Carp (Cyprinus carpio)

Common Leather Mirror
                                      Fact File: British Record 61lb 7oz (27.867kg)
                                      Captor:    Mr Lee Jackson
                                      Location: Conningbrook Lake , Ashford , Kent ,
                                      Year:      29th August 2002
Grass C












The Carp
family were originally introduced to the UK by the Romans, the majority of which were probably caught in the Danube before being transported across Europe. Centuries of selective breeding have produced the present day deep-bellied and high backed Carp that we are most familiar with today. They can be found in ponds, lakes and slow flowing rivers where they have become an icon for today's fisherman, whether it be the specialist or pleasure angler. The larger specimens can be found in long established lakes, often secreted away, containing a good source of natural food. They are often used as a stock fish in privately owned and club owned waters because of their sporting prowess and agility, presenting the captor with a formidable opponent. 

Click to enlargeMost large Carp have been christened with nicknames by their captors, the most famous of which was Richard Walker's 44lb specimen, Clarissa in 1952. Click the picture on the right to enlarge it. 

 Click to enlarge               
The British Record has recently been broken by a 
whopping 61lb 7oz fish known as 'Two Tone' which has twice broken the record in recent years. Click the photo on the left to enlarge it and see the fish.

Methods of Capture. The Carp is predominately a bottom feeder but can often be seen cruising below the surface of the water especially during the summer months, picking at fallen insects. When feeding like this, a carefully position bread crust or floating pellet can have the desired result. Bottom fishing methods are varied, every angler having his or her favorite method but without doubt, a successful method is an attractive bait suspended or floated just off the bed of the water. This can be over loose samples of the same. Generally Carp tend to swim in small groups, two or three fish together; the larger specimens though are often solitary. 
Baits can range from bread, worm or bunched maggots to the more manufactured baits boilies, pastes and trout pellets often enhanced with flavouring from the sweet to the exotic. Recommendations regarding tackle can be summed up in one word - strong. Even the smaller 1lb fish will give more than its fair share of excitement. The larger specimens often tiring out the most determined angler first.

When using the Emstat type feeder for fishing the Method if you're getting a lot of tip activity but hardly any takes. Try pulling the lead weight out of the end, ,just using the weight of the groundbait to cast out with. This mean's that after ground bait has fallen off you will be freelining, resulting in more takes as the fish feel no resistance & pick the bait up with confidence. If it's still hard try pointing the rod straight at the baited hook, you'll  find it often results in a take when the fish are picking up the bait & dropping it when they feel the resistance of the rod tip.

Tip: Some carp are bottom feeders as well as surface. You're best bet is to see if carp are 'cruising' on the surface, jumping out of the water or just taking flies off the surface (which means a dry fly would be best) if you see any of these things its best to use a floating bait if ducks are present then try to fish close to lilies if if there are no ducks then cast mainly anywhere and throw in some floating bait around yours. But if there are no signs of surface carp then either float fish (on bottom if loose feeding) or midwater if using smelly bait or ledgering. Popular carp baits are boilies, worms, maggots, bread (paste,crust,or flake) luncheon,and sweetcorn.


Links to related sites
Catchmore Carp
Carp Fishing UK
Recommended Books and Videos

The Secret Carp- Chris Yates
To Catch a Carp - Tim Paisley

Rob Hughes Guide to Carp Fishing 
French Carping - An Introduction


Please feel free to contribute to this page.
Tips, Methods, Info, Specialist Groups,
click Here

[Talk Carp] [Report a New Record]  [Return to Fish & Tips], 2001-
    all rights reserved