What is the largest fish in Lake Michigan?

A while back, we saw a fish that had washed ashore. It was the hugest fish that I had ever seen. It was roughly about 5 feet long and probably around 75-100 lbs. What could it have been? It attracted Turkey Vultures from miles away. Luckily, I got a good look at it before the thousands of scavenger birds got at it.


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Probably a lake trout. But, it may have been a sturgeon.

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prolly a sturgeon.
Lake Sturgeon
Acipenser fulvescens

Length:3 to 5 feet
Weight:10 to 80 pounds
Coloring:olive-brown to grey on back and sides, with white belly
Common Names:freshwater sturgeon, rock sturgeon,bony sturgeon, smoothback
Found in Lakes:Michigan, Huron, Ontario, Erie and Superior
These "living fossils" of fish evolution once ranged widely throughout the Mississippi River, the Great Lakes and the Hudson River. Occasionally, the lake sturgeon's dark form can be discerned in reedy shallows or near river mouths. The glimpse is as rare as it is startling.
In the last century, this large, bony-plated animal, browsing along the bottom, was often regarded as a nuisance because it became entangled in and ripped commercial fishing nets. Only later did the sturgeon become prized for its meat, eggs (caviar) and oil. A gelatin from the inner lining of its air bladder was used to make isinglass--a substance used as a clarifying agent in jellies, glues and in the isinglass windows of carriages and early cars

musky is not that big

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It might have been a muskie. they're pretty big but not that big.

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maybe it was a cousin of nessie.

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His name is Herman.

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Doesn't Rosie Odonnell live in Michigan? I'm inclined to go with her bearded fish.

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well i don't know about 5 feet long or 75lbs but, here are some fish to check out, salmon,carp, muskey,sturgeon and catfish

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There is no way of knowing the answer to this .
The only thing you will know for sure is the largest fish actually caught.

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It probably was a sturgeon.

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Maybe a Lake Sturgeon?

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The Lake Sturgeon#1The Chinook Salmon or Muskie #'s 2-3 KEEP FISHING!!!!!!!!!...

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A sturgeon is a distinct possibility. So too a musky, while the record for hook & line musky is ounces shy of 70 lb.s I am quite sure there are musky in the size range you are talking about.

Pix from the old days before they started keeping gamefishing records have stringers of muskies that are definitely larger than the current hook & line record which would put it in the weight range you note.

I don't think it would be a chinook salmon. Great lake's kings do not get that big IIRC the hook & Line record is about 50 lbs and it seems kings would not be that long, but very fat.

Lake trout can get real big too, but I doubt that is what you spotted. Can you provide a description of the fish's marking & physical makeup?

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My guess is that it is a variety of sturgeon. Sturgeon inhabit many of our rivers and don't even start reproducing until they are quite old. Unfortunately, poachers have hurt the species by going after their eggs and selling them for paltry amounts.

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its a lake sturgeon ,one of the oldest known cretures of this world these anciant bottom feaders have ben known to weigh up to 100 kilos (200 pounds) world wide there are 20 recorded speices

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It was a Lake Sturgeon. They can even get bigger than that, believe it or not. They can grow to over 8 feet in length and weigh up to 800 pounds.

here is a link to a website that has a picture and about the fish:


the michigan record is in 1974 It was 193 lbs. and 87 inches long (7 feet 3 inches)

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ive seen some really big carp? maybe thats what it was did it have big scales and yellowish in color ?

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44 lbs. 15 oz.
Josh Bostedt
Door County - 1994
26 lbs. 2 oz.
Milwaukee County - 1999
27 lbs. 2 oz.
Debbie Morrison
Kewaunee County - 1997
38 lbs. 9 oz.
Lake Michigan - 1991
35 lbs. 1.9 oz.
Lloyd Arndt
Kewaunee County - 1996
10 lbs. 1 oz.
Nick Randazzo
Ozaukee County - 1999
23 lbs. 15 oz.
Jack Remus
Milwaukee County - 1980

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