The World’s Largest Trout: Surpassing Even the IGFA Record

From the 102lb Lake trout caught in Lake Athabasca, Canada, to the legendary 75lb brown trout of Austria’s Lake Attersee in 1938 the stories of the world largest trout ever reordered are full of intrigue. Rarely caught by rod and line, these majestic creatures often meet their fate in commercial nets or are found dead, drifting lifeless on the water’s surface.

World’s largest trout

So, what exactly defines the world’s largest trout and how extraordinary can their size be? At first glance, finding the answer may seem as simple as consulting the IGFA records. However, it’s not quite that straightforward since the truly massive trout often elude capture on rod and reel. So, they do not qualify for such a record.

While many of the largest line-caught brown, rainbow, and brook trout have been well-documented (refer to the chart below), they represent only a fraction of the largest trout ever recorded.

Keep reading to find out what truly constitutes the world’s largest trout?

World Record (IGFA)Other Method
Lake trout72 lb 0 oz83 lb (net)
102 lb 4 oz (net)
Rainbow trout48 lb 0 oz
Brown trout44 lb 5 oz74lb (net)
Brook trout14 lb 8oz
Marble trout49.6lb54 lb 13 oz**
Largest trout, both IGFA records and fish caught by other methods.
** The current IGFA record for marble trout is for a 22.5kg (49.6lb) fish caught in Slovenia. Although a couple of larger fish have been reported from Montenegro, they are difficult to verify.

What counts as a trout?

Before diving into the quest for the world’s largest trout, some people will argue over the classification of what constitutes a trout.

One common query that arises is whether steelhead trout should be included. The answer is yes, as steelhead are simply the sea-dwelling form of rainbow trout. Interestingly, the record for rainbow trout surpasses that of steelhead, making the distinction less complicated.

Another point of contention revolves around lake trout. Some argue that they are technically a char and not a trout. However, if we were to follow this line of reasoning, we would need to exclude rainbow trout since they are more closely related to Pacific salmon. In truth, trout and char belong to the same group of fish, the terms char and trout are just names. Names which are often interchangeable.

My standpoint is that if a fish from the Salmonidae family bears “trout” in its common name, it should be considered. Moreover, genetically speaking, a lake trout shares as much in common with a brown trout as a rainbow trout does. After all, “char” is just a name.

Therefore, for this article I will consider rainbow trout, lake trout (despite the char debate), and even other trout-like species such as lenok and even taimen.

This brown trout weighed 25.50 kg (56.22 lbs) and measured 124 cm (49 inches). If cught on rod and line it would have smashed the current records. But no records were broken because it was recovered from lake Lokvarsko, Croatia after it was drained for periodic maintenance. Over 50 Brown trout weighing over 10kg were recovered from the muddy lake floor. (Source:

Brown Trout – Unveiling the Giants of Austrian Lakes and Beyond

The waters of Austrian and German alpine lakes hold multiple accounts of massive resident brown trout, known as Seeforelle in German, dating back to the pre-1950s era. Among these legends, one remarkable catch stands out—the largest documented with photographic evidence. In 1938, a net capture from Lake Attersee, Austria unveiled a colossal brown trout, weighing an astonishing 34kg, just under 75lb.

Unfortunately, the fate of these magnificent German brown lake trout (Salmo trutta lacustris) is tinged with tragedy. The caretakers of these lakes, known as fish masters, viewed the large trout as pests rather than trophies. Fearing that they were preying upon smaller, more desirable trout, they began netting them during the spawning runs—the only time these giants left the protective depths of the lakes. As a result, the monstrous brown trout of old are but distant memories, with current catches nowhere near their colossal size.

Beyond the Alpine region, reports of large brown trout emerge, although verification can prove challenging. Notably, there are intriguing but difficult-to-confirm accounts of a 66lb brown trout from Albania. It is speculated that this fish may not be a typical brown trout (Salmo trutta) but instead the geographically isolated Salmo letnica, also known as the Ohrid trout. The Ohrid trout is an ancient lineage surviving in Lake Ohrid, and the largest confirmed specimen reached 17kg (37lb).

