Common name: Carp
Latin name: Cyprinus carpio
There are different variants of Carp, the main being:-
Common Carp - fully scaled Carp
Mirror Carp - scaled with large, uneven mirror like scales. Where there are no scales the body is smooth.
Linear Carp - scale less except for a row of large scales that run along the lateral line on both sides.
Leather Carp - smooth bodied, virtually unscaled except near dorsal fin.
Grass Carp - similar to the Common Carp but normally has a longer, thinner body.
Ghost Carp - same as the Common Carp but it is all white with two black eyes.
Koi Carp - this is more of an ornamental fish. Similar to the Common Carp but its colours include orange, black, red, yellow, and a combination of these colours.
A Carp has four barbules round its mouth. The Carp is brown to greenish brown or golden brown in colour with a lighter brown, cream underside. The Leather carp and Mirror Carp are usually a darker colour than the Common Carp. Carp are amongst the longest living fish species in the Britain and live up to around 20 years of age but carp of 60 years have been recorded. A Carp of 10lb to 20lb is considered a good fish.
Carp are found in all waters, but are fished for predominantly in stillwaters. The Carp feed extensively on bottom living invertebrates, fresh water shrimp, snails, insect larvae, caddis larvae, nymphs, crustaceans and molluscs, grubbing around among the bottom debris for the many micro-organisms which live there. They will also consume water plants and fish fry.
Fishing Methods for catching Carp:
Carp are caught using various methods including float, ledger or feeder. The feeder or ledger is generally the first method anglers try when fishing for Carp and is a popular method used by specimen anglers fishing for Carp. There are also many baits for catching Carp and some Carp anglers swear by the use of boilies. Although boilies are a good bait don't overlook the other baits such as sweetcorn and those listed above. A guide to the basic tackle needed for Carp fishing is; a rod with a 2 lb test curve (or a heavy feeder rod) fitted with a fixed spool reel filled with 10 lb main line and 18 - 24 inch 4 lb hook length and size 4 hook. Throw some 'free' offerings into the water where you are about to fish then get tackled up. If feeder fishing, bait your hook and use an open-end feeder filled with a groundbait mix with some of your hook bait mixed in. Cast in over the free offerings and when the feeder has reached the bottom, wind up the slack in the line then wind in a bit more till there is a sleight bend on your rod tip.
Baits for catching Carp:
Luncheon meat, boilies, trout pellets, Chum mixer or any other dog or cat biscuits, tiger nuts, peanuts, maize, worms, dendrobaena worms, red worm, brandlings, bloodworm, bread (either crust, punch, flake or paste), casters, maggots, pinkies, and sweetcorn. Carp are also caught using a floating bait like bread crust. Carp respond well to groundbaiting so if you can, pre-bait the area you are going to fish. Lay a bed of groundbait using brown crumb or continental groundbait with hemp or sweetcorn, casters, chopped up worms or a mix of these and some of your hook bait mixed in. Tiger nuts and peanuts are also used for groundbaiting but these should be thoroughly soaked beforehand.