Two Dudes Used Their Dead Best Friend’s Ashes As Bait And Caught The World’s Biggest Carp

What's the craziest thing you've ever done on vacation? No matter the answer, it's probably not as crazy as catching the world's biggest carp while using your best friend as bait. That's right, a true story of two fishermen who used their dead friend as bait has gone viral after photos of their massive catch made their way onto the internet. Paul Fairbrass and Cliff Dale caught the massive Siamese carp during a trip to Thailand, but the trip wasn't exactly what they were hoping for.

Their friend, Ron Hopper, passed away tragically but his memory inspired Fairbrass and Dale to try something crazy in his honor. Amazingly, they managed to turn their dead friend's ashes into fish bait, and the stunt paid off big time. One of the most true facts about Siamese carp is that they love to eat, and apparently human is high on the menu. Exactly how they managed to capture this giant creature is fascinating, and this story of friends and fish will surely stick in your mind for years to come.

  • Three Friends Had An Amazing Trip Planned, But Tragedy Struck

    When Hopper, Fairbrass, and Dale first planned their trip from the UK to Thailand, it was expected to be the fishing trip of a lifetime. They were supposed to be celebrating their retirement, but tragedy struck just a few months before they were set to head off. Hopper was diagnosed with a fatal liver cancer that December and was told he only had a few weeks left. He passed away on December 22nd, 2015 and his body was cremated. 

  • Fairbrass And Dale Made A Promise To Their Friend

    On his deathbed, Hopper asked his friends to do one last thing for him. He wanted them to bring some of his ashes with them when they went to Thailand. His original wish was to have them scatter his ashes in the lake they had planned to visit, but Fairbrass had another idea. He jokingly suggested that they would "turn him into boilies and catch a big fish with them." Hopper found the suggestion so funny that he gave them his blessing to use his ashes as fish bait. 

  • Hopper's Ashes Were Used In A Morbidly Creative Way

    Fairbrass and Dale were true to their word, and when they set off to Thailand they made sure Hopper was close by their side. You might be asking yourself what kind of bait you can make from human ashes, but it wasn't just ashes they used. They mixed Hopper's remains with balls of meat and strung the unusual lures from their fishing rods. It was an act of love and friendship, and the two even went as far as to give the bait balls a fun nickname in honor of their friend: Purple Ronnie.

  • The Fish They Caught Was A Record Breaker

    In the end, the Purple Ronnie bait was an astonishing success. They caught multiple fish using the bait balls, but one stood out among the rest. The fish, a massive carp, was an absolute monster that weighed in at 180 lbs. It was one of the largest fish of its kind, crushing the world record of 134 lbs.

    Unfortunately, that record hasn't been updated in years in an effort to protect the waterways that these fish call home. So we don't know for sure if it's the biggest Siamese carp ever caught, but it certainly is an impressive catch. The two friends are sure that Ronnie was looking down on them when they caught that fish, and that he would have loved to be there for it. After taking a few photos, they released the carp back into the lake.

  • The Siamese Carp Is The Largest Of Its Kind

    Also known as the giant barb, the Siamese carp belongs to the family Cyprinidae, which includes all carp species. They can only be found in the fresh waterways of Vietnam and Cambodia and are the national fish of Cambodia. While some reports put the largest specimens at nearly 700 lbs, recent catches show that the species is shrinking. This could be due to overfishing or other environmental pressures, but locals say it is rare to see one much heavier than 200 lbs these days.

    Scientists are concerned that the Siamese carp his heading toward extinction, and that human predation is the primary cause. They are prized as a delicacy in their native region, and there are efforts to begin farming these fish as a sustainable alternative to fishing.

  • A Los Angeles Man Also Caught A Giant Carp In A Strange Way

    A Los Angeles Man Also Caught A Giant Carp In A Strange Way
    Photo: H. Zell / Wikimedia Commons / CC-BY-SA 3.0

    You don't have to fly all the way to Thailand to catch some unusually large carp. If you happen to live in Los Angeles, you can find giant carp in one of your local parks. A man named Eddie Salmeron netted a 50 lb carp in the middle of the dense, urban jungle. Salmeron was giddy over his catch, as was clear in an interview he gave with NPR.

    In Salmeron's words, "This fish was so massive, it was huggable. It looked like those big teddy bears that you get on the carnival rides when you win 'em, the big fat plumpy ones — that's how fat that fish was." That might be the most adorable description of a trophy fish that has ever been printed.