The mention of goldfish usually conjures up images of small, colorful creatures swimming inside fish bowls or home aquariums. However, the one reeled in by Andy Hackett on November 3, 2022, was no ordinary "goldfish." It weighed an astounding 67.4 pounds (30.6 kg), or about as much as a fully-grown golden retriever!
The British resident encountered the impressive creature at Bluewater Lakes, a private carp fishery in France. It took him 25 minutes to tug the giant — nicknamed "Carrot" — out from the water. Due to the fishery's no-retention rule, Carrot was released back into the lake after being photographed and weighed.
"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," said Hackett. "It was brilliant to catch it, but it was also sheer luck."
Carrot was first added to the lake about 20 years ago. The Bluewater staff thought the bright orange fish would be a draw for anglers looking for something different to catch. The fish has steadily grown, surpassing 60 pounds (27.2 kg) for the first time in February 2022. The fishery experts believe that Carrot is in great health and could continue to thrive — for another 15 years!
A hybrid between a leather carp and a koi carp, Carrot is not technically a "goldfish." The goldfish in aquariums is a distinct, smaller carp species known as Carassius auratus. However, anglers often use the term "goldfish" to refer to any orange carp that resemble their domesticated relatives.
While Carrot is Bluewater's most famous resident, it is not its biggest. The lake is filled with massive pale or brownish carp. Since Hackett's catch, anglers have reeled in two specimens weighing 85.5 and 92 pounds (38.8 and 41.7 kg), respectively.
Resources: CNN.com, Livecience.com, outdoorlife.com