John Harvey landed the enormous Siamese carp after a knee-trembling fight to reel it in at a lake in Thailand. The 42-year-old , from Westleigh, near Bideford, Devon, couldn’t believe his eyes when the monster broke the surface of the water. It tipped the scales at 16.5 stone – heavier than a Mini. The colossal carp had to be weighed using scales on a robust stainless steel tripod. And John needed help from two other anglers to lift the huge specimen to pose for a picture with it at the Palm Tree Lagoon at Chedi Hak in southern Thailand.
John, a property investor, celebrated by buying all the anglers on the lake a beer as his catch beat the previous world record set for a Siamese carp by 10lbs. The fisherman, who has been angling since he was three-years-old, said: “As soon as it took the bait I knew it was going to be a big fish. “It wasn’t fighting against me too hard, it was the weight of the carp that was the real challenge – it was like dragging a huge weight through the water. “It was nerve-wracking because I didn’t want to make a mistake. “After 80 minutes I finally brought it to the bank, and I couldn’t believe my eyes.”
John added: ”It was absolutely enormous, the pictures do not do it justice at all. “It was so difficult to even get a proper grip on the fish, it was huge. “When we put it on the scales I couldn’t believe the weight of it. “The fishery owners started to set up my rods for me to carry on fishing, but I said no and bought everyone a beer instead.”
He said: “Being a world record holder is the only claim to fame I’ll ever have – I’ve been showing everyone the pictures of the fish since I caught it.” “I’m just a casual angler so really I felt sorry for some of the other anglers in the area who spend much more money and don’t catch fish anywhere near that size.” John has lived in Pattaya, Thailand, with his girlfriend Jenny Jaikumkao, 33, for the past 14 years. Siamese carp are the biggest species of carp in the world and they are found naturally in river basins in Asia.