State Records for Northern Pike: A State by State Guide

Few freshwater fish have earned the reputation of the northern pike. If you’re here, you’re probably among the many anglers who know the awesome benefits that even a moderate sized northern pike can give you.

So what constitutes a big fish from state to state?

Read on to learn about every northern pike state record. Which states have world class pike? Which make due with low middle size?

Read on to get all the information you need on state records for the amazing northern pike.

And occasionally a little bit more information, too.

Montana northern pike record
The long-standing Montana pike record.

State by State Northern Pike Records

You wanted all the information on state records for northern pike in one place, well here you go!

Detailed information on each and every one!

pike habitat map United States
Modern Northern Pike habitat map USA – courtesy of the USGS.

Alabama Northern Pike State Record

There isn’t one. The northern pike is not native to Alabama, and the state is a bit too warm to consistently stock private ponds with these fish.

However, the state records of the northern pike’s Esox cousins in the state are:

  • 19.8 muskie at the Wilson Dam Tailwater in 1972 by Steve Leatherwood
  • 6.6 chain pickerel by Michael P. Ryan at the Dyas Creek in 1976

Alaska Northern Pike State Record

The current Alaska state record for northern pike is a whopping 38 lbs 8 oz caught by Jack Wagner from the Innoko River in 1991. Meaning the state record has held for over three decades!

This record is confirmed by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game.

The Catch & Release state record length, as certified by the ADFG program, is 40 inches in length.

Those are some impressively HUGE northern pike!

The largest pike ever caught in Alaska are going to be competing for some of the largest ever caught in North America, or by test line, even the world.

No one should be surprised that the largest state record for northern pike in the United States comes from Alaska, an environment where the fish thrive…even in waters they aren’t native but were introduced to.

Arizona Northern Pike State Record

Arizona generally isn’t a state most anglers think of as a pike fishing state. But if you leave the desert for the mountain lakes in the north, there is some quality fishing that will prove you wrong.

The current Arizona state record for northern pike is 49 inches long and tipped scales at 32 lbs, 5.6 oz and was caught in Ashurt Lake by Ronald Needs in 2004.

This record is confirmed by the AZGFD.

Which is quite recent compared to when many of the state pike fishing records on this list were set.

Arkansas Northern Pike State Record

The state record for northern pike in Arkansas is 16.1 lbs and was caught in DeGray Lake in 1973 by Dick Cooley.

This is a nearly 50 year old state record that isn’t likely to be challenged any time soon considering pike live longer (and thus get bigger) in colder waters.

Most of Arkansas is going to struggle in that respect.

You can check out other Arkansas state records for fishing at this page on the Arkansas Game & Fish Commission.

California Northern Pike State Record

There is no state record for northern pike in the state of California. They are not native to the state and are classified as a devastating invasive species that have the capacity to trash the fishing ecosystems in the state if left unchecked.

There’s a good page on pike by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.

If you do catch one in the state, the good news is you’re ordered to kill it right away so remove the head and make yourself some fillets. Then contact the CDFW within 24 hours so they can take action.

Colorado Northern Pike State Record

The largest northern pike ever caught in Colorado is a 46.5 inch monster weighing in at 30 lbs, 11 oz. In almost certainly the coolest combination of angler name and location ever, this hard fighting pike was caught in Stagecoach Reservoir by Tim Bone.

Yeah, that was a pretty awesome sentence to type.

It is worth noting that Colorado also has a state record northern pike as measured by length instead of weight.

In this case the record northern pike in Colorado by length is 48 inches long caught by Dennis Bruce in Navajo Lake.

There is some serious pike fishing going on in Colorado, as this article by the Craig Daily Press proves.

Connecticut Northern Pike State Record

Connecticut’s state record for pike might be bigger than you’d expect…but there’s some good pike fishing in this small state. It’s still very active, too…considering the state record was tied in 2020!

That definitely makes it the most recent new record pike as of when this article was originally written.

The state record for pike in Connecticut state is an impressive 29 lbs even in weight. This record was set by Joseph Nett in 1980 and that pike came out of Lake Lillinonah.

Then in 2020 Jenny Slater tied this record by catching a 46-inch long pike that weighed in at exactly 29 pounds at a certified scale (full story HERE).

