23rd November 2022 – (Bluewater Lakes) Worcestershire angler Andy Hackett landed the orange beast while on a trip to France, in a region worthy of toasting such success – Champagne.
The giant, known as The Carrot, was introduced to Bluewater Lakes there 20 years ago, proving elusive since.
But then came along Mr Hackett and rod; using, you might say, a Carrot and stick approach.
The fish, he explained, was a hybrid of a leather carp and a koi carp and after a 25-minute battle, it was all over. The goldfish that had been a white whale to many was in Mr Hackett’s net.
“You’re gonna need a bigger bowl,” was everyone’s first thought, quickly followed by whether there were scales large enough to weigh scaly Carrot.
But a weigh-in was achieved, with this beauty’s vital statistic being a whopping 30kg (67 pounds).
And yet there was no need for a mountain of potatoes for chips – The Carrot was released back from whence he came to leave another angler with a chance of a fishy tale.
The goldfish commonly kept as pets do not achieve more than a few inches in length, but they are part of the carp family which can reach impressive proportions, with colourful koi sometimes fetching small fortunes from hobbyists.
Mr Hackett’s run-in with the special breed came during a visit to a fishery on one of his many French trips, and he said while The Carrot was often seen due to his striking hue, he was harder to land.
“With normal fish,” Mr Hackett explained, “you struggle to see them if they’re just under the surface, but The Carrot is obviously bright orange so you can’t miss it.
“[But] it’s a much sought-after fish, not many people have caught it, it’s quite elusive.”
Anglers, however, always have a chance.
“Just like a general big fish, they’re heavy, they’re slow, they plod around,” Mr Hackett said.
Yet anyone fancying a crack themselves may face disappointment – the fishery has a waiting list of at least five years.