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New York’s Biggest Fish of All Time [VIDEO]

Ask any angler, and he or she will tell you the main goal out on the water is to catch the biggest fish.

What was the biggest fish ever caught in the state of New York?


Donnie Braddock landed a 3,427-pound great white shark in 1986 and attained the world record for the largest shark caught by rod and reel. However, it seems like the bigger the fish, the more people want to taint the catch. A rumor claimed the shark was feeding on a whale at the time, and Braddock simply killed the whale. Another rumor said he harpooned the shark, which would have negated the world record.

The International Game Fishing Association ruled the catch was legitimate.

Biggest Freshwater Fish

The playing field might be a little unfair when you have a whole ocean of monsters at your doorstep. Let’s look at the biggest freshwater fish caught in the history of New York.

In 1957, Art Lawton caught a musky weighing in at 69 pounds, 15 ounces. The fish was so large it gained world record status.

Musky Warrior
Musky Warrior

The world record was returned to the previous owner, Louis Spray, in 1992, when an investigation questioned the legitimacy of the photos and size of Lawton’s fish. Spray’s fish was later called into question as well.

New York still recognizes Lawton’s record, so it remains the biggest freshwater fish caught in the state.

Zero Controversy Freshwater Fish

Is there a big fish from New York with no associated controversy?

In 2014, Eric Lester caught a 60-pound striped bass on the Hudson River in Orange County. An approved source photographed, weighed, and measured the fish, so it’s legitimacy will likely never come into question.

Well, maybe not for another 50 years.

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation
On the Water

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New York’s Biggest Fish of All Time [VIDEO]