Both of these catches are recognized as state records and are both listed on the website of the state’s Department of Energy and Environmental Protection.

Delaware Northern Pike State Record

Delaware has no state record for northern pike as pike is not a native freshwater fish species to the area.

However two members of the Esox family are in the Delaware state fishing records:

  • Chain Pickerel – 7 lbs. 3 oz
  • Muskie – 20 lbs. 8 oz

Florida Northern Pike State Record

Florida is not home to the northern pike, so there is no Florida state record for pike.

However, many of the biggest chain pickerel, the smaller cousin to the pike that can often be mistaken for a northern at first glance, hail out of Florida. There is some controversy around Florida’s chain pickerel record, so both are listed with only one known as confirmed (though ironically the fish caught 30 years apart come from the same lake).

  • 8.0 lbs Chain Pickerel from 1971 (this is the record in dispute) caught by Jimmy James
  • 6.96 lbs chain pickerel from 2004 by Jep Love is confirmed

But sadly, no northern pike fishing for the state that has just about everything else an angler could ask for.

Georgia Northern Pike State Record

Georgia is a southern state that has a respectable northern pike record. Northern pike were introduced into Lake Rabun, which is where pretty much all northern pike in the state will be caught.

The record pike weighed 19 lbs 2 oz in Georgia was caught by Keith Gragg in 1982.

Most pike-like fish outside of Lake Rabun will be the similar looking chain pickerel (check out our pickerel vs. pike article to see just how much they look alike and how to tell them apart).

There are questions whether there’s a healthy pike population left in Lake Rabun or not at this point. If there’s not, that state record is going to stand the test of time.

Hawaii Northern Pike State Record

Come on man, really? Obviously there’s no state record for northern pike in the state of Hawaii.

Idaho Northern Pike State Record

In 2010 lucky and talented angler Kim Fleming set the new state record for biggest northern pike for the state of Idaho. Her giant pike, setting the new Idaho state record, tipped the scales at 40.13 lbs.

Now that’s a northern pike!

That is the record northern pike that is fully recognized and certified by the Idaho Department of Fish and Game.

The catch and release northern pike record for the state of Idaho is 46 inches.

Illinois Northern Pike State Record

Illinois’s state record for northern pike was caught in 1989 by Walter Klenzack and weighed 26 lbs 15 oz, absolutely shattering the previous state record by over 4 lbs.

In fact, this resulted in a lake being renamed, the sad but sweet tale appearing here.

This over 40 year record isn’t likely to fall any time soon. Especially considering how much bigger this Illinois pike was. Many times state records fall by an ounce or two.

To change by over 4 lbs (64+ ounces): that’s just incredible.

Indiana Northern Pike State Record

The state of Indiana definitely holds its own when it comes to big pike. The biggest northern pike caught in Indiana weighed 30 lbs 2 oz. This state record fish was caught by Jack Barnes in 1992.

All of this information is available from the Indiana DNR.

Iowa Northern Pike State Record

Iowa’s northern pike record is a long standing one that is older than many of the visitors to this website! In February 1977 on a cold day out on the waters of West Okaboji Lake, Allen Forsberg brought in a monster.

The 25 lb 5 ounce northern pike remains the Iowa state record to this day.

While this may seem a safe record based on how long it’s stood, the record Muskie in Iowa is over 50 lbs and was caught in 2000, so there’s still hope for breaking this one for western Iowa anglers!

Iowa state fishing records (DNR)

Kansas Northern Pike State Record

Well Wildcat fans at least have this one over Jayhawk fans. The state record for northern pike was caught by Mr. & Mrs. H.A. Bowman of Manhattan Kansas at the Council Grove Reservoir.

This record setting pike weighed in at 24 lbs, 12 oz. This record has stood since 1971 making it one of the oldest state pike records on this list.

Kentucky Northern Pike State Record

Yes, Kentucky does have a state record for northern pike that is recognized by the Kentucky Department of Fish & Wildlife.

The biggest pike caught in Kentucky weighs 10.53 lbs and was caught by Derek Cowden Corbin out of Laurel River Lake in late 2006.

Louisiana Northern Pike State Record

While Cajun Country has wonderful food and people, the hot and humid climate is not great for fish described as “northern.”

