Everything You Need to Know About Carp Fishing

What is a Carp?

Carp (Cyprinidae) are a family of oily, toothed, and scaly fish that’s third anterior-most pair of ribs touches the swim bladder. There are many species within this family, but the ten most common that are most often referred to colloquially just as “carp” are the silver, common (European), grass, bighead, crucian, Catla (Indian), mrigal, black, and mud carp, as well as steeplerush.

Originally native to Europe and Asia, these freshwater fish are considered invasive in North America, Africa, and Australia. They were originally stocked in these places due to their popularity for eating in Europe and Asia, as well as for their ability to be domesticated, as in common carp for goldfish and koi. However, they have not reached popularity among anglers in these areas.

They are a very hardy species, making their invasion challenging to control. They can withstand very dirty and brackish water and can tolerate very low levels of oxygen. Some species can even withstand water with essentially no oxygen by metabolizing glycogen which eventually converts into ethanol and carbon dioxide that is released back into the water through their gills.

How big do Carp get?

There is quite a lot of variance in size amongst the ten most commonly mentioned species of carp. The largest in terms of length is the bighead carp, which is averagely sized at 23 inches. The smallest is the grass carp, which only grows to an average of just over four inches.

However, carp tend to grow quicker in length than they do in width and weight. Because of this, the silver carp comes in as top dog, with reports maxing out over 100 pounds. However, the average silver carp caught is closer to 18 pounds.

What's the biggest Carp ever caught?

Although there have been reports from all over the world of carp being caught and weighed at over 200 pounds, like John Harvey’s 232 pounder caught in Thailand.

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