A British angler recently caught a massive 67-pound, 4-ounce “goldfish” while fishing at a lake in France. The catch is being hailed as the world’s largest goldfish, though it’s actually a hybrid of two carp species.
Andy Hackett of Kidderminster, England, caught the fish in November at Bluewater Lakes in Champagne, France. Bluewater is considered one of France’s top carp fishing destinations, with reservations the fish the stocked, catch-and-release lake booked months or even years in advance. Anglers regularly nab carp as big as 90 pounds, and many of the lake’s largest lunkers have nicknames and are well-known to fishermen.
The “Carrot,” as the 67-pound female is dubbed, was stocked 15 years ago “as something different for the anglers to try to catch,” Jason Cowler, a spokesman for Bluewater Lakes, told USA Today. “It’s not the biggest resident in the lake, but by far the most outstanding,” he said The fish is reportedly a cross between a leather carp and a koi carp.
Cowler says The Carrot was caught nine times during the 2021-2022 fishing season and broke the 60-pound mark for the first time on February 22, 2022, when she weighed 61.5 pounds. Hackett’s catch on November 3, 2022, was the first time the fish had been caught during the lake’s current 2022-2023 fishing season.
“I knew it was a big fish when it took my bait and went off side to side and up and down with it. Then it came to the surface 30 or 40 yards out and I saw that it was orange,” Hackett told the Daily Mail. He says it took about 25 minutes to reel the fish in. “I always knew The Carrot was in there but never thought I would catch it. It was brilliant to catch it, but it was also sheer luck.”
The Carrot is around 20 years old and could live to be 35, according to a Bluewater Lakes Facebook post. “Utmost care is taken when all our carp are caught,” including treatment for any cuts or wounds, according to the post, which noted that The Carrot was found to be in excellent health.