Teenage Angler Catches Heaviest Fish In Colorado History

Cody Moreland Lands State Record Carp

A Golden teen has a fishing record that may not be broken for some time.

When 14-year-old Cody Moreland caught the largest carp ever in Colorado, he also caught the heaviest fish in Colorado history: a 51-pound monster.

Moreland caught the grass carp at Prospect Park Lake in Wheat Ridge on June 4. He was using a 14-pound line, a Rapala Dives-To lure and a Zebco rod and reel.

He said he fishes the lake quite often and was there to fish for bass.

"When I got to the lake, I could see carp 'tailing' quite a ways out from the shore," said Moreland. "I knew they would probably hit the Rapala because I've caught smaller carp using that same technique before."

It was his first cast of the day and took 25 minutes for him to land the carp.

"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.'"

Moreland's carp measured 42 inches in length, 28 inches in girth and weighed exactly 51 pounds--nearly 7 pounds heavier than the previous 44.8-pound record, caught in 2006 at a private lake in Larimer County.

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.

"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 DOW stocks grass carp selectively in small lakes and ponds across eastern Colorado, using the herbivorous fish as a biological control to manage overabundant aquatic weeds and vegetation. The grass carp are sterilized in hatcheries before stocking, so they won't reproduce.

According to stocking records, the DOW planted grass carp in Prospect Lake Park in 1988, 1992 and 1993.

To view Colorado's Fishing Records, visit the DOW website.