There are no northern pike in the state of Louisiana and therefore no Louisiana state record for biggest northern pike.

Maine Northern Pike State Record

The biggest northern pike caught in Maine weighs 31.2 lbs and was caught by Lance Bolduc in 1998 out of North Pond. Over 20 years later this great northern fish remains a state record!

This is almost the biggest freshwater fish ever caught in Maine, but it loses out to the state record for lake trout by a couple ounces and their bigger cousin the Muskie by 2 lbs.

This is the record fish that is recognized by the Maine government.

Maryland Northern Pike State Record

The Maryland record for largest northern pike is 24 lbs, 12 oz and was caught by Shawn Jacobson in 1999. This fish was pulled out of Deep Creek Lake and measured out to 46 inches in length.

That’s a very nice pike!

DNR Maryland

Massachusetts Northern Pike State Record

The biggest pike ever caught in Massachusetts was what my Grandpa would refer to as “A Big ‘Un.” Caught in 1988 by Don Greenwood, Jr. the Mass. state record for northern pike is 35 lbs even.

That’s a big pike by anybody’s standards!


Michigan Northern Pike State Record

Whelp the most controversial listing is here. Couldn’t avoid it forever. Why is the Michigan record northern pike controversial? It’s not because of accusations of faking it, fraud, or messed up scales. It’s because the method of how it was caught.

The biggest northern pike ever caught in Michigan was caught by spear fishing – not by fishing rod.

Because of that many states would not include it in the record books, but there’s no such separation in Michigan.

So the biggest northern pike caught in Michigan is 39 lbs and was caught spear fishing in Dodge Lake in 1961.

Source: Michigan DNR

So what’s the largest northern pike caught by traditional rod and reel fishing? There’s no clear answer on that. I’m still contacting more individuals with the Michigan DNR, but since the state records don’t care about method, the spear fishing northern pike record IS the official state record.

So 39 lbs is the largest northern pike ever caught in Michigan.

Minnesota Northern Pike State Record

Minnesota is a state you would expect to have really seriously good pike fishing, and the state does not disappoint.

The official state record northern pike for Minnesota weighs in at 45 lbs. and 12 ounces at Basswood Lake and was set all the way back in 1929. That makes this state fishing record nearly a century old!

2018 was a great year for Minnesota catch and release pike fishing records, as well, as at least three different 45 inch northern pike were caught.

Minnesota State Fishing Records by Weight

Minnesota State Fishing Records Catch & Release (by length)

Mississippi Northern Pike State Record

There is no state record for pike fishing in the state of Mississippi.

Missouri Northern Pike State Record

The biggest northern pike caught in Missouri weighs in at 18 lbs 9 oz. This was caught by Gene Moore in Stockton Lake all the way back in 1975.

Not a bad sized pike for this Midwestern state, which oddly, was also the unlikely location of an extremely rare instance of a muskie attacking a human.

Source: Missouri Department of Conservation

Montana Northern Pike State Record

Montana’s state record is one that puts pressure on those scales for sure. The Montana state record for northern pike sits at 37.5 lbs and was caught in 1972 in the Tongue River Reservoir by Lance Moyer.

That’s a big northern pike and the record has held up in a good pike fishing state for a very long time.

Source: Montana Fish, Wildlife, & Parks

Nebraska Northern Pike State Record

The state record for Nebraska is a very respectable 30 lbs, 1 oz in size. This big pike measured 47 inches in length and was caught by Steven Morris in 1997.

It’s worth noting a bigger pike might be out there. As the Lincoln Journal Star reports, the 45 inch long pike was almost as long as the state record and looked like it had a bigger girth – but it was released so as not to harm the fish.

So this not only proves ice fishing for pike really works – but a pike big enough to break the current Nebraska state record is out there!

Source: Nebraska Game and Parks

Nevada Northern Pike State Record

Pike are an invasive species in the state of Nevada. There is no state record for pike, and any caught should be immediately killed and reported to the state’s Department of Wildlife.

New Hampshire Northern Pike State Record

The largest pike ever caught in New Hampshire weighed in at 26 lbs 9oz. This state record was caught by Kevin Phelps at the Moore Reservoir in 2013.

Source: New Hampshire Fish & Game

New Jersey Northern Pike State Record

Some people might be really surprised to learn that New Jersey has a very impressive sized northern pike as a state record.

