How Big Do Carp Grow – World Records 2022

Carp are among the most popular game fish in the world. They are prized across Europe and many parts of Asia for their looks, strength, and most importantly, size. While most of us are familiar with the Common Carp, which can grow to a healthy 100lbs, there are some other breeds of carp that effortlessly dwarf the fish we have in Europe.

This article covers the various types of carp in the world, how large they grow, and what they are prized for. Listed below are the carp breeds along with their maximum recorded weight:

How Big Common Carp Can Grow

Scientific NameAverage WeightLengthColourLocation World Record
Cyprinus Carpio4-30lbs40-80cmYellow, Brown, Green, CreamEurope, Asia, & America101lbs 60z via

The common carp is easily identifiable by its regular scale pattern that covers its entire body and its large telescopic mouth. It’s probably the most targeted species on this list and is incredibly popular among fishermen across Europe. These fish have continued to grow in size in tandem with the carp fishing industry. Common carp really stock up during the summer, going on intense feeds. This leads to them putting on astonishing mass year after year.

They are also bred to have a structure that allows them to put on as much weight as possible. The majority of wild carp are quite lean and tapered. Some of the bred carp, however, are much more bulbous, with thicker shoulders and stomachs. This significantly increases the fish’s girth and subsequently, the maximum amount of weight it can hold.

Common carp have been reported to reach 100lbs and fish of this size will typically be found throughout warmer countries in Europe like France, Spain, and Italy.

How Big Mirror/Leather Carp Can Grow

Scientific NameWeightLengthColourLocation World Record
Cyprinus Carpio Carpio4-30lbs40-80cmYellow, Brown, Green, CreamEurope, Asia, & America112 pounds and 14 ounces via

Mirror, leather, and common carp are effectively the same fish. The major difference between mirror/leather carp and common carp is the scales. Common carp have regular scales throughout their whole body. Mirror carp, however, have irregular scales of all different shapes and sizes. These scales are often quite large and reflective, making them symbolic of a mirror, hence the name.

Leather carp, however, have no scales at all. Their skin is completely smooth but otherwise, they are identical to mirror carp. Mirror and Leather carp have been known to get larger than common carp although many fishermen have reported that they don’t fight as hard.

The difference between these three fish is negligible, however, mirror/leather carp often have better genetics for putting on weight. Common carp tend to be a little more proportioned while mirror/leather carp are slightly thicker and fatter, especially when they’ve been bred for fishing. This allows them to hold onto more weight, despite many of these fish having protruding stomachs.

How Big Koi Carp Can Grow

Scientific NameWeightLengthColourLocation World Record
Cyprinus Rubrofuscus4-30lbs40-80cmOrange, White, Red, Yellow, Black, BlueDomesticated90lbs via

Koi carp are essentially ornamental common carp. They were originally bred in Japan early in the 19th century as symbolic pieces of artwork. Koi are undeniably among the most beautiful fish in the world and they are stunning to behold regardless of their size. That being said they can also grow to monstrous sizes as they are effectively common carp. Koi, however, are not bred for fishing appeal. They are bred for art. Hence, why you’ll find they are more proportioned in their shape.

The word koi actually translates to carp in Japanese. So when we say “koi carp”, technically we’re just saying “carp carp”! Koi are also easily the most expensive fish in the world. The most expensive koi in the world reportedly sold for $1.8 million.

How Big Siamese Carp Can Grow

Scientific NameWeightLengthColourLocation World Record
Catlocarpio Siamensis50-660lbs 70-160cmBrown, Black, White Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Southern Vietnam231lbs via

Siamese carp or the giant barb is the largest breed of carp known to man. They frankly dwarf every other fish on this list with ease. They have been said to grow over 600lbs and 3-meters in length, however, none of this size has ever been caught or recorded. But the current record stands at a still very impressive 231lbs.

In recent times, these fish have become targeted by European anglers. Many fishermen go on holiday to places like Gillhams Fishing Resort in Thailand where siamese carp are stocked along with many other exotic giants. This is quite an interesting fish because no one really knows how large it could potentially grow but most people estimate that it could surpass 600lbs in the ideal environment.

In terms of looks, I suppose the most resemble a common carp with their regular scales and large mouths. However, the siamese carp looks much more prehistoric with its tapered body and large head.

How Big Grass Carp Can Grow

Scientific NameWeightLengthColourLocation World Record
Ctenopharyngodon Idella10-55lbs60-100cmYellow, Brown, Green, CreamEastern Asia, Europe, America87lbs 10oz via

In their appearance, grass carp quite closely resemble common carp. They both have regular scales throughout their bodies and they have similar colouration. I would say though that the grass carp tends to be slightly duller in colour while common carp tends to be more vibrant. However, the easiest way to distinguish the two is by looking at their mouths. Common carp have circular telescopic mouths with small barbs. Grass carp, however, have no such barbs and much flatter mouths. Grass carp also tend to have a more tapered body than regular carp.

Grass carp originate from the Amur river in Eastern Asia. They are non-indigenous to Europe and the USA. In fact, many places recognize grass carp as an invasive species.

In terms of sheer size, the grass carp cannot match the common, mirror, or leather carp with the world record standing at 87lbs 10oz. However, this is still a hugely impressive number considering that grass carp are not nearly as targeted by fishermen as common carp. This means that they haven’t been bred to hold onto mass. These fish are also hugely powerful and will put up epic fights if you ever decide to go fishing for them.

How Big Bighead Carp Can Grow

Scientific NameWeightLengthColourLocation World Record
Hypophthalmichthys Nobilis10-40lbs20-70cmGrey, WhiteEast Asia, America125lbs 5oz via

Like grass carp, bighead carp are another Asian species of carp that are not indigenous to Europe or the United States. They are frankly, quite ugly-looking with strange bulbous features, tiny eyes, and an enormous gawping mouth. However, they are positively massive, with the largest recorded fish tipping the scales well over 100lbs. They were originally imported to the United States as a form of cleaning for agricultural ponds. However, they escaped and now have been reported in 18 different states.

Most adult bighead carp will typically weigh around 30-40lbs but they can grow on to be much larger. The world record was actually broken recently by Matt Neuling, a bowfisherman, who shot an enormous 125lb bighead carp in Missouri. This obliterated the previous record by some margin, with his fish weighing over 20lbs heavier than the last record.

How Big Silver Carp Can Grow

Scientific NameWeightLengthColourLocation World Record
Hypophthalmichthys Molitrix10-40lbs20-70cmSilver, BrownEast Asia, America106 lb 15 oz via

Similar to bighead carp and grass carp, silver carp originate from East Asia, specifically the Amur river. Like bigheads, they are quite strange-looking fish but as their name suggests, their skin is shiny and reflective. They are closely related to bigheads and essentially possess the same genetic potential for size. They are quite lean and tapered which means they don’t often have protruding bellies but they can still grow to an enormous size.

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