Biggest muskies in all 50 states
Who doesn’t love some good muskie fishing? The challenge, the excitement…the 10,000 casts that get nothing and yet a muskie slams into your lure while it’s on the surface as you try to untangle a massive knot of fishing line? I mean what’s not to love?
If you’ve been musky fishing before, or make it a regular habit, then you know how both frustrating and rewarding going after these fish can be. While the musky can be a really cantankerous fish, they are also very adaptable, especially among the Esox family, showing up and thriving both in pike and pickerel country.
So what are the records for biggest muskie in each state? We have the answers right here!
State Muskie Record for All 50 States
Muskies are found in a wide range of habitats and actually have a further range than the northern pike.
Alabama Muskie State Record
The largest muskie ever caught in Alabama weighed 19 lbs 8 oz and was caught in 1972 by Steve Leatherwood.
This long-standing record was caught in the same body of water as the state record paddlefish (fun fact). This muskie is the largest Esox that has even been caught in the state.
Source: Alabama Hunting & Fishing Digest
Alaska Muskie State Record
There are no muskies native to the state of Alaska therefore there is no Alaska state record for the muskellunge.
In fact, there was a discovery of muskies in a lake on the Kenai and the Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADFG) worked quickly to eliminate them so they wouldn’t upset the natural aquatic ecosystem in the area.
While muskie tend to be a northern fish associated with others like pike, in Alaska at least they’re not native to the local area.
Source: Must Read Alaska
Arizona Muskie State Record
There is no Arizona state record for muskies as they are not native to the state of Arizona.
That being said there was a time where the Arizona Game and Fish were looking at stocking muskies in some lake locations. There’s even a petition to bring them back more widely.
UPDATE: There are some tentative experiments going on with stocking tiger muskies in isolated lakes in Arizona to see how they interact in a limited environment. These are lakes that are cut off from other bodies of (such as Horsethief Basin Lake) and since tiger muskies can’t breed it minimizes risk.
We’ll see if this changes in the future!
Arkansas Muskie State Record
There’s no state record for muskie in the state of Arkansas, though there is one for tiger muskie. The record tiger muskie came in at 23 lbs, 12 oz, which was caught in the Spring River by Randy Wyatt in 1995. That’s a mighty fine fish, and tiger muskies have been stocked in some places because they can’t breed and thus have limited local impact.
However, since there is no native muskie population in the state of Arkansas there is no state record for muskie in Arkansas.
California Muskie State Record
Muskie are not native to the state and therefore there is no California state record for muskie.
Colorado Muskie State Record
The Muskellunge is not native to the state and therefore there is no California state record for muskie.
Connecticut Muskie State Record
Connecticut is one of those states that doesn’t have any muskies but chooses to stock the hybrid muskies on a limited scale. Lake Linninonah is a public lake in Connecticut where tiger muskies are stocked for anglers to enjoy.
However since there are no full-blooded muskies native to the state, that means there is no Connecticut state record for muskie.
Delaware Muskie State Record
Muskies actually are not native to the state of Delaware, but there are some found almost every year due to them coming from connected waters in the state of Pennsylvania where they’re stocked.
Because they are therefore found (although uncommon) in Delaware waters, there is a state record for muskie despite them not being native to the state or stocked.
The Delaware state record for muskie is 20 lbs 8 oz and was caught in 2013 by Thomas Sutton.
Source: Delaware.gov Muskellunge
Florida Muskie State Record
Florida is too far south for muskies to live comfortably. Because they’re not native to the state, there is no official state record for muskies.
Georgia Muskie State Record
Georgia does have muskie native to the state especially in the far north by the border waters with North Carolina and Tennessee. In fact, the only state fishing record in the state of Georgia that has stood longer than muskellunge is the largemouth bass – which happens to also be the world record.
Rube Golden caught a monster 38 lb muskie at Lake Blue Ridge in June 1957. That is the Georgia muskie state record that stands to this day.
Source: Southeastern Outdoors
Hawaii Muskie State Record
None. Of course not. There never have been, nor ever will be, a healthy population of muskie in Hawaii. Therefore there will never be a Hawaii muskie state record.
Idaho Muskie State Record
Muskie are not native to the state of Idaho and therefore there is no Idaho state record for the mighty muskie.
Illinois Muskie State Record
Illinois has been home to plenty of monster muskies, and based on a huge muskie not eligible for state records because it was caught and released in 2016 – that means the state record could still be out there.
