Five of the Biggest Fish Caught off the East Coast

An experienced angler might catch hundreds or even thousands of fish throughout their lifetime, but the biggest catch always sticks out as the most memorable. Anyone who has had the privilege of wrestling a monstrous tuna or tenacious redfish onto their boat appreciates the thrill and fight that goes along with it. Luckily, you don’t have to travel to an exotic jungle to find giant fish. These five record-setting catches will reignite your passion for the sea, and all of them were caught off the East Coast.

Blue Catfish

An interesting fact about the blue catfish is that their size is directly proportional to their age, so the oldest ones are also the largest. You can identify a blue catfish by its wide head, lack of scales, and hump in the center of its back that earned it the nickname, “humpback blue.” Joel Lineberger set the record with his 85 lb. catfish caught in Lake Norman, North Carolina.

Smallmouth Buffalo Fish

Found everywhere from Lake Eerie to the Gulf of Mexico, the smallmouth buffalo fish is characterized by its arched back, olive-bronze color, and a mouth that’s as tiny as the name implies. In Lake Wiley, North Carolina, a smallmouth buffalo weighing in at 84 lbs. was caught by Tony Crawford. Regardless of it’s unconventional looks, smallmouth buffalo fish are considered excellent for eating and are commonly known to put up a solid fight.


In 1972, James Hussey caught a 31 lb., 47 in. bluefish off the coast of North Carolina setting the current world record. Much like its counter-part the redfish, bluefish are extremely popular among anglers because they’re known to put up a fight and make excellent meals. Depending on your area and crew, bluefish might be known by many different names, including snapper, rock salmon, choppers, and elves.


Known as one of the most prevalent and aggressive fish that is valued by anglers, redfish have become so known for their aggression that their females have earned the nickname “bull reds”. Off the coast of Avon, North Carolina, David Deuel caught a 94 lb. redfish in 1984, and although redfish are among the most commonly caught fish on the east coast, the world record from over 30 years ago still stands today. Redfish are most easily identified by the spot on their tail, white bellies, and a silvery-red back. You can find out more on the fighting redfish, also known as red drum or channel bass, at the Division of Marine Fisheries.                 

Bluefin Tuna

Due to the Bluefin tuna’s ability to devour a wide-variety of foods, it grows to massive sizes and is highly valued throughout the world. For example, Bluefin tuna that weigh over 500 lbs. have been known to fetch sums of over $700,000 in Japan. Just earlier this year, the biggest Bluefin tuna in North Carolina history was caught, weighing in at an astonishing 1005 lbs. and measuring just over 10 feet long. The local Fox affiliate described the anglers’ experience, stating that it took them over 3 hours to finally reel in the beast near Camp Lookout.

Mojo Sportswear Redfish Series

If you find yourself in a fight with a monstrous fish, you’ll want clothes that fit right, feel good, and improve your performance. Mojo Sportswear has a series of apparel named after one of the most tenacious beasts of the sea, the fighting redfish. The Redfish Series includes a visor, faceguard, board shorts, and vented shirt that provides UPF-50 sun protection, in addition to keeping you dry and looking good. Check out the Redfish Series and other similar collections, like the Marlin Series, from Mojo today.