A British schoolboy has broken a world record for biggest-ever carp caught for a junior angler.
Callum Pettit, 11, snared a common carp that weighed a whopping 96lbs 10ozs – just 4lbs lighter than him – on a fishing trip in Reims, France with his father.
The record is even more impressive when the adult record is considering – an only slightly larger 101lbs 6ozs.
Callum’s 7st fish is almost twice the size of father Stuart’s personal best catch in 30 years of angling.
Callum’s 7st fish is almost twice the size of father Stuart’s personal best catch in 30 years of angling
It took Callum 20 minutes to reel her in and because the water was quite murky neither he nor his dad realised just how big it was at first.
The fish, that is nicknamed the Big Girl, went for Callum’s special banoffee-flavoured bait.
It was only when Stuart, 40, went to lift the fish into their landing net by the side of the bank that it dawned on him it was one of the biggest carp fish in Europe.
Other anglers gathered around to watch the momentous landing.
A video taken on Stuart’s GoPro camera shows the moment Callum saw it for the first time. He was caught on camera repeatedly saying ‘that’s massive, dad.’
Stuart, from Ashford, Kent, said: ‘It is a once in a lifetime fish and Callum has caught it aged 11. Where does he go from here?
‘He would have more of a chance of winning the lottery than catching a bigger carp than that.’
Callum said: ‘I couldn’t believe how big it was and my arms were really aching afterwards.’
The youngster took up fishing with his dad as a toddler and his previous biggest catch was a mirror carp that weighed 29lbs.
They had booked the fishing trip to France in 2020 but the covid pandemic meant it had to be postponed until earlier this month.
The father and son were in their bivvy tent when Callum’s rod alarm went off at 6am to signal that he had a bite.
Stuart, a regional sales manager for a playground company, said: ‘With bigger fish they don’t charge off around the lake, they are like a dead weight. All Callum could do was hold on.
‘He played the fish for about 20 minutes, slowly pulling it up and winding it towards him.
‘We didn’t have any idea of the size of it until we got it into the net and even then we thought it could have been a 60lbs or 70lbs fish.
‘The owner of the fishery came out and identified it as the Big Girl.
‘It was the biggest fish I have ever set eyes on.
‘It took two of us to lift it into the weighing sling. We weighed Callum afterwards and he was only 4lbs heavier.
‘I don’t think it has really sunk in yet and he hasn’t understood the magnitude of what he has achieved.’
The world record for a carp stands at 112lbs 14oz for a mirror carp caught at a fishery in Hungary by Dutchman Michel Schoenmakers in 2018.
And the biggest carp ever caught by a British angler is a 105lbs 14oz mirror specimen by Ian Burton at the same lake in 2019.