The current record is 38 lbs, 8 oz monster that was caught in April of 2002. This is the current state record for muskie in the state of Illinois and was caught below the Lake Shelbyville spillway, one of the best muskie spots in Illinois, by record holder Matt Carmean.
Source: Shaw Local
Indiana Muskie State Record
The history of muskies in Indiana is interesting. They were originally native to the region, particularly the tributary rivers coming off of the Ohio River. Then the native populations pretty much dwindled to extinction or near extinction but a re-introduction and stocking program in 1974 helped bring them back and maintains multiple populations in several areas.
The Indiana muskie state record is a massive 42 lbs 8 oz and was caught in 2002 by Darrin Conley.
That is one dang big fish!
Source: Indiana State Government Website
Iowa Muskie State Record
Iowa is home to a lot of really good fishing, and Spirit Lake in particular is very well known for some monsters. But you have to believe Kevin Caldwell was surprised on that fateful day in 2000 when he hooked a massive 50.38 lb muskie to break the Iowa state record – which is still good to this day.
Source: Iowa DNR Record Fish
Kansas Muskie State Record
Muskies are not native to Kansas and therefore there is no Kansas state record for muskies.
If you are a muskie angler in the eastern part of Kansas, there are plenty of options available in neighboring Missouri.
Kentucky Muskie State Record
Sarah K. Terry holds the Kentucky Muskie state record after catching an impressive 47 lb muskie at Cave Run Lake in November of 2008.
That shows the Bluegrass state offers some serious potential when it comes to fishing.
Louisiana Muskie State Record
The waters in Louisiana are too warm for muskies. Since muskies aren’t native to Louisiana, there is no state record for the muskellunge in the Cajun state.
Maine Muskie State Record
No one should be surprised that a state like Maine has plenty of impressive fishing records and that includes a pretty impressive musky, too! Onezime Dufour caught the Maine state muskellunge record at 33 lbs in the St. John River in May of 2010.
That was a great day for the 75 year old angler!
Source: Bangor Daily News
Maryland Muskie State Record
This is an odd one because although it is very well documented that a new state muskie record was set in 2017, the official website of the Maryland DNR, at least as of this writing, hasn’t updated their data base to reflect the new weight. Time to get at new web person, guys.
That said, there is a clear muskellunge state record for Maryland. That record fish weighs 32.5 lbs and was caught by Tessa Cosens out of the upper Potomac River.
That impressive catch broke the previous state muskie record by over four pounds. Nice work!
Massachusetts Muskie State Record
While the state has stocked tiger muskies in limited numbers, actual muskies are not native to the state. For this reason there is no Massachusetts musky state record.
Michigan Muskie State Record
Michigan is a northern state in the Midwest that is known for plenty of good fishing. No surprise when you’re surrounded by Great Lakes and filled with forests and waterways. Michigan is also known for its musky fishing.
Even so, the state record caught by Joe Seeberger in 2012 must have shocked him. That musky weighed in at a stunning 58 lbs shattering the Michigan state muskie record by a stunning 8.25 lbs.
Source: Michigan Department of Natural Resources State Record Fish , Outdoor News
Minnesota Muskie State Record
Minnesota actually has two state records for muskies. They have the traditional state record that is based around weight, but they also have a catch and release program that measures them by length. This to encourage the return of truly trophy sized large fish and is why there are two Minnesota muskie records.
The Minnesota Catch and Release Record for muskies is 57.25 inches and is currently held by two anglers: Corey Kitzmann who caught one in 2019 and Todd Kirby who tied the record in 2021.
The Minnesota state record for muskies is 54 lbs and was caught in 1957 by fishing guide Art Lyons in Lake Winnibigoshish. The fish also measured 56 inches in length, which makes it still the third longest ever caught in the state.
Mississippi Muskie State Record
While some areas have experimented with stocking tiger muskies, there is no population of natural muskies living in the state’s waters and therefore no Mississippi state record for muskies.
Missouri Muskie State Record
Missouri doesn’t have a natural muskie population anymore, but they have been successfully reintroduced to multiple areas where they used to thrive. Because of this muskie fishing is actually alive and well in the state of Missouri.
The state record for muskies in Missouri is 41 lbs 2 oz by Gene Snelling from out of the Lake of the Ozarks.
That’s a mighty fine fish!
Montana Muskie State Record
Muskies are not native to the state and therefore there is no Montana state record for muskie.
