Great Catches 2018!

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andy's picture
Great Catches 2018!

Let's see all of your favorite catches from the past year.  Add a story about them too!  At the end of the month we will put together some kind of Front Page highlight with everybody's photos so that we can look back and remember all the awesomeness.



BradleyR's picture
My favourite this year was

My favourite this year was actually a relatively mundane one; the American Eel! I spent so much time targeting them that it was rewarding to finally land one. Right near home, and they aren't super common here. It was especially a relief to catch because I had had multiple friends catch them right beside me or even in my boat lol.

RoughFish's picture
Little native from the

Little native from the smokies on tenkara rod.

drawer.bli's picture
2018 didn't see as much fish

2018 didn't see as much fish as I wish it did, but here are a couple highlights. 


Probably my favorite catch from Ecuador to kick off the year; this guy bit a chunk of tetra in a flooded river. 


Sight fishing an orange rudd was also pretty cool, I also caught my lifer atlantic salmon, alewife, and pb brown bullhead here. 


Ocean pout was a great find fishing wrecks on party boats during the summer. 


Lifer black drum from a short stay at SC

Divemaster's picture
2018 Catches

2018 was undoubtedly one of the best years for angling in my life. Second most number of fish I’ve caught in one year and more “quality” fish than ever before. This year was full of awesome catches and it’s tough to narrow down just a few, but here’s some of the ones I’m more proud of.

In order:

-PB Shorthead Redhorse (20-22”) (sight-fished)

-14# Channel Cat (from a lake where 6# is a trophy)

-PB Lake Char (26#) (my heaviest fish ever landed, and my favorite species to boot)

-13-14# Drum (tied for my weight PB)



2019 Species Goals:

Burbot (), Longnose Gar (X), Longear Sunfish (X), any Pickerel (X), 2 new Catostomids (), 5 new micros (X)

maurer416's picture
I had many catches were new

I had many catches were new to me this year. I've decided to include some of the ones that are tough to catch in central Indiana. Both the Goldeye and Black Buffalo were caught on the same dock on the Wabash RIver. The Orangespotted Sunfish was caught in an oxbow area near Cincinnati and was arguably my most shocking catch of the year. 




FP4LifesDad's picture
Menominee Whitefish

My favorite fish catch of 18, not really that notable but we drove 4 hours back to this spot and caught it blind fishing in below zero temps.  Both my sons got their's in the same spot but we were able to sight fish them then in warmer temps, I had hits but no hookups.  This is the only fish I've traveled this far for specifically for myself and I'll most likely never fish them again! LOL

uconn fishhead
uconn fishhead's picture
Pike Cichlid?

I was intrigued by the first fish that 'drawer' only referred to as "this guy".  Looks like some kind of large Pike Cichlid (Crenicichla sp.) to me, but after seeing there are 93 species of Pike Cichlid on FishBase I decided to go a simpler route.

I've had so much luck recently accosting Fish Biologists that I'd found on the Internet.  So I emailed Dr. Kelly Swing from Boston University to see if he knows what the fish is.  He and his staff have an ongoing program where they study South American (including Ecaudor) fish, plants and wildlife.

We'll see if he replies..

uconn fishhead
uconn fishhead's picture
2018 Notable Catches

2018 was a big year for me and my wife (uconn fishmate) catching new species.  Mostly because I joined Roughfish a little over a year ago so my fishing focus changed from specialty (I especially like Striped Bass) to novelty fishing.

I ended up catching 19 completely new species and I recaught 11 species that I didn't have photos for.

I even had 4 species which I had previously misidentified. Joining Roughfish made me look more closely at my collection, so I discovered a few overlooked mistakes.

I still have 25 species on my lifelist that I have to recatch and take photos of.  Some I thought would be easy - for example, I couldn't catch a Blacknose Dace or White Sucker this year for the life of me.

