Once considered a non-game fish in North America, the common carp is gaining popularity as a freshwater sportfish.
To meet the demand for information, a wide range of carp-specific fishing magazines, clubs, television shows, and internet forums have taken hold throughout the U.S. and Canada as more anglers become active in carp fishing.
How big do common carp get in North America? State records for common carp provide clues about trophy-class carp weights and lengths. Across the USA, state records continue to be broken as the popularity of carp fishing grows.
In May, 2014, a bowfisherman set a new Vermont state record for carp
with a 44-pound 6-ounce fish taken from Lake Champlain. The massive carp
was taken while bowfishing in a backwater area of southern Lake
Champlain. The previous state record carp, also taken by bowfishing,
weighed 42-pounds 8-ounces.
The Massachusetts state record for carp was broken recently by Shane Felch of Shrewsbury, with a 46 pounds, 5 ounce mirror carp, taken from Lake Quinsigamond. According to local anglers, mirror carp are the most common variety caught from the Lake.
While bowfishing on the night of May 19, 2014, Adam Faatz of Hawthorne, NJ, broke the New Jersey state record for common carp with a 45 lb. 6 oz. specimen. The massive carp was 42" long and had a girth of 32".
On June 9, 2013, bowfisherman Patrick Johnson of Toledo, Ohio, took a new state record carp in the Sandusky County portion of Lake Erie's waters. The massive carp weighed 53.65 pounds, measured 45 inches in length and 32-1/4 inches in girth.
In 2012, bowfisherman Zack Seitz reeled in a 59-pound common carp measuring 46 inches long with a 32.5 inch girth, breaking the Wisconsin state alternate method record.
Despite increased participation in American carp fishing, a few state records have withstood the test of time.
The Pennsylvania state record for common carp stands at 52 pounds, caught in the Juniata River in 1962.
In addition to fish caught in the USA, monster-sized carp are caught around the world.
While vacationing in Thailand in 2013, a British tourist landed a 134-pound carp, believed to be the biggest ever caught. The massive fish weighed 134 pounds 7 ounces, which could set a new world record.
Bait fishing, fly fishing, and bowfishing are popular techniques for taking carp. In some locations, carp are caught by chumming an area close to shore and still-fishing in the middle of chummed area.