Last week, Oklahoma angler Gabe Brannick caught a truly massive bighead carp. At 110.1 pounds, the carp is over 20 pounds heavier than the standing IGFA world record—a 90-pounder caught by Jeffrey Rorex in 2005.
Brannick was fishing with High Water Guide Service. They were trying to snag a paddlefish on the Neosho River when Brannick inadvertently hooked into the jumbo-size carp. Since the fish was caught by snagging, it is not eligible for the world record spot.
“These fish pack a lot of fight and this one was like pulling the plug out of the river,” wrote the High Water Guide Service in a Facebook post. “As of right now, we are pursuing the state record for Oklahoma.”
According to the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation (ODWC), Bighead carp were first introduced to the U.S. from eastern China by a private fish farmer in Arkansas. The fish began to first appear in public waters in the early 1980s. The invasive carp’s feeding habits make it a direct competitor with Oklahoma’s sought-after paddlefish and other native fish and mussel species.
High Water Guide Service clients have caught large carp before. In March, the ODWC praised the outfitter for catching and removing a 67.3-pound bighead carp. “Fisheries biologists have asked skilled fishing guides for help in capturing invasive bighead carp out of the Grand Lake system,” said the ODWC in a Facebook post. “Shout out to High Water Guide Service…They’ve gotten us a few now and we simply can’t appreciate it enough.”
Bighead carp are not currently listed on Oklahoma’s fishing records, though that may change because of Brannick’s impressive catch. Eliane A. Gainer, Aquatic Nuisance Species/Fish Kill Coordinator for the ODWC, told USA Today that she’s “working with higher-ups to see if I can get the green light to recognize bighead carp in our state records.”