Probably my coolest catch that I won't repeat was during a dark night by in 1985 on Nausett Light Beach, Cape Cod.  My flashlight had gone out and I could hardly see anything. Something really heavy bit and when I finally dragged it up on the beach I had to ID it by feeling it, head to tail.  It was apparently a Barndoor Skate about 4-5 feet across (No other Northeast skate gets that big).  Anyway, now they are listed as endangered.  With warming seas, southern fish like the Southern Stingray are starting to show up here.  I wouldn't want to feel up a stingray in the dark...


I retired in February so we're all set for some trips. My wife and I bought a Tundra and  a popup truck camper last year to go on our safaris.

My rig looks like this

or this...

Only difference is which boat comes along.


So, my most noteworthy catches... This is tough to say because I like all fish, but here's some of them from 2018:



Coho and Chinook Salmon:  Peggy and I caught the fall lake-staging salmon run just right at Lake Ontario.  Once we figured out what they wanted (of course, we discovered this by asking at the bait shop), we started hitting them.  I got this Coho, but only after she let me use her lure with which she had badly outfished me with 3 Chinooks! (no loss of pride, only becaue I'm so used to being outfished by her)

Couple of her Chinooks:

We each got our first Muskie in Maine:

And a couple of small lifer Landlocked Atlantic Salmon in Maine:


COOLEST FISH (but are these 'Roughfish')?

Jaguar Cichlid:  Everglades - always wanted to catch one of these.

Barred Hamlet:  Very cool little fish in part because nobody else on Roughfish has one listed yet.  Caught in the Keys.



Peggy caught this Blueback Herring on a shiner under a bobber.  Hey!  Don't they eat plankton? Could hardly call this a reflex strike - it took the shiner right down. I guess he couldn't pass up a Snickers bar after eating M&M's all his life.



Numachichibu:  Got to micro fish for about an hour during a recent trip to Japan.

Pronounced Noo-mah-chee-chee-boo.  Say that over and over when you feel stressed and you'll probably start feeling a little better...



uconn fishhead
uconn fishhead's picture
He already Replied on the Pike Cichlid - needs more info

This in from Dr. Swing,

     His guess was the same as mine, but all references say that C. saxatilis only gets to be about 8 inches.  He needs to know what drainage etc. it was caught to make a better guess.

From Dr. Kelly Swing,

With those bright irregular speckles, it appears to be Crenicichla saxatilis, and a huge individual, probably 50% larger than any individual I've ever seen. Fish Base lists a maximum size of 20cm. Can you share any other details perhaps? Where specifically was it caught? On hook and line? Fly fishing? What bait? Thanks for sharing, Kelly

Cast_and_Blast's picture
Bull of The Riffle

I had an amazing year with 33 new lifers.  My favorite is probably my Bull Chub.  This fish just had character as if it was Bull of the riffle.

Fishaholicsanonymous89's picture
Jason E.
Jason E.'s picture
In 2018, I had my best year

In 2018, I had my best year of ice fishing ever. Found a spot that had tons of variety, as well as some big fish. A waxworm could catch a white sucker, tiny perch, crappie, or catfish. Pulling in those suckers on 2 lb. line proved to be quite a fun challenge! Dead minnows hauled in a few walleye, a nice northern, and a few decent channel catfish. My wife had a great day out there too, catching both a sucker and a walleye!  This was highly unusual, since I typically suck at ice fishing and consider myself fortunate to catch a small panfish or two on any given trip.

My only other notable catch was this big hogsucker I managed to pull in during the late spring. Not my most flattering picture, to be sure, but this was almost certainly a state record that I carefully released back into the water.

Goldenfishberg's picture
Berg's 2018 Fish Best Of




2018 was wicked! I caught the Black Redhorse that had been alluding my angling skillz for nigh on 4 years, got that sumbitch on a cold blustery November day, the gale winds were blowing and the full cammo regalia I think is was finally did it!


I got my fattest flathead ever 45x30 that thing pooped out an empty bottle of blood pressure pills and some smelly doodoos.


