It’s always exciting when you head out on the water and reel in a monster catch.
Just ask 42-year-old British national John Harvey, who set a record when he pulled in the world’s largest caught carp while fishing in Thailand.
Harvey has been living in Thailand for the last 14 years, and he’s come across some pretty big Siamese carp in his time. They’ve never weighed in at over 100 pounds, though—so he was absolutely in awe when he hauled in the 232-pound (approx. 105-kilogram) monstrosity he caught at a lake last June.
“It was amazing,” he said in an interview with Devon Live. “I’ve never caught a carp that weighed over 100 pounds before. I just want to go out there and enjoy it. People travel the world trying to catch the biggest fish, but that takes the fun out of it.”
“It was a reasonably quiet day for fishing,” he explained. “Then, at around 4:30 p.m., the cart rod screened off so I ran over to the rod, and straight away felt it was a really big fish.
“I’ve done fishing for a while now and you can tell if it’s big or not from the bait.”
The Siamese carp, otherwise known as the Siamese giant carp or the giant barb, is the largest known cyprinid in the world. It’s not all that easy to find unless you’re out on the water in southeast Asia, though; it’s a migratory fish but only lives in the Mae Klong, Mekong, and Chao Phraya River basins in the region known as Indochina.
They may be massive fish, but Harvey’s 232-pound catch is believed to be the biggest of them all. Assuming the weight is accurate, it shatters the previous record for largest carp caught by a full 10 pounds (approx. 5 kg), putting it in a class of its own for the already-behemoth sea creature.
It’s not the biggest type of fish you can catch in and around Thailand—each year, anglers manage to reel in catfish that make even Harvey’s insanely huge haul look small—and in other parts of the world, fishing boats risk their safety to pull in marlin and tuna that clock in well over 1,000 pounds (approx. 454 kg).
For Harvey, though, it was certainly an impressive and fun surprise to boast about after what he likely believed would be a pretty easy day out on the lake—even if it did mean some pretty strenuous work to get the fish on board.
“It was very slow, hard, heavy fish,” he said, adding that he “had to hang on to it for one hour, 20 minutes which was pretty nerve-wracking.”
That may not have been an easy catch to end his day on the water, but Harvey insisted that it was so neat that even photos taken after the fact weren’t able to properly do it justice. And he’s made it clear that he doesn’t make it a habit to go out looking for the biggest fish he can possibly catch—which, if anything, makes the whole thing even more incredible.
“I just want to go out there and enjoy it. People travel the world trying to catch the biggest fish but that takes the fun out of it.”