There is fishing to be done every season in Montana.  Whether you like to fly fish, ice fish, boat fish, fish from the shore, creek fishing, river fishing, lake fishing... I feel a little Forrest Gumpy, but there are so many ways to fish no matter what time of the year here under the Big Sky of Montana.  With all that fishing going on year round, it begs this question:

What Are The Biggest Fish Ever Caught In Montana?

Get our free mobile app

A to Z Animals answers that question, and I just had to share it with you.

Brown Trout

person holding brown trout
Canva
loading...

Although bigger than regular trout, that Brown Trout was a monster at 32 pounds. It was caught by Robbie Dockter in the Marias River March 3, 2021.  Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks confirmed the catch.  The previous record was set in 1966 Bu E.H. Bacon, at 29 pounds.

Channel Catfish

Catfish face
Canva
loading...

John Smith was trolling Castle Rock Lake on July 7, 2019, and snagged a whopping Channel Catfish.  That bad boy weighed in at just over 35 pounds.  Smith has been confirmed as the new Montana record holder.

Read On:  Ever Tried Ice Fishing?

Chinook Salmon

Chinook Salmon in murky water
Canva
loading...

Back in August 2020, Greg Haug was fishing Fort Peck, and ended up with a mammoth of a Chinook Salmon.  Haug's catch weighed in at just over 32 pounds.

*Interesting fact I learned from A-Z Animals, the fish in Fort Peck tend to be bigger because they eat ciscoes instead of smelt.  Hmm.

Largemouth Bass

Person holding largemouth bass with mouth held open
Canva
loading...

The biggest largemouth bass in the state was hooked in Lake Elmo in the Billings Heights By Brandon Wright.  The fish weighed in at 9.58 pounds caught on April 24, 2021.  Not too bad when you're fishing IN TOWN.

We Can Fish In Great Falls, Too.  Find Out Where

Smallmouth Bass

Person holding small mouth bass
Canva
loading...

Theron Thompson was fishing Fort Peck Reservoir when he caught a behemoth of a smallmouth bass.  This prize bass weighed 7.84 pounds icing the former record of 7.51 pounds.

Longnose Sucker

Sucker fish
Canva
loading...

Jonathan Miller snagged a record breaking longnose sucker on May 10, 2022 in Hauser Reservoir.  This colossal sucker weighed 4.78 pounds.

Rainbow Trout

Hand holding rainbow trout with hook and lure in the mouth
Canva
loading...

On August 11, 1997, a 33.1 pound rainbow trout was caught by Jack Housel Junior.  The jumbo trout was caught in the Kootenai River.

Rocky Mountain Sculpin

Rocky mountain sculpin in rocks
Canva
loading...

This little fish has a big fish story.  March 5, 2022, a 14 year old caught a Rocky Mountain Sculpin that was about 5 inches long and weighed a whopping .063 pounds.  Montana FWP confirmed the record currently held by Bridger Burroughs.

Tiger Muskellunge

Muskellunge laying next to a fishing pole for size with the lure by his mouth
Canva
loading...

I'd never heard of this fish until today.  Tiger muskies are classified as game fish.  The record muskie for Montana was caught Deadman's Basin Reservoir on September 2, 2011 by angler, Leo Cantin.  The record setting fish weighed 38.75 pounds.

Check Out This Fish Tale: Bejay's Brown Trout

Walleye

hand holding a Walleye with a lake and clouds
Canva
loading...

Fishing Holter, Trevor Johnson hooked the Walleye of a lifetime on May 10, 2021.  The humongous catch weighed 18.02 pounds.

Ice Fishing

Ice Fishing

Gallery Credit: Tammie Toren

13 Superstitions of Fisherman and Sailors

Gallery Credit: Jolana Miller

Best Places to Go Ice Fishing Near Billings, Montana

Take your buddies or your kids and head out for a classic Montana ice fishing adventure.

Gallery Credit: Scott Sery

More From The River 97.9