Got my personal best shortnose gar that was feeding in inches of water that I sight fished with a crawler. She was only a hen’s peck shy of the record by a few ounces. Oh well. Better luck next year Mr. Angleman Also .


A longnose sucker I caught a few days before my birthday on my annual motorcycle pilgrimage to Sturgis South Dakota with special guest stars Billy and Uncle Don . We made a shot for the border of Wyoming and found the motherload of longnose but we are still after that MF GD mountain sucker… better luck next year Sir Angleton


An eel I caught while fishing a late night with Greenwood, Moose and Uncle Pat. Insane crazy night two eels got caught in the span of an hour… Pat wanted a sturg so bad and instead caught his own PB Eel. So wild.


My PB (by weight) River Red caught with my esteemed river college Ryan (state of hockey) one a super shallow sandy riffle in secret spot USA.  We hammered the Rivers that day I think we got 6 big ones at two spots within a mile or so of each other. Crazy.


MY PB bowfin I caught TWICE in the same night fishing solo and doing some self timer shots. Using cut bullheads for bait freelined on a 12 foot rod in a shallow swampy backwater of Torquelson’s Granny’s creek. Female bowfins makes my pants shorter, bigly.

Fishin sure is neat! 

Ya just Can't catch um from the couch.

tom's picture
Here are some cool ones. 

Here are some cool ones. 

Here's an eel from a canal running right through the middle of New Orleans. 

Hogsuckers are one of those fish I used to catch all the time when I was a kid, Took me 2 years to find one again once I started keeping a lifelist. Here he is all cool and stuff. 


Mirror carp


River horsies aren't very common near me. Here's a nice one from one o' my go-to spring honey holes on the Wisconsin River. 


This may very well be my fav of 2018. Spotted sucker from the Root River. Pitch black night in the rain. 


Only one sturg over 50" this year. Here she is. 

Outdoors4life's picture
2 photos

I took photos of many others that caught some awesome fish. 
With me there are only 2. Kol and I got several doubles on our pins last year. Tons of fun fishing a new style. 
Double Pin

It is all perspective!

Acer Home Inspections

Casey Shanaberger
Casey Shanaberger's picture
Best Fish

2018 was wild for sure, I added 45 new species (a few), and did more traveling to fish than I ever have.

Sonora Sucker in AZ- sightfished spawning pods of them on a flat, such hard fighters and amazing fish.

Quillback- Early spring, getting pelted by ice in 30 degree weather made my entire month of march, plus he was photogenic.

River Redhorse- Probably my top catch of the year, such a surprise especially when we all thought it was a giant shorthead at first....

Snook in FL!- Might've been guided, but oh well. It was great being able to double up on a fish that both my dad and I have dreamt of catching for years.

Bigmouth Buffalo but Floodwaters- He ate a small bait on 6lb test and ran at least 60 yards downstream of where I hooked him. One of the craziest fights I've had all year.

Personal best hogsucker from the Ozarks- Somehow got my redworm past the hordes of sunfish to catch this beauty, Watched him dig around my worm for 5 painstaking minutes before he finally schlurped it in.


Wild year, yeah! Crazy to think that I had 21 species on my list at the start of 2017. Now I'm at 92........

"I swear if you catch another drum"

Fishaholicsanonymous89's picture
2018 was pretty unbelievable,

2018 was pretty unbelievable, by far the luckiest year of fishing I have ever had. Hopefully all that luck carries over into 2019 :)

As if catching a Lake Whitefish wasn't amazing enough, I catch one this size for my lifer? What?!?

Big Looper caught after casting a spoon one million times in freezing temperatures.

After Moose439 dropped his walkie talkie into the lake I spoke into mine and talked to the Coho. I told them to take my lure, and that I hoped they were having a great day... I caught my lifer minutes after lol not sure if they heard my calls, or if I was just due for one after many weekends getting skunked in freezing temps…

My lifer Black Buffalo, sight fished after using some super stealthy ninja skills to get within feet of it.

