WHEAT RIDGE, Colo. - A 14-year-old boy from Golden has earned a place in Colorado's record books after catching the heaviest fish in state history.
Cody Moreland landed the 51-pound grass carp while fishing at Prospect Park Lake in Jefferson County on June 4, the Colorado Division of Wildlife said.
Moreland says he was initially targeting bass at the tiny lake, but changed tactics after seeing large carp within casting distance.
Moreland cast his line toward the feeding carp and started retrieving the minnow-like lure. Within seconds, the monster fish grabbed the lure and then charged in the opposite direction.
"This was my first cast of the day but I could tell right away that this was a huge fish," said Moreland. "I had to make sure my drag was set just right to keep from losing it."
Moreland battled the gigantic fish for 25 minutes as a large crowd of spectators gathered to watch. Cody's grandfather was also there.
"Everyone was in awe when I finally landed the fish," said Moreland. "Even my grandfather was shocked. He just kept saying, 'Wow, that is the biggest fish I've ever seen.'"
The carp measured 42 inches in length, 28 inches in girth and weighed exactly 51 pounds.
In addition to breaking the state record for grass carp, Moreland's catch is the heaviest fish ever recorded in Colorado, surpassing a 50.35-pound lake trout caught by Donald Walker at Blue Mesa Reservoir in 2007, DOW said.
"This carp is the heaviest fish that we have ever entered into our record books," said Paul Winkle, Colorado Division of Wildlife fisheries biologist. "Grass carp can grow to enormous sizes, so it's not surprising that this species has now taken the top spot in this category."
The Denver Post