Adding to the roster of impressive catches, a photographic record showcases a 56lb brown trout recovered from Lake Lokvarsko in Croatia. This exceptional specimen was discovered when the lake was drained for maintenance. During the construction of the Lokve Dam, small resident brown trout became trapped in the newly formed reservoir. Flourishing in ideal conditions, these river trout grew to extraordinary sizes. The introduction of thousands of small rainbow trout into the lake likely provided abundant prey for these monstrous browns.

While historical claims, such as the 60lb brown trout caught from Lake Hayes, New Zealand in 1883, raise questions, it is well-known that brown trout can attain enormous sizes when released into virgin habitats with ample food sources. Presently, New Zealand is home to the IGFA world record brown trout, a remarkable 44lb 5oz specimen caught from the Tekapo canals.

Check this article for information on the largest brown trout in America.

Lake Trout – Unveiling the Giants of Great Bear Lake and Beyond

When it comes to the world’s largest trout, one species stands out—the mighty Lake Trout. Tales of colossal specimens have emerged, captivating anglers and enthusiasts alike. Among the notable claims, an extraordinary 83lb lake trout caught in a net in Canada’s Great Bear Lake leaves us in awe. Additionally, reports from 1961 recount an astonishing 102lb lake trout hauled from the depths of Lake Athabasca.

Great Bear Lake, also the site of the current IGFA world record, holds further testimony to the extraordinary size of lake trout. In 1995, a monumental catch weighing 72lb secured its place in angling history. Situated within the Arctic Circle, Great Bear Lake is the fourth largest lake in North America, boasting conditions that are nothing short of ideal for the growth of massive lake trout.

Marble trout (Runner up for world’s largest trout)

Marble Trout, a close relative of brown trout, holds a remarkable position as the runner-up for the world’s largest trout. The current IGFA world record for marble trout stands at an impressive 49.6lb (22.5kg), captured in Slovenia. However, there are intriguing, albeit unverified, reports of these giants weighing up to 70lb, caught using alternative fishing methods such as netting.

Geographically confined to Northern Italy and the Balkans, Marble Trout (Salmo marmoratus) thrive in the pristine waters of crystal-clear rivers, often seeking refuge beneath the protective cover of boulders. One such legendary catch occurred in the Soca River near Tolmino, Slovenia. A magnificent white rabbit fur streamer lured the world record marble trout from a pool. Remarkably, the captured specimen was merely 10 years old, hinting at its potential for even more extraordinary growth.

While a few reports suggest larger marble trout in Montenegro, their verification remains challenging. Additionally, a reader shared an intriguing comment about marble trout weighing up to 24.5kg (54lb) caught in the Neretva River of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The largest rainbow and steelhead trout ever caught.

At this time, I know of no rainbow trout larger than the current IGFA record. I have heard rumors of a larger rainbow found dead, by a fisherman somewhere in the United States but I cannot get any concrete information. So without even a hint of evidence, the IGFA record stands.

The current IGFA world record for rainbow trout stands at an awe-inspiring 48 lb 0 oz. This exceptional specimen was captured from Lake Diefenbaker in Saskatchewan. Measuring 42 inches in length with a girth of 32 inches, this monster of a rainbow exemplifies the potential size rainbow trout can reach. It’s worth noting that the rainbow trout in Lake Diefenbaker are infertile triploids. The lack of fertility means they waste no energy spawning, which allows them to achieve rapid growth and immense sizes.

The largest Steelhead ever caught weighted 42ld 0oz, was caught off the coast of Bell Island, Alaska in 1970. This weight makes it the largest wild trout O. Mykiss ever caught. With that said, there are reports of returning steelhead pushing 50lb caught in the hatchery run fish fence, on the Babine River in British Columbia.

Returning to rainbow trout, the largest ‘wild’ or fertile rainbow trout have been recorded from the Tekapo canals in New Zealand. Some of which have broken the 40lb mark. Still smaller than the largest steelhead and triploid fish.