The Tadpole Madtom I caught after fifteen minutes of trying for one, at the first spot I picked out after looking at sampling data..

My lifer Grass Carp that I caught after making a cast so perfect, that I could probably never make it again. With the fish about 25ft out from shore I pitched out a cherry tomato as bait. The bait landed on top of a patch of weeds perfectly in front of the fish. The second the tomato hit the water, it was in its mouth. Still can't believe the size of that thing.

Open water Burbot! By far the most fun I had during the contest. I had to force myself to leave so I could stay on schedule :(

Lifer Black Redhorse caught during the contest. I couldn't have been any happier to see this on the end of my line. I will never forget the moment I saw those shimmering scales.

My PB 15" Black Crappie, caught minutes after saying "where's that 15 incher at?"

And last, but definitely not least, my personal best, state record size Flathead. After losing a big fish and pouting on the shoreline, I said to Moose439 “they call me the girl who loses big Flathead”. As soon as those words left my mouth my rod bent over, and this was on the other end…


Eli's picture
Likely this is my best

Likely this is my best overall fish of 2018. PB bowfin caught under a floating bolt rig --- cutbait on a circle hook beneath a very buoyant pike float. Buoyancy of the float drives the hook home on the take.





TonyS's picture
I had a great year,

I had a great year, especially considering how little I fished outside of May and June.
late winter, I finally got my first several Cisco ice fishing in 90 FOW with a tungsten jig and maggots

during the single week that was spring this year I got my new PB White Sucker at 23.5"

I ended up fishing the entire contest strictly with fixed line gear, many awesome catches but this River caught right in Minneapolis was up there

This Pike was another highlight in June while fishing with RF29. While not large it was spunky and was complete with the most visually savage strike on a live sucker I've ever experienced

The best for last, my first Bigmouth Buffalo fishing with the infamous Tyler W with a crawler nub in the surface film.   This is species that first brought me to 15 years ago and I had been trying to catch them for several years before that.   Needless to say, it was a long time coming

FishingPals4Life's picture
My favorite catch of 2018!!

My lifer River horse!

This one I think was the fall of 2017 but one of my favorite all time catches I don't think I ever shared it here, my first tiger!

Susquehannock's picture
Catches 2018

I did a decent amount of fishing this year, and it was an excellent year for catching. I didn't take many pictures of it at all, though, so I'll just list some highlights.

1. Lifer koi. I caught two, both small but beautiful and wild.

2. An excellent early spring day jigging for crappies; not many fish, but all of them were in the eleven to thirteen inch range.

3. Lots of bluegill fishing, especially on the fly. Nothing over about ten inches, but it was a blast anyway.

4. In NC, I learned the joys of catching the five pound skates that seem to coat the bottom of the Atlantic off of the Outer Banks. I also caught a decent sheepshead there, which may not sound like much, but it was something I'd hoped to catch for years.

5. 20" walleye. Don't make fun, walleye are rare around here.

6. A VERY hard won PB native brook trout at a little over a foot. Sight fished on a weightless salmon egg.

7. PB LMB; conservatively estimated at 20".

8. PB channel cat; 29". Weight estimated at twelve pounds.

I also made a trip down to Delaware 's Indian River last month and caught a pair of medium sized tog. No really epic catches on that trip, but I thought I should mention it anyway because it was a lot of fun and I saw a seal and all sorts of seabirds and the usual jetty fishing cultural scene.


andy's picture
You are all awesome.

This forum thread has so many fantastic stories in it - thanks to everybody for sharing!  Keep them rolling in.

Gr8b8's picture
Fish of 2018

My first banger micro catch of the year was also the first darter I've ever caught and was a miracle catch because I was blind casting into a riffle in water that seemed way to small for Roanokes and was outside of their native range. My roomate then said he wanted it for his aquarium, but unfortunantly we lost it to the kitchen sink drain. 

