Types/Species of Carp

Types/Species of Carp

The word carp is actually the common name for different freshwater fish of the Cyprinidae family. Whilst there are many different species and types which fall into the carp category, we will focus on the main ones, especially those which are involved in carp fishing.

Below are a list of the most common species of carp, including their likes, dislikes, and characteristics.

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Common Carp

About the Common Carp

The Common Carp, also known as the European Carp is the most widespread species of carp. They are native to Asia and Europe, although have been introduced worldwide.

Common Carp Weight and Size

The Common Carp can grow up to a maximum length of 5 feet (1.5 metres) and reach a maximum weight of over 80 lb (37.3 kg). However the majority of Common Carp average around 1-2 feet (0.3-0.5 metres) in length, and 10 lb (4.5 kg) in weight. Wild Common Carp that are non stocked tend to be much less in weight and size, although Common Carp found in rivers tend to be much stronger than their lake water relatives.

Common Carp Baits

Common Carp will eat about anything! The most popular and successful baits tend to be bollies, bread, luncheon meat, and anything large enough so that it is not eaten by smaller fish.

Mirror Carp

About the Mirror Carp

Mirror Carp are very similar to Common Carp. However whilst Common Carp have an even scale pattern, Mirror Carp have only a large row of mirror like scales which run along their body. Mirror Carp were the first mutation of Common Carp and are thought to have been bred this way so that they were easier to prepare for eating.

Mirror Carp Weight and Size

The Mirror Carp can grow up to a maximum length of 5 feet (1.5 metres) and reach a maximum weight of over 60 lb (27.2 kg). However the majority of Mirror Carp average around 1-2 feet (0.3-0.5 metres) in length, and 10 lb (4.5 kg) in weight. The number of Carp caught in the UK over 40 lb tend to be Mirror Carp due to the ease of identifying them.

Mirror Carp Baits

Mirror Carp will eat about anything! The most popular and successful baits tend to be bollies, bread, luncheon meat, and anything large enough so that it is not eaten by smaller fish.

Leather Carp

About the Leather Carp

Leather Carp are similar to Mirror Carp, although they are not completely the same. Many people believe Leather Carp are Mirror Carp without scales, although their differences are much more genetic. Leather Carp have a reduced number of red blood cells, therefore their groth rates are slowed and they do not grow as big as Mirror Carp.

Leather Carp Weight and Size

The Leather Carp can grow to a maximum length of 4 feet (1.2 metres) and reach a maximum weight of over 50 lb (22.7 kg). However the majority of Leather Carp average around 1-2 feet (0.3-0.5 metres) in length, and 10 lb (4.5 kg) in weight.

Leather Carp Baits

Leather Carp will eat about anything! The most popular and successful baits tend to be bollies, bread, luncheon meat, and anything large enough so that it is not eaten by smaller fish.

Crucian Carp

About the Crucian Carp

The Crucian Carp is a much smaller variety of Carp and is found mainly in ponds, lakes, and slow moving