The New Jersey state record for northern pike is 30 lbs 8 oz and was caught by John Viglione in 2009.

Source: NJ Department of Environment Protection – Division of Fish & Wildlife

New Jersey state northern pike record

New Mexico Northern Pike State Record

The state of New Mexico has an interesting relationship with pike. There are some approved stocked lakes, areas where they population is contained and pike can thrive without destroying the local ecosystem.

In most of the rest of the state, pike would be invasive and when they’re found it sets off alarm bells.

Details of pike habitation aside, the state record is a good one.

The New Mexico state record for northern pike is 36 lbs and was caught by Samuel Roy.

Though oddly there seem to be two different dates bounding around online but it was either caught in November of 1974 or March 1978.

Source: New Mexico State Parks

New York Northern Pike State Record

Good luck beating New York’s state record, because it’s also the biggest northern pike that has even been caught in North America! This is the legendary “Dubuc Pike” that was caught in 1940 and has stood for over 80 years as the biggest pike taken out of North American waters.

The state record pike for New York is the 46 lb, 2 oz monster northern caught by Peter Dubuc on September 14th, 1940 which remains the North American pike record to this day.

Great story on the record pike

North America Northern Pike Record Plaque

Source: New York State Department of Environmental Conservation

North Carolina Northern Pike State Record

Yes, North Carolina has a record sized northern pike. Although modest by the standards of some of the fish on here, anyone who has ever been hit by a 5 lb pike on an ultralight rod knows it’s still a jolly good fight.

The biggest pike ever caught in North Carolina weighed 11 lbs, 13 oz in Lake James by Keith Giliam all the way back in 1978.

Source: North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission

North Dakota Northern Pike State Record

Northern pike fishing and North Dakota are a match made in heaven. There are two state records for northern pike worth mentioning here. This is because there’s the official state record, and the catch and release record from 2016 that would almost certainly break the current official record if weighed.

As it stands the official state record for northern pike in North Dakota is 37 lbs 8 oz and was caught by Keith Giliam out of Lake Sakakawea in 1968.

That is a long-standing record, but as the next section shows, it might be beatable.

Catch and release northern pike state record: 51.5 inches

Interestingly, the catch and release record is almost certainly heavier than this long standing state fishing record. In 2016 angler Nathan Lafleur released a 51.5 inch monster he caught while fly fishing Devil’s Lake. This fish was longer than the 1968 record and considering how thick it was, it almost certainly weighed more.

In other words, a record setting northern pike is absolutely in Devil’s Lake, North Dakota.

Source: North Dakota State Government

Ohio Northern Pike State Record

Ohio northern pike fishing is extremely active in Ohio with plenty of good sized pike being caught in the 2010s, including the total state record.

The current Ohio state record for northern pike is 22.78 lbs and was caught in McKarns Lake, Ohio by Troy Klingler. This broke the previous record of 22.38 lbs that stood since 1988.

Source: Outdoor Writers of Ohio Record Fish Committee

Oklahoma Northern Pike State Record

This one might surprise some of the non-Okies out there considering state record pike north of Oklahoma like Kansas and Missouri have smaller pike records, but the one from the Sooner state is a head scratcher.

It also might be the state pike fishing record that is the most likely to never be broken, but we’ll get to that story in a moment.

The Oklahoma state record for northern pike is 36 lbs, 8 oz. The fish was caught by Raymond Fernandez in 1976 in Lake Carl Etling and many believe it to be one of the most likely state fishing records to never be broken.

How did Oklahoma get such a huge world record pike? Long and short of it is that in 1966 the Wildlife Department introduced pike to a local area of lakes. Half of locals loved them, half hated them, and the half that hated them were much louder and more politically active.

So the northern pike breeding and stocking program ended. A few of the largest pike were put into isolated Lake Carl Etling to live out their days. That stocking is what led to the massive northern pike being caught in 1976.

Oklahoma is a state that no longer stocks pike, meaning this is a state record for a fish that basically doesn’t exist in the state anymore.

A great interesting article on this was featured in The Oklahoman in 1998. Check it out when you’re done with this article – it’s worth the read!

