The biggest freshwater fish ever caught is a stingray in the Maeklong River in Thailand. Caught by angler Ian Welch, the stingray weighed in at 772 lbs (265-350kg). The stingray’s body is 7 ft wide and 7 ft long. The tail is 10 ft long. It took 13 people to haul the fish out of the water.
The previous record holder was the Giant Mekong catfish (Pangasius gigas). It was also caught in Thailand in 2005. The fish is 8 ft long and weighed in at 646 lbs. The Mekong fish is one of the biggest catfish species. On average, adults weigh 660 lbs / 300 kg. Some of them can reach lengths of 10 ft / 3 m.
Other Large Freshwater Fish
Aside from the biggest freshwater fish ever caught, there are many other large freshwater fish. Here are some of them.
On the average, an adult Alligator Gar weighs 200 lbs. They can reach lengths of 8 to 10 ft. The largest Alligator Gar caught with a rod weighed 279 lbs. The biggest caught by Bowfishing weighed in at 365 lbs. These are found in North America only.
Also called the European sturgeon, each fish can reach lengths of over 20 ft. The fish have a lifespan of nearly 120 years. They are found in the basins of the Black and Caspian Seas. The Beluga also lives in saltwater.
These can attain lengths of 15 ft and weigh over 400 lbs. The Arapaima is located in South America. They are also known as pirarucu.
The Chinese Paddlefish can reach lengths of 6 ft and weigh over 200 lbs. An endangered species, the fish can only be seen in the Yangtze River. The Chinese government has made it illegal to kill the fish. There also conservation efforts underway.
The Kaluga is the biggest member of the sturgeon family. It can reach lengths of 18 ft and weigh up to 2,200 lbs. The fish can be found in the Amur River Basin in China and Russia. However, the fish does spend some time in saltwater. The fish is also an endangered species.
The Kaluga is much heavier than the biggest freshwater fish ever caught. So are some species of the Giant Freshwater Stingray which can weigh up to 1,100 lbs. However none of these giant species have been caught or officially measured and weighed.