'Never Seen One This Big Ever': Huge Carp Breaks 44-Year Maryland Record

A Maryland angler has broken a 44-year-old record after catching a giant carp while fishing on the shores of Chesapeake Bay.

Essex-resident Logan Kurhmann, 24, snagged a common carp (Cyprinus carpio) weighing 49 pounds on June 4 while fishing for bass in the Susquehanna Flats—a shallow-water delta located in the northernmost part of the Bay at the mouth of the Susquehanna River.

The catch is a new state record for a carp in the Chesapeake Division, the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) confirmed after a biologist for the agency verified the weight of the fish.

Kurhmann's catch, which he initially suspected to be a flathead or blue catfish, surpasses the previous carp state record in the Chesapeake Division—a 44.4-pound fish reeled in by Jimmy Lake in 1978 off Morgantown Beach.

Maryland state record carp
A Maryland angler, Logan Kurhmann, has broken a 44-year-old record after catching a giant carp (pictured) while fishing on the shores of Chesapeake Bay. Matt Weber; courtesy Maryland Department of Natural Resources

"We've seen some really big ones up in the Flats but we've never seen one this big, ever," Kurhmann said in a statement. "The bass fishing wasn't great but this made my week."

Common carp typically measure between one and two feet in length, with specimens often weighing up to 8-10 pounds—although they can grow to much larger sizes—according to Texas Parks & Wildlife Department.

This fish, otherwise known as the European carp, is native to Eurasia but was introduced to the United States more than a century ago and has since become a highly successful invasive species.

The common carp has been so successful, in fact, that it is now regarded as a pest because of its widespread abundance and certain behaviors that can damage local systems.

The fish, which has been recorded in every U.S. state except Alaska, is a bottom-feeder, meaning it often swims just above the floor of whatever body of water it is inhabiting searching for food.

This can destroy vegetation and increase the turbidity, or muddiness, of the water, which can have negative impacts for other species that require these plants or prefer clear water, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. For example, some predatory fish, such as pike, need clear water to see their prey.

In addition, an increase in water turbidity can also reduce the amount of sunlight received by aquatic plants, which can hamper their growth or cause them to die. This has knock-on effects for species that rely on these plants.

In North America, common carp are generally found in lakes, ponds and the lower sections of rivers, as well as brackish-water estuaries and bays. Part of the reason they have been so successful as an invasive species is that they reproduce rapidly—females can lay up to two million eggs when spawning—while also being highly tolerant of pollution.

The Maryland DNR keeps state records for sports fish in four divisions—Atlantic, Chesapeake, Nontidal and Invasive. The largest carp in the Maryland record books outside of the Chesapeake Division was a 47.5-pound specimen caught in 1997 by Wayne Longenecker at Frederick County Farm Pond.