The Largest Carp Ever Caught in Virginia Was a Swiming Hulk

Written by Alanna Davis
Published: March 17, 2024
Share on:


To some people, fishing is a casual pastime, but for others, this sport is a full-blown passion. The state of Virginia is home to quite a large community of serious fishermen. In fact, many record-breaking fish have been caught in this state throughout the years. Let’s dive into the story of the largest carp ever captured in the state of Virginia.

Carp in Virginia: A Brief Overview

Carp fish

In the wild, carp usually live to be between 15 and 20 years old. However, some can live for 40 years in captivity.

©mel-nik/iStock / Getty Images Plus via Getty Images

You may not have known, but carp aren’t native to America. These fish were first introduced to the United States in the mid-1800s. Since then, they have outcompeted many native fish. Female carp lay thousands of eggs in one sitting, and upon hatching, they can easily overwhelm the waterways they live in. They grow to be very large somewhat quickly, and many will grow to weigh between 25 and 40 pounds. Because of this, conservationists encourage the capture of carp as it helps free up space and food sources for other fish to use.

How Large Was the Biggest Carp Caught in Virginia?

While many impressively large carp have come from this state, one behemoth stands out among the rest. According to the Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources, the largest carp caught in the state weighed 49 pounds and 4 ounces. This massive fish was caught on June 25th, 1986 at Lake Prince by Jeff Graham. Although many fishermen have tried their best to overturn this record since then, none have been successful yet. However, there is a wide community of individuals in Virginia who are dedicated to this hobby. With so many people participating, we may just see an even bigger record-breaking carp sometime in the future.

Who Holds the Record for the Largest Carp Ever Caught?

Although Jeff Graham’s carp was an impressive catch, it doesn’t come close to the weight of the largest carp in the world. Michel Schoenmaker caught this massive common carp on November 23rd, 2018 in Hungary. It weighed in at 112 pounds and 14 ounces, making it over twice the size of Graham’s carp.

Unfortunately, the record for the largest carp ever caught in the United States is unclear. According to Big Carp News, “As for the official recognition of a USA national record carp the simple answer is that none exists. Each of the US 50 states maintains its own list of record fish. Some like Oregon, New Mexico, and Maine do not even recognize carp while others do not draw a distinction between fish caught on rod & line or those killed by other methods such as spearing or bow-fishing.”

Final Thoughts

Virginia residents have enjoyed the sport of fishing for decades for a variety of reasons. While some fishermen engage in this activity for practical purposes, others just enjoy the thrill of it. There is a good amount of friendly competition and absolutely no shortage of carp in this state, so we may see this record overturned someday soon.

The photo featured at the top of this post is © mel-nik/iStock / Getty Images Plus via Getty Images

Share on:
About the Author

Alanna is a writer at A-Z Animals primarily covering insects, animals, and travel. In addition to writing, she spends her time tutoring English and exploring the east end of Long Island. Prior to receiving her Bachelor's in Economics from Stony Brook University, Alanna spent much of her time studying entomology and insect biology.

Thank you for reading! Have some feedback for us? Contact the AZ Animals editorial team.