Nebraska Muskie State Record
Nebraska has some pretty good muskie fishing, and they have a decent sized state record to prove it. The Nebraska muskie state record is 41 lbs 8 oz and was caught by Jared Haddix out of Merritt Lake.
Source: Lincoln Journal Star
Nevada Muskie State Record
Muskie are not native to the state and therefore there is no Nevada state record for muskie.
New Hampshire Muskie State Record
While tiger muskies can be found stocked in various waterways in the state, there are no native muskies and therefore there is no New Hampshire state record for musky.
New Jersey Muskie State Record
The New Jersey state record for musky is 42 lb 13 oz and was caught by while ice fishing by Bob Neals in 1997, which to date is the only state musky fishing record that was caught while ice fishing.
Who says ice fishing for muskies doesn’t work?
New Mexico Muskie State Record
Muskies don’t appear this far west and therefore are not native to the state. Because of that, there is no New Mexico state record for muskie.
New York Muskie State Record
Has any world record fish ever had so much scrutiny and so much controversy as this one? The story behind this catch is wild, and we’ll almost certainly do an in-depth article on this in the near future, but the biggest thing to note is that the state of New York still recognizes the previous world record that many other organizations don’t currently acknowldge.
Meaning the New York State record is larger than the currently recognized world record, as odd and bizarre as that is. There’s a chance this record could be reinstated as it has been often “set aside pending more review” rather than straight out repealed.
So with all that weirdness aside:
The New York State record muskie is the legendary 69 lb 15 ounce monster caught by Arthur Lawton in 1957 on the St. Lawrence River. This record was acknowledged as the world record muskellunge for almost 50 years before being set aside by the IGAF in 2005 pending a thorough re-examination of evidence, making this one of the most contentious fishing world records on the book.
The story behind all of this is wild. So if you get confused by why New York State’s recognized state record is bigger than the currently acknowledged world record, that is your reason.
North Carolina Muskie State Record
Muskies were originally native to western North Carolina waters, but a combination of pollution, over-fishing, and loss of natural habitat wiped out the original native populations. However, the fish is stocked in the waters and regions where it originally thrived and populations do slowly seem to be making a comeback.
The North Carolina state record for muskies was caught in 2001 by Richard W. Dodd out of Lake Adger and tipped the scales at 41 lbs 8 0z.
North Dakota Muskie State Record
Muskies and tiger muskies can be found in North Dakota although they are limited to a select few bodies of water in the state.
The North Dakota state record for musky is 46 lbs 8 oz and was caught at New Johns Lake by Cory Bosch on July 3, 2007.
That was probably a very happy 4th for the angler!
Source: North Dakota Record Fish
Ohio Muskie State Record
Ohio is home to some great fishing and a truly impressive state record, though it’s hard to see anyone breaking the current state record anytime soon.
The Ohio state record for muskies is a whopping 55.13 lbs and was caught on Piedmont Lake on April 12, 1972 by local angler Joe D. Lykins.
Source: Outdoor Writers of Ohio
Oklahoma Muskie State Record
Oklahoma, home to the strangest northern pike record perhaps in U.S. history, is not home to any muskies nor are muskies stocked in Okie waters.
Therefore there is no state record for muskies in Oklahoma.
Oregon Muskie State Record
Musky are not native to the state and therefore there is no Oregon state record for muskies.
Pennsylvania Muskie State Record
The oldest state record on this list, the musky state record for Pennsylvania was set a stunning 97 years ago. Safe to say that one is probably never falling.
The Pennsylvania state record for muskies is an impressive 54 lbs 3 oz and was caught by Lewis Walker Jr, caught in 1924.
That is an impressive fish, and the listing on the state’s website has a truly old school picture of this massive fish.
Rhode Island Muskie State Record
Muskies are not native to Rhode Island and because of this there is no state record for muskies in the state of Rhode Island.
South Carolina Muskie State Record
Although the smaller cousins of the musky the pickerel are more commonly found throughout the state, there are some healthy musky populations in the state where some cooler water can be found.
The musky state record for South Carolina is 22 lbs, 8 oz and was caught by Zavier Jeffries out of the Broad River in 2004.
South Dakota Muskie State Record
The South Dakota state record for musky weighs in at 40 lbs even and was caught by anger Daniel B Krueger at Amsden Dam on April 16, 1991.