Source: Oklahoma Fish E Regulation

Oregon Northern Pike State Record

Oregon is a state where northern pike are an invasive and prohibited species. So there is no state record for northern pike in Oregon.

Pennsylvania Northern Pike State Record

There are very limited areas where a pike angler can find these fish in the state of Pennsylvania. In fact, they are only found in Lake Erie, Allegheny River watersheds, and Ohio River watersheds.

These areas have some big pike.

The Pennsylvania state record for northern pike weighed 35 lbs and was caught by Carl Stoltz in 2003 in the Allegheny Reservoir.

Source: Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission

Rhode Island Northern Pike State Record

Although not native to Rhode Island, these popular freshwater fish have been stocked in ponds and lakes in the area and are available to anglers. And some pike have grown quite well in this scenario.

The largest northern pike in Rhode Island history weighs in at 35 lbs by D. LaRose in 1987. This is the Rhode Island state record for pike.

Source: Rhode Island Fish & Wildlife Sportfish Records

South Carolina Northern Pike State Record

There are no northern pike in the state of South Carolina, therefore there is no South Carolina state pike records. Although there is a pretty decent record for muskie at 22 lbs 8 oz.

South Dakota Northern Pike State Record

South Dakota is another upper Midwestern state where pike can grow big and give anglers plenty of excitement while out on the water.

Jeff Case caught the largest northern pike in South Dakota state history at 36 pounds and 3 ounces. The fish was caught at Lake Oahe in 1993.

Source: Southeastern Outdoors

Tennessee Northern Pike State Record

The state record for largest northern pike caught in Tennessee is 24 lbs 8 oz. This large pike was caught at the South Holston Reservoir by Frank Childers in 1995.

This state pike record for Tennessee is supported by the TWRA.

Source: Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency

Texas Northern Pike State Record

While the northern pike is not native to Texas, it has been stocked in various local lakes for many decades. Turns out many Texan anglers liked pike fishing more than the Okies 🙂

The state record for northern pike weighs 18.28 lbs and was caught in Lady Bird Lake by Mike Sharp in 1981.

Source: Texas Parks & Wildlife

Utah Northern Pike State Record

Pike aren’t native to Utah, but there are some mountain reservoirs where they have been stocked and do well, the most famous being Lake Powell, Redmond Lake, and Yuba Reservoir.

Yuba Reservoir is home to the Utah state northern pike record which weighs in at 26 lbs 1 oz and was caught by Vlad Zoranovic in 2013.

Source: Utah Division of Wildlife Services

Vermont Northern Pike State Record

To no one’s surprised a nature loving northeastern state with plenty of good fishing areas has a very solid sized northern pike as the state record.

In 1977 Bernard M. Golob caught a 30 lb 8 oz northern pike that remains the Vermont state record to this day.

Source: Fishing Northeast

Virginia Northern Pike State Record

Virginia has a very respectable record when it comes to producing big northern pike.

The Virginia northern pike state record is 31 lbs 4 oz and was caught by George Wood at the Motts Run Reservoir in 1994.

That is one big pike, especially from a Southern state!

Source: Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources

Virginia state pike record

Washington Northern Pike State Record

Many are surprised to learn that Washington state isn’t home to northern pike. Pike are considered an invasive and prohibited species in the state and so there is no state record for pike in Washington.

West Virginia Northern Pike State Record

The Mountaineer state is indeed home to some good-sized pike. The biggest pike in West Virginia came from Dog Run Lake.

Boyd O. Pratt Sr reeled in a 22.06 lb northern pike in 1989 to take the new title of state record for West Virginia.

Source: West Virginia Sportsman

Wisconsin Northern Pike State Record

Wisconsin is known for some seriously good fishing (had my first experience with Figure 8-ing a Musky there) and a surprisingly long standing state record for northern pike.

The state record for a northern pike in Wisconsin is a hefty 38 lbs 0 oz caught by J.A. Rahn at Lake Puckaway all the way back in 1952.

This is the state record although the catch and release state pike record was set off of Green Bay in 2019 and measured in at 46.25 inches.

Source: Wisconsin DNR

Wyoming Northern Pike State Record

Wyoming is known for its wide open spaces are sparse population, but maybe decent fishing should be added to that short list?

The Wyoming northern pike state record is 27 lbs 4 oz and was caught by Robert K. Hockett at the Keyhole Reservoir in fall of 2004.

