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Casting Lines and Breaking Records: Virginia’s Fishing Legends

Fishermen in Virginia are no strangers to record-breaking catches. Whether it’s in freshwater or saltwater, there have been some incredible feats accomplished by anglers in the great state of Virginia.

In this article, we will explore the freshwater and saltwater records, highlighting some of the most notable catches and the individuals who accomplished them.

Freshwater Records

1. Muskie

– The muskie, a prized freshwater gamefish, holds a record in Virginia’s freshwater bodies.

– In 2003, Shannon Hill caught a massive muskie weighing 45 pounds, 8 ounces, setting the record. – This record-breaking catch occurred in the picturesque Shannon Hill area, a known hotspot for muskie enthusiasts.

2. Common Carp

– Another record in Virginia’s freshwater scene is held by the common carp.

– In 2009, a common carp weighing a whopping 69 pounds, 2 ounces was reeled in at Lake Prince. – This impressive catch by an unknown angler astounded the fishing community and holds the current record for common carp in Virginia.

3. Striped Bass

– Striped bass, also known as rockfish, are a popular target for anglers in Virginia’s freshwater rivers.

– The record for striped bass was set in 2011 by James B. Davis, who caught a fish weighing 73 pounds, 4 ounces.

– Davis’ monumental catch occurred in Virginia’s waters, showcasing the abundance and size of these fish in the area. 4.

Flathead Catfish

– Lake Smith holds the record for flathead catfish, thanks to an impressive catch by an unknown angler. – This monster catfish weighed an astonishing 66 pounds, setting the record for the largest caught in Virginia’s freshwater bodies.

5. Blue Catfish

– The record for blue catfish in Virginia was set by Richard “Nick” Anderson in 2011.

– Anderson reeled in a behemoth blue catfish weighing 143 pounds, showcasing the potential for massive catches in Virginia’s freshwater rivers.

Saltwater Records

1. Dusky Shark

– Virginia’s saltwater records also boast some impressive catches, starting with the dusky shark.

– At the southeast lumps, an angler caught a dusky shark weighing 464 pounds, setting an incredible record for Virginia’s saltwater scene. 2.

Bluefin Tuna

– Jake Hiles, an experienced angler, shattered the record for bluefin tuna in Virginia’s saltwater. – Hiles’ catch in 2015 weighed a staggering 708 pounds, solidifying his place in fishing history.

3. Mako Shark

– Geoffrey H.

Newbill etched his name in Virginia’s saltwater record books with his impressive mako shark catch. – Weighing 1,025 pounds, this mako shark remains the largest ever caught in Virginia’s saltwater.

4. Blue Marlin

– Edward Alan Givens set the record for blue marlin in Virginia’s saltwater in 2013.

– Givens hauled in an astonishing blue marlin weighing 1,093.5 pounds, a testament to the diversity and abundance of marine life off Virginia’s coast. 5.

Tiger Shark

– John W. Thurston Jr. holds the record for tiger shark in Virginia’s waters.

– His catch in 1997 weighed a massive 528 pounds, showcasing the challenge and excitement of landing such powerful predators.


From freshwater to saltwater, Virginia is a haven for anglers seeking record-breaking catches. These records not only highlight the diversity and abundance of fish in Virginia’s waters but also showcase the skill and determination of the individuals who accomplished these impressive feats.

Whether it’s reeling in monster catfish or battling with massive sharks, Virginia offers unparalleled opportunities for those willing to cast their lines, making it a prime destination for avid fishermen. Virginia is a fishing paradise, offering both freshwater and saltwater opportunities for anglers to reel in record-breaking catches.

From muskie to blue marlin, the state’s waters have witnessed astonishing feats by skilled fishermen. Notable catches include a 143-pound blue catfish and a 1,093.5-pound blue marlin.

These records not only showcase the abundance and diversity of fish in Virginia but also demonstrate the determination and skill of the anglers who achieved them. Virginia’s rich fishing heritage continues to attract enthusiasts who seek to test their skills and experience the thrill of breaking records.

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