Source: Southeastern Outdoors
Tennessee Muskie State Record
Tennessee is a southern state that actually produces a pretty good-sized musky for the record books.
The state record for muskies in Tennessee weighed in at 43 lbs 14 oz and was caught by Steven Paul in 2017, showing that big musky fishing is alive and well in the Volunteer State.
Texas Muskie State Record
Texas waters tend to be too warm for muskies. This is not natural musky habitat and therefore there is no Texas state record for muskies.
Utah Muskie State Record
Muskie are not native to the state and therefore there is no Utah state record for muskies. Though there have been talks of introducing tiger muskies to some isolated lake bodies.
Vermont Muskie State Record
Vermont is known for about everything in nature and that includes really good fishing.
Chris Beebe caught the state record for musky in September of 2005 when he pulled a 38 lb 3.5 oz muskellunge out of the Missisquoi River.
IMPORTANT: ALL muskies in the state of Vermont must immediately be released upon catch to help the low populations of muskies recover. Because of this the state record is on pause and no new submissions will be accepted.
Virginia Muskie State Record
On June 1st 2007 angler Shannon Hill kicked off summer by hauling in a massive 45 lb 8 oz musky out of New River to set a new Virginia State record.
It is worth noting that in Virginia muskies and tiger muskies are categorized into one group, although it appears Mr. Hill’s muskie is a pure one.
Source: Virginia DWR
Washington Muskie State Record
Muskies are not found natively in this Pacific Northwest state and therefore there is no Washington state record for muskies.
West Virginia Muskie State Record
Angler Anna Marsh set a West Virginia state record for muskies in 1997 when she hauled in a 49.75 lb musky out of Stonecoal Lake, which was also home to the other largest muskies in state history.
Source: West Virginia Sportsman
Wisconsin Muskie State Record
Wisconsin was home to some truly giant muskies in history, and the state record belongs to angler Louis Spray who caught a 69 lb 11 oz muskie out of the Chippewea Flowage.
Like many of the biggest muskies there have been some controversies over exact weight of the biggest muskie, but this is the record that is recognized by the state. Even if you’re in the doubting frame of mind, Cal Johnson caught a confirmed 67 lbs 8 oz musky out of Lake Court Oreilles in 1949.
So either way Wisconsin undoubtedly is home to some of the largest muskies ever caught.
Wyoming Muskie State Record
Muskie are not native to the state and therefore there is no Wyoming state record for muskie.
Muskie State Records by Size
- New York 69 lbs, 15 oz**
- Wisconsin 69 lbs, 11 oz
- Michigan 58 lbs
- Ohio 55.13 lbs
- Pennsylvania 54 lbs 3 oz
- Minnesota 54 lbs
- Iowa 50.38 lbs
- West Virginia 49.75 lbs
- Kentucky 47 lbs
- North Dakota 46 lbs 8 oz
- Virginia 45 lbs 8 oz ***
- Tennessee 43 lbs, 14 oz
- New Jersey 42 lb 13 oz
- Indiana 42 lbs 8 oz
- Nebraska 41 lbs 8 oz
- North Carolina 41 lbs 8 oz
- South Dakota 40 lbs
- West Virginia 39 lbs 6 oz
- Illinois 38 lbs 8 oz
- Vermont 38 lbs 3.5 oz
- Georgia 38 lb
- Maine 33 lb
- Maryland 32.5 oz
- Arkansas 23 lb 12 oz
- South Carolina 22 lb 8 oz
- Delaware 20 lbs 8 oz
**Record is recognized by the state of New York but it is not currently recognized by the IGAF or most major fishing bodies
***Virginia lumps muskies and tiger muskies together as one group, so although the current record looks like a non-hybrid muskie, keep that in mind when comparing in the future
There are few fish as tough to catch, as tricky, but also as satisfying to hook and bring in than the musky. If you’re ever in a situation to bring in one that can challenge a state record then that’s double the blessing. And considering that muskies are called “The fish of 10,000 casts” and they live up that reputation.
This is the complete list of musky state records, so if you were looking for any numbers you definitely should have found them here and then some.
New River – Southwest Virginia High Water has dominated this week, but we are normalizing. Water temps have fallen back…
This article originally appeared in the April/May 1994 issue of Musky Hunter. To see more classic articles like this, subscribe…
GET THE NEWSLETTER
Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.
GET THE MAGAZINE
Subscribe & Save
Give a Gift | Subscribe Services