Trophy Catfish World Records

#1 Laulau (Piraiba) - 341 lbs, 11 ounces - Rio Solimoes, Brazil

The Laulau otherwise known as the Pirabia is one of the largest trophy catfish species within the IGFA record Books. While the largest recorded Piraiba was 341 lbs, 11 ounces, the species itself has been known to reach all the way up to the 440 lbs range. This species is most popularly found in South America throughout the Amazon and Orinoco River basins. Regarded as a 'man eater', the Piraiba prefer freshwater and prey primarily on live fish although they have been known to eat other mammals like monkeys as well.

Anglers will have better luck finding one of these whiskered beasts on the bottom of a freshwater river with either live or dead fish bait then anywhere else. Piraiba are becoming increasingly popular to fish due to the commercialization of their high quality flesh.

#2 Giant Mekong Catfish - 260 lbs - Krabi, Thailand

The critically endangered Giant Mekong Catfish is one of the world's biggest species of freshwater fish. No longer is the Giant Mekong Catfish prevalent throughout Asia's Mekong basin, but it has since been introduced to Bangladesh, China, and other private locations within the continent of Asia. Unlike the Paraiba species of catfish, the Giant Mekong are strictly vegetarian and feed primarily on algae and detritus. An impressive fact regarding the Giant Mekong Catfish is that the species can grow at an extremely rapid rate reaching over 400 lbs in under 6 years.

Popular baits utilized to catching Giant Mekong Catfish include bread, or paste made from corn or rice husk. Typically fished along the bottom, the Giant Mekong Catfish is known to put up a sizable fight once hooked that will even test the heaviest of tackles.

#3 Goonch - 165 lbs, 5 ounces - Ramganga River, India

Within the swift moving rivers of central Asia's Mekong, Ganges, and Chao Phraya basins one can find the mysterious Goonch catfish species. Best known for its enlarged mouth and oversized body, the Goonch is a rather aesthetically intimidating catfish species. It primarily feeds on shrimp, fish, frogs, and insects; but like its counterparts will eat almost anything. The Goonch has an extremely powerful body as it constantly battles the strong Asia river currents and attracts any angler who adores a rod bending challenge.

Anglers are encouraged to fish with either live or dead weighted bait that will hold against the swift moving rivers. The Gnooch species is a relatively new kind of catch within the sport fishing world so its exact details and fishing tips are still to be determined.

#4 Blue Catfish - 143 lbs - Kerr Lake, Virginia

The heavyweight Blue is North America's largest species of catfish. It is a common favorite for countless freshwater anglers looking for a challengeable catch to test their tackle and skill. Native to Mississippi, Ohio, and Missouri, Blue Catfish are beginning to extend into South Dakota, Mexico, and Guatemala. The Blue species are often found in the deep areas of larger lakes and rivers with swift currents as prey will pass by frequently.

Blue Catfish primarily feed on live or dead crawfish, herring, bream, bluegill, chick livers, blood worms, and stink bait. Anglers who target Blues typically bait them on the bottom and are prepared to put up a sizeable fight against these whiskered warriors. Their quality meat, strong fights, and large than life size make them an ideal freshwater trophy game fish.

#5 Flathead Catfish - 123 lbs - Independence, Kansas

The Flathead is North America's second largest species of catfish. Commonly found throughout the US and Northern Mexico, the Flathead catfish is an extremely popular freshwater game fish. Found mostly in debris laden areas of small to large rivers, Flathead catfish have a very distinctive aesthetic features the include oval shaped eyes, a lower protruding jaw, and lastly a flat head. This catfish species primarily feeds on smaller live fish and seldomly insects as well.

Anglers popularly fish for Flatheads because of their large size and tasty flesh. Flatheads are typically targeted on the bottom of slow moving river pools where much debris has gathered. Anglers find Flatheads to be extraordinarily hard to catch as they are powerful and oftentimes utilize submerged logged and debris to escape a line.

#6 Redtail Catfish (Pirarara) - 123 lbs, 7 ounces - Amazonas, Brazil

The Redtail Catfish otherwise known as Pirarara is sought after by many anglers because it is commonly considered to put up the best catch fight. This species is easily recognizable due to ist brown, black, orange, and yellow coloring with dorsal as well as caudal fins. Not native to the US, Redtail Catfish have been distributed throughout several large streams and rivers from its origins within the Amazon and Orinoco basins of South America.

As omnivores, the Redtail Catfish primarily feeds on fruits, crustaceans, aquatic vertebrates, and fish. However, Redtail Catfish will take to a variety of baits - natural as well as artificial. Fisherman favor Redtail Catfish because of their strong fighting ability in deeper water.

#7 Spotted Sorubim - 117 lbs, 15 ounces - Corrientes, Argentina

A beautifully colored game fish, the Spotted Sorubim is covered in a random pattern of black spots and splotches. The Spotted Sorubim is sometimes confused with the Tiger Sorubim because of their similar spotted aesthetic. Native to South America's Amazon Basin, the Spotted Sorubim is commonly found in floodplains, channels, and large rainforest streams in both still and running water.

Known to retreat in vegetated areas, anglers are required to utilize heavy tackle when targeting Spotted Sorubim. Unlike their fellow catfish species, Spotted Sorubim are a pickier breed of catfish that prefer natural baits. Anglers tend to fish for Spotted Sorubim at nighttime which has proven to be highly productive. Adding a Spotted Sorubim onto your game fish resume is highly impressive as this beautiful catfish species is quite hard to catch.

#8 Sharptooth Catfish - 79 lbs, 5 ounces - Upington, South Africa

As Africa's most widely distributed catfish species, the Sharptooth is commonly found throughout the Afro-tropical woodland-savanna zones. Presently, the Sharptooth Catfish is also found within Asia, Europe, and the Middle East as they prefer floodplains and slow-moving rivers. The Sharptooth Catfish has proven to survive in almost any aquatic habitat as it has been equipped with a unique breathing organ that allows it to breathe air. At low water levels the Sharptooth Catfish is able to burrow in mud and seemly crawl overland in search of damper conditions. Unlike any other catfish species, the Sharptooth exhibits extreme natures which includes hunting in packs on either the bottom or top of the waters columns and its diets consists of just about anything.

Sharptooth Catfish will eat birds, frogs, fish, reptiles, mammals, shrimp, crabs, snails, insects, seeds, fruit, and even plankton if necessary. Anglers utilize live as well as dead bait while cruising the waters bottom as this rugged species is known to take either natural or artificial lures. Its long dorsal fin and compressed body makes the Sharptooth Catfish a formidable adversary once hooked.

#9 Channel Catfish - 58 lbs - Santee Cooper Reservoir, South Carolina

The Channel Catfish is widely valued in both sporting and cuisine. As one of North America's most popular Catfish species, the Channel Catfish can be found commonly throughout the US, Northern Mexico, and Southern Canada. Uniquely, the Channel Catfish breeds in many colors including gray, blue and white.

Channel Catfish primarily feed on live or dead fish, crustaceans, and insects. Anglers typically target Channel Catfish in the lower water column with natural as well as artificial sink baits. Once hooked, Channel Catfish are known to put up one heck of a fight.