will I catch the big one today?”

This question can certainly be relative to the person fishing. The big one could mean a personal record or something to show off to their buddies later. However, some people set out to catch record-breakers.

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Here, we will look at the heaviest fish caught in Colorado by type, meaning the record set for each individual fish. We will also take a look at the average size of each fish so you can understand the scale of these beasts, while also taking a look at the world records as well.

Largest Lake Trout Caught in Colorado: 73.29 lbs

National Park Service // Jay Fleming
National Park Service // Jay Fleming

Not only was the largest lake trout ever recorded in Colorado’s history caught this year, but it is also likely a world record as well.

The mammoth fish took 13 minutes to reel in and beat the old world record of a 72-pounder caught in Great Bear Lake in Canada almost 30 years ago. Lake trout typically have an average weight of 5 to 15 pounds, but larger ones can get up to 40 pounds.

However, there is a caveat to all of this. Since the fish was weighed on the boat and not on land, it disqualifies it from being an official world record. Say what you’d like about it, but the fact that the angler, Scott Enloe, and his son, Hunter, caught and released such a beautiful fish is commendable.

This means the old state record of 50 pounds set by Don Walker in 2007 may still stand to this day, but we will never forget the behemoth caught in Gunnison this spring.

Largest Grass Carp Caught in Colorado: 57.8125 lbs

Colorado Parks and Wildlife
Colorado Parks and Wildlife

The second-largest fish ever caught in Colorado was a grass carp reeled in by Brian Husmann back in 2013, weighing in at an impressive 57.8125 lbs. It was caught at Cottonwood Lake in Jefferson County, and at the time, it was the heaviest fish ever caught in Colorado.

This eclipsed a record set just three years prior when the 14-year-old Cody Moreland caught a 51 lb grass carp in Prospect Park Lake. At the time, it also was the heaviest fish ever caught in Colorado.

Grass carp can get extremely large, with finding a 40-50 lb monster not being super uncommon.

However, the largest grass carp caught by reel and hook was an 87 lb beast caught at the Piasuchnik Dam in Bulgaria back in 2009.

Largest Channel Catfish Caught in Colorado: 43.38 lbs

Colorado Parks and Wildlife
Colorado Parks and Wildlife

The largest channel catfish ever caught in Colorado came in at a whopping 43.38 lbs, and was caught at the Aurora Reservoir in 2010 by Jessica Walton.

Interestingly, the record had initially been set the same year by Daris McKinnon also at the Aurora Reservoir, which was 35.8 lbs. Incredibly, Walton’s catch just months later broke the newly minted record by nearly eight pounds.

What makes the story even more incredible is that Walton had landed the record after only catching two fish in her entire life. What’s also incredible is she was using a 20 lb line, which easily could have snapped from the sheer weight of the fish.

The average size of channel catfish is just two to four pounds, but they can easily blow up to 40-50 lbs on the extremely high end of the size. The world record has sat for nearly 60 years now, with a 58 lb catfish being caught in South Carolina all the way back in 1964.

Colorado's Biggest Fish Lurking Beneath the Water's Surface

Colorado's rivers, lakes, and reservoirs are home to around 50 native species of fish. In total, there are around 101 species of fish found here. Scroll through the photos below to see which fish grow to be the largest ones found in the Rocky Mountains.

Gallery Credit: Wesley Adams

These Are The Best Lakes For Fishing in Colorado

From a combination of sources, like and

Gallery Credit: Chris Kelly

$5.75 Million Colorado Fishing Retreat

Looking to get away from it all and toss out a line? This might be the perfect place to relax and catch some fish in Colorado.

Gallery Credit: Matt Sparx

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