My second most memorable "catch" of the year was trying to catch big northern snakeheads on handline from Huntly Meadows Park boardwalk. I hooked two snakeheads between 2.37-3 feet long and both got away because of their obnoxiously bony mouths, but the excitement of having a 3 foot snakehead thrashing around on the end of your handline is hard to beat.

My third most favorite catch of the year has to be a spottail shiner with a very prominant xanthism mutation. I've never seen xanthism in a cyprinid before (besides carp & goldfish) and was astonished that it grew to be this size in the wild while being bright goldish orange in color. This catch was additionally special in that I revived it from death three times and it managed to avoid being intercepted by the kitchen sink drain.

I also worked as a non-game Fisheries Technician in virginia this summer, and had the opportunity to witness tons of species in their habitat including several endangered and endemic species. Also, I learned the hard way twice this summer that poison sumac is not limited to swamps and can grow along SW VA mountain streams. And eventhough most of the micro species I caught this year had a steep learning curve in order to catch them I'm extatic to learn to catch more species next year with my crosshairs focused on percid fishes.

Hunter J- Greenway

Dan Morey
Dan Morey's picture

Bagged a couple lifers this year that are pretty hard to find in my corner of northwest Pennsylvania: non-native chain pickerel and PA endangered bigmouth buffalo!

Mike B
Mike B's picture
Best catches 2018

I'd say my favourite fish of '18 has to be my PB silver pike from the Pike Jam north of Great Slave Lake, caught while angling with the tragically short-lived Stenodus MWB, hand-crafted and hand delivered by Hengelaar all the way from the Netherlands. It was the inaugual expedition for that rod and it performed beautifully. The 41-inch pike in this picture was the largest of three silvers caught in short succession,seemingly proving yet again that these particular pike hang with their own kind. It was the third time something like this has happened at the Pike Jam.

Here are some runners up:

A solid burb from the Burbot Hole. The bite can be insane there. Circa March, near Yellowknife, NT.

One of dwindling number of Arctic grayling. Springtime on the Kakisa.

Didn't score any lifelisters this year but I did hit some PBs. I might possibly have caught bigger smallmouths back in the day but they wouldn't been much bigger than this one. Bonnechere Provincial Park, Ont.

Caught my PB fallfish moments later.Caught my first carp in several years while river with Eli in southeastern Ontario and it was a nice one. Caught another one after that too.Chock this down to surprise catches. Picture the most boat-congested, cottager-crunched, over-saturated piece of water you can imagine. We're talking dogs on water skies, Fonzie jumping the shark, Muskoka chairs and sun tan lotion. Then picture casting a worm out there somewhere, for what? Pumkinseed, dink rock bass, weeds. How about 34-inch channel catfish, my best since Manitoba 27 years ago. Summer party!This has gotta be my biggest pumpkinseed ever, Ottawa, Ont.Not my biggest pike by any means. Low 40s I'm sure. I just like this pic.And ... the Best Fish Photo of the 2018 June fishing contest, as selected by members of this website. Thank you! Forty-eight inch pike, one of my biggest ever. My last fish of the day, caught on my expensive musky rod that I dropped in the river earlier in the morning and somehow snagged at the end of the day and caught this fish with it!








mike b

Tyler W
Lots of average, few greats

I had to look back through my photos to see if I had caught anything... 

I know I got at least one honset 20" shorthead from this spot. Maybe this was it? Looking forward to catching these on a keiryu rod.  


This was a nice white sucker, but it is more special because it was a great day fishing with my daughter. You may notice she is barefoot. She got wet snow down her boots. Instead of giving up, we drudged on and hung her socks up to dry. While her socks dryed in the sun she stayed her chair and we caught some fish. She wanted to see in each of their mouths.




This is actually her great catch of 2018. She outfished me that day... 


And, I caught these whenever the conditions were right...