It was not the largest carp to have been caught at Bluewater Lakes this week, which is remarkable. But the bright-orange behemoth reeled in by Andy Hackett on Thursday was definitely the most striking.
The 20-year-old female carp, which resembles a giant goldfish, weighed 67.4 pounds before she was released to fight another day.
Bluewater Lakes, located in the Champagne region of France, is billed as the country’s premier carp fishery. It’s so popular that guests have to book well in advance.
The carp caught by Hackett, nicknamed Carrot, is prized among anglers because of her coloration (most giant carp are pale or brownish).
Carrot was stocked 15 years ago “as something different for the anglers to try to catch,” Jason Cowler, a spokesman for Bluewater Lakes, told FTW Outdoors. “Its’s not the biggest resident in the lake, but by far the most outstanding.”
Cowler said Carrot last season was caught “around nine times” and on Feb. 22 she broke the 60-pound mark for the first time, weighing 61.5 pounds.
Angler poses with 92-pound carp caught this week at Bluewater Lakes
She eluded capture until Thursday, when she tipped the scale at 67.5 pounds.
The Bluewater fishery boasts a substantial population of carp weighing 50-plus pounds. Since Hackett’s catch, anglers have caught carp weighing 92 pounds (named Miggsys) and 85.5 pounds (Peaches).