British angler Andy Hackett was fishing a French lake recently when he hooked a giant of a hybrid goldfish that was stocked 20 years ago as a fingerling in the BlueWater Lakes fishery located in Champagne, France.
“I knew it was a big fish when it took my bait and went off side to side and up and down with it,” Hackett told The Daily Mail. “Then it came to the surface 30 or 40 yards out and I saw that it was orange. It was brilliant to catch it but it was also sheer luck.”
Hackett battled the carp for 25 minutes before landing the overweight gold-colored fish, releasing it shortly thereafter following photos and a video being made.
“I always knew ‘The Carrot’ was in there but never thought I would catch it,” he said.
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Reportedly, The Carrot is a hybrid koi carp, which commonly is bright orange in color. While many reports describe the fish as a world record, or a goldfish, neither passes muster with the International Game Fish Association, the official record keeper of angling. Goldfish catches are documented by IGFA, but the world record is less than 10 pounds. IGFA also has a goldfish-carp hybrid category, but only lists a 3.5-pounder from Illinois in its record book. How The Carrot may factor into IGFA records is unknown.
Jason Cowler believes he released The Carrot into the BlueWater Lakes fishery when it was a small fingerling two decades ago.
“We put The Carrot in about 20 years ago as something different for customers to fish for,” Cowler told The Daily Mail. “Since then it has grown and grown but it doesn’t often come out. She is very elusive.”