Cutthroat Trout

I don’t have much info on Cutthroat trout, but they too can grow to impressive sizes.

In 1930, a cutthroat trout weighing 41 lb (18.6 kg) was caught in Pyramid Lake, Nevada, setting the record for the cutthroat trout.

Other Fish which might be considered trout.

Taimen – The Enigmatic Cousins of Trout

When discussing the fascinating world of trout and salmon, an intriguing member of the Salmonidae family emerges—the formidable Taimen. With striking resemblances to trout and a host of shared characteristics, Taimen occupy a unique space within this distinguished lineage.

Taimen, commonly referred to as trout by many, possess distinct traits that align them closely with their trout relatives. Preferring freshwater habitats like their trout counterparts, Taimen exhibit a remarkable ability to thrive in these environments. Unlike trout, Taimen do not succumb to their journey after spawning, further reinforcing their affinity with trout.

When it comes to their sheer size, Taimen continue to astonish. The heaviest authenticated Taimen on record weighed an astounding 123 lb (55.8 kg). This extraordinary catch, secured through a commercial net, showcases the immense power and size that these giants can attain. Furthermore, the current all tackle Taimen record, caught in the Tugur River, Russia, officially weighed 107 lbs (48.62 kg), yet it likely surpassed this weight as it pushed the limits of the scales.

While some unverifiable reports suggest Taimen weighing up to a staggering 231 lb, it is important to approach such claims with caution, recognizing the potential influence of tribal legends in shaping these accounts.

While the Taimen might be the most famous of the Asian trout, they are not the only one. There is also the humble Lenok, some people call them the most ancient trout. Although, they rarely reach even 10lb in weight so are certainly not in the running for the world’s largest trout title.

Caspian salmon (The salmon which was once a trout)

In the captivating world of fish taxonomy, one creature stands out as a testament to the intricacies of classification—the Caspian salmon. Once regarded as a brown trout, this remarkable fish is now considered among the ranks of salmon.

The largest recorded Caspian salmon boasts an impressive weight of 112 lb (51 kg). This colossal catch occurred in the Kura River, Azerbaijan. This certainly left anglers in awe of its sheer size and power.

Years ago I remember reading tales about the existence of large brown trout dwelling in the depths of the Soviet Union. Intrigued by these accounts, extensive research led to the revelation—the fabled giants were, in fact, the Caspian brown trout. These extraordinary trout shattered records with their immense proportions.

However, in 1967, a reclassification took place. Previously considered a subspecies of the brown trout, scientifically known as Salmo trutta ciscaucasicus, further research revealed closer genetic ties to the Atlantic salmon, leading to its reclassification as Salmo ciscaucasicus, a distinct species within the Salmonidae family.


In conclusion, the world of trout still holds a lot of mystery’s and there are still larger trout out there waiting to be caught. No record is safe.

I acknowledge that my research has only scratched the surface, and I am aware that relevant information regarding large trout may be concealed in foreign languages. Please feel free to share any relevant information in the comments below.

6 thoughts on “The World’s Largest Trout: Surpassing Even the IGFA Record”

    • Weakfish belong to the drum family of fish (Sciaenidae) so a warm water group. While trout/salmon/char are part of the Salmonidae family.

      So while some people call weakfish seatrout or grey trout, they are technically a drum or croaker.

  1. Here’s some additional info on Marble – the biggest marbles were caught in the Neretva river in Bosnia and Herzegovina, many above 20kg. In angling society in town of Konjic there is still trophy on the wall, a stuffed marble that was 24,5 kg.

    • The heaviest authenticated Taimen I know about weighed 123 lb (55.8 kg) and was caught in a commercial net. There are ‘legends’ of much larger ones over 200lb, but I am not aware of any evidence to back it up.
      So the heaviest one is just slightly smaller than the heaviest Chinook salmon.

      Despite being a Salmonidae they are quite distantly related from the other trout/salmon in the family.


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