These Are the Deadliest Freshwater Fish

Northern pike

The 16 Deadliest Freshwater Fish (#1 Might Surprise You)
Image: Shao, Wikimedia Commons

These fish are aggressive and quick to strike. Native to most of the Northern Hemisphere, the largest pike can grow to weigh more than 40 pounds. They are ambush predators with razor sharp teeth that provide no warning before they attack.

Freshwater Sawfish

freshwater sawfish
The freshwater sawfish comes from a family of rays that can grow up to 23 feet long. Ever seen a chainsaw that long and live to tell the tale?

If this excessive brutality reminds of a ravenous shark, you’re not wrong. Sawfish are actually close relative of sharks and rays, and their shark-like bodies offer enough clues. They even have skeletons made of soft, pliable cartilage, just like sharks and rays. However, although they might appear frightening, they are not interested in sawing apart humans (unless provoked), so you have nothing to fear!

Sawfish - Photo by Simon Fraser University - University Communications
Sawfish. Photo by Simon Fraser University – University Communications.

On top of that, a sawfish was the first fish recorded to have a virgin birth in the wild! When mates are rare, the female smalltooth sawfish can still breed without any input from a male. How badass is that?

Cuiu Cuiu


Also frighteningly called the “ripsaw catfish,” the cuiu cuiu has lateral thorns that are not friendly to the touch.

Siamese Carp

siamese carp
AKA the “Giant Barb,” these fish are some of the largest river fish in the world. They have huge heads and are known to travel from large rivers to smaller canals, floodplains, and flooded forests. Watch your step…

Freshwater Bass

The freshwater bass is an underestimated predator — documented feasting on frogs, snakes, and even baby alligators. 

In North America, freshwater fish in the genus Micropterus are also known as black basses and are a highly regarded game fish. These animals are widespread throughout the eastern regions of North America, including parts of Canada and Mexico.

Image: Timothy Knepp, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Black basses boast enormous mouths capable of opening to a massive size, attributing to a highly varied and flexible diet. Two of the largest black bass species, the largemouth and the smallmouth bass, are notoriously indiscriminate feeders.

They will eat whatever they can fit into their greedy mouths and surprisingly they are generally the apex predators within a given environment. Smaller fish, insects, worms, crayfish, snails, frogs, snakes, small birds, mammals, and even baby alligators are all on the menu.

In the video below, you can watch bass devouring frogs and baby alligators in Florida’s waterways.

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