Carp

A delicious table fare for some, a dangerous invasive species for others, the big, tall Carp is one of the most popular objects of fishing worldwide.
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Where and When?

Most species of Carp occur in Asia, while the Common Carp is widespread across Europe, and a number of species are invasive in North America. In Europe, Carp fishing is offered by many stocked ponds and fish farms, and even in natural lakes the Carp populations probably originate from fish that was at one time stocked there. Perhaps the best place to target wild Carp are shallow, reedy lake-fishing-trips in the steppe belt of the continent. In the USA the invasive Asian Carps are found in many states, but are mostly concentrated in the Mississippi, Ohio, Missouri, and Illinois rivers and their tributaries. The Carp fishing season begins in spring, when the waters get warm, and lasts until autumn. In the winter the Carp is not very active, and in the lakes that freeze over and thus have low oxygen levels may even go into a sort of hibernation.

About Carp

The Carp is a genus of freshwater fish that prefers stable, even stale waters. It is well adapted to low oxygen levels and may survive draught by burying itself in the scum and falling in a kind of slumber. The best known of them are Common Carp in Eurasia and the four species known under the general name of Asian Carp in the USA. The Carp is a medium to big sized fish, in the wild form covered with light or golden colored scales, with a relatively short, tall (in some species oblong) body. The Carp has excellent smell and taction, due to the characteristic “mustache” near its mouth, and, while possessing no real teeth, has strong “throat teeth'' on gill bones. Carp has been farmed in Europe since the Roman Empire, and several ornamental forms have been bred. Today the Carp is farmed both for the table and for sports fishing; it has been introduced to many places outside its range and is listed as a harmful invasive species in some. A typical Carp is about 15 ¾ - 31 ½ inch (40-80 cm) long, and weighs 4 ½ - 31 lb; the world angling record is 100 ½ lb or 45.6 kg.

How to Catch?

Carp fishing in Europe is a special art and obsession for many, especially when it comes catching the biggest trophy fish. The Carp has highly developed senses of smell and taction, and will not take the bait if there’s even a hint of something artificial about it. The bait should cover the hook completely and extra fine leads are required, which presents another problem, as the Carp is a heavy fish that can put up quite a fight. Special Carp rods are made, sensitive enough to manipulate such fine lines, and on the other hand strong enough to handle the fight of the big, strong fish. Various bottom fishing rigs can also be used. The Carp typically sucks the bait into its mouth with the powerful current created by its gills, and good judgement is required to set the hook in at exactly the right moment. Different baits and feeds are available commercially, but true Carp fishing aficionados experiment with their own. In the USA Asian Carp is one of the most popular objects of bowfishing, an exciting and highly emotional pursuit.