(CNN) — This is the story of a fisherman that is not a fable.
After a 25-minute battle, British angler Andy Hackett caught a colossal carp, nicknamed “The Carrot”, which weighed in at 67 pounds and 4 ounces (30 kilograms). According to BlueWater Lakes, the fishery in France’s Champagne region where the giant lives, the giant fish is believed to be the second largest of its kind ever caught.
With its striking orange color, the massive goldfish-like creature easily stands out when swimming below the surface of the water. The carrot, however, proved to be a challenge to catch. Hackett landed the prized fish, a hybrid of a leather carp and a koi carp, on Nov. 3 while visiting the lake site.
“With normal fish you have trouble seeing them if they’re just below the surface, but The Carrot is obviously bright orange so you can’t miss it,” Hackett told the BBC. “It’s a highly sought after fish, few people have caught it, it’s quite elusive.”
BlueWater Lakes offers anglers a private spot to try and haul in one of its many fish weighing over 50 pounds (22.7 kilograms) — and some even over 90 pounds (40 kilograms).
“We put The Carrot about 20 years ago as something different for customers. Since then it’s grown and grown but it doesn’t come out often,” fishing manager Jason Cowler told the Daily Mail. “Not the tallest resident of the lake, but by far the most remarkable.”
After Hackett brought Carrot back and weighed her, she was released back into the lake. The fishery has a ‘no retention’ rule in place, so anglers never take the fish ashore. The BlueWater team also noted on their Facebook page that the fish are treated for any injuries before they are promptly released.
The fishery has been monitoring Carrot’s growth quite often, as she was hauled nine times by anglers last season. After breaking the 60-pound (27-kilogram) mark for the first time in February, the carp swam free for nine months until Hackett caught up with it.
Goldfish still growing
The average domestic goldfish weighs less than a pound, but the species can grow to much larger proportions under varying circumstances. If given plenty of space, with the right diet and water conditions, carp species, including goldfish and koi, have significant growth potential, which explains the impressive size of the carrot.
Often the largest goldfish found are unwanted pets that have been released into the wild by their owners. Discarded animals can negatively impact the delicate balance of a natural habitat. Invasive football-sized goldfish were found in a lake in Burnsville, Minnesota, in July 2021, prompting city officials to plead with residents not to release their aquatic pets in the lake, as they could harm the local environment.
“A 70-pound carp is a really big, impressive fish,” said Dr. Zeb Hogan, a research biologist at the University of Nevada, Reno, and former host of the National Geographic Channel’s “Monster Fish” show. “There are actually different types of goldfish-like carp, which grow very large, that are found in Europe and Asia, some of which can weigh up to around 500 pounds.”
The growth seen in these large fish is called indeterminate growth, a condition in which the animals grow rapidly when young and continue to increase in size after reaching adulthood, according to Hogan.
“They keep growing the longer they live,” Hogan said. “It will continue to grow and get bigger, and maybe in a few years someone else will catch it and it will be even bigger.”
The Fishing Team said on Facebook that Carrot is “in excellent health and condition” and may even live for another 15 years or more. “May his stardom continue for a long time,” the team added.
Top image: Angler Andy Hackett catches one of the biggest goldfish ever caught in the world. The gigantic orange specimen, aptly nicknamed The Carrot, weighed 67 pounds and 4 ounces.