That’s a solid catch!

Source: Wyoming Game and Fish Department

Largest Northern Pike by State Record

Important Note: Most states use the lbs, oz measurement. However a few states record records in the XX.XX lbs. In these cases we’ve done our best when there’s no record of ounces to convert it to the nearest ounce. Nowhere in these rankings should that affect placement.

  1. New York 46 lb 2 oz
  2. Minnesota 45 lb 12 oz
  3. Idaho 40 lb 2 oz
  4. Michigan 39 lb*
  5. Alaska 38 lb 8 oz
  6. Wisconsin 38 lb
  7. (TIE) Montana & North Dakota 37 lb 8 oz
  8. Oklahoma 36 lb 8 oz
  9. South Dakota 36 lb 3 oz
  10. New Mexico 36 lb
  11. (TIE) Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, & Rhode Island 35 lbs
  12. Arizona 32 lb 6 oz
  13. Virginia 31 lb 4 oz
  14. Maine 31 lb 3 oz
  15. Colorado 30 lb 11 oz
  16. (TIE) New Jersey & Vermont 30 lb 8 oz
  17. Indiana 30 lb 2 oz
  18. Nebraska 30 lb 1 oz
  19. Connecticut 29 (twice)
  20. Wyoming 27 lb 7 oz
  21. Illinois 26 lb 15 oz
  22. New Hampshire 26 lb 9 oz
  23. Utah 26 lb 1 oz
  24. Iowa 25 lb 5 oz
  25. (TIE) Kansas & Maryland 24 lb 12 oz
  26. Tennessee 24 lb 8 oz
  27. Ohio 22 lb 12 oz
  28. West Virginia 22 lb.1 oz
  29. Georgia 19 lb 2 oz
  30. Missouri 18 lb 9 oz
  31. Texas 18 lb 4 oz
  32. Arkansas 16 lb 1 oz
  33. North Carolina 11 lb 13 oz
  34. Kentucky 10 lb 8 oz
  35. 11 states tied at 0 with no state northern pike record

*Michigan, unlike most states, does not separate bow fishing or spear fishing from rod and reel. Because of this the largest northern pike in Michigan’s history was caught via spear fishing, not rod and reel!

Northern Pike State Fishing Records FAQ

Q: What is the longest standing state record for northern pike?

A: Minnesota’s state record, which was set in 1929 and is one of the largest ever caught in North America.

Q: What is the most recently caught state record pike?

A: The state record of Connecticut was matched in late 2020. So for at least one avid fisherwoman, 2020 had at least one bright spot.

Q: What state has the smallest record northern pike?

A: As of 2021 that would be Kentucky at 10 lbs, 8 oz.

Q: What states have no official state record for northern pike?

A: There are multiple states in this category. In most of these states the pike would be considered an invasive species.

As of now there are 11 state with no state record for the pike including: Alabama, California, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nevada, Oregon, South Carolina, and Washington.

Q: Are state record pike measured by length or weight?

A: Northern pike are measured by weight. The heaviest pike caught is considered the record even if it is a little shorter than a longer leaner pike that weighs less.

The one exception is catch and release records which are graded on length since the time it takes to find a certified scale would almost certainly kill the fish. So for catch and release northern pike records length matters more than girth.

Q: How do you know the weight of a catch and release northern pike state record?

A: There is no way to be 100% sure without the actual fish being weighed at a certified scale at the time. In most states the point of a catch and release record is to minimize the trauma of the fish which in some cases means the fish doesn’t even leave the water.

So in those cases it’s the length in inches that matter as the fish is returned to water as quickly as possible.

Q: Why doesn’t my state have a record northern pike?

A: In many states there is no state record for a fish that is not native or is invasive. Bringing in a couple of pike to a farm pond and then catching them is very much seen as gaming the system and the spirit of state records for fish.

Because of this many states where the northern pike isn’t native or actively stocked by the state (the way muskie are many states) will never have a state record for pike.

In Conclusion

Look, there are plenty of places you can go to find some good-sized northern pike that are more than happy to give you a fight. Probably more than you initially would have guessed.

Now you have an easy to reference to every single state pike fishing record in the United States. Go hit the water and make some pike fishing history of your own!