(CNN) – Here’s a fisherman’s story, which isn’t a big story.
After a 25 minute struggle, British angler Andy Hackett caught a colossal carp nicknamed “The Carrot” weighing a staggering 30kg. 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 beneath the water’s surface. However, the carrot has proven difficult to catch. Hackett landed the prized fish, a cross between a leather carp and a koi carp, on November 3 while visiting the lake.
“Normal fish are difficult to see when 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 very desirable fish, not many people have caught it, it’s quite elusive.”
BlueWater Lakes offers anglers a private spot to try and catch one of the many fish in excess of 50 pounds (22.7 kilograms) and some even over 90 pounds (40 kilograms).
“We launched The Carrot about 20 years ago as something different for customers to fish for. It’s grown and grown since then, but it doesn’t come out often,” fisheries manager Jason Cowler told the Daily Mail. “It’s not the biggest resident of the lake, but it’s by far the most outstanding.”
After Hackett fed and weighed Carrot, she was released back into the lake. The fishery has adopted a “no retention” rule, so anglers never carry the fish ashore. The BlueWater team also noted on their Facebook page that the fish are treated for injuries before being promptly released back into the water.
The fishery has been monitoring the growth of carrots quite often, having been caught by fishermen nine times in the last season. After the carp surpassed the 60-pound (27-kilogram) mark for the first time in February, the carp was free-swimming for nine months before Hackett caught up with it.
The average native goldfish weighs less than a pound, but the species can reach much larger sizes in a variety of circumstances. When given plenty of space, carp species, including goldfish and koi, have the potential for large growth with the right diet and water conditions, which explains the carrot’s impressive size.
Often the largest goldfish found are unwanted pets released into the wild by their owners. Discarded animals can adversely affect the delicate balance of a natural habitat. Invasive, football-sized goldfish were found in a lake in Burnsville, Minnesota, in July 2021, leading city officials to urge residents not to release their aquatic animals into the lake because they could harm the local environment.
“A 70-pound carp is a really big, impressive fish,” said Dr. Zeb Hogan, research biologist at the University of Nevada, Reno, and former host of the National Geographic Channel show Monster Fish. “There are actually several species of carp related to goldfish that get really big and are found in Europe and Asia – some of which can get up to 500 pounds.”
The growth of these vigorous fish is referred to as indeterminate growth, a condition in which animals grow rapidly when young and continue to increase in size after they reach adulthood, according to Hogan.
“They just keep growing the longer they live,” Hogan said. “It’s just going to keep growing and getting bigger, and maybe in a few years someone else will catch it and it’ll get even bigger.”
The fishing team said on Facebook that Carrot is “in excellent health and condition” and may even live to be 15 years or more. “Long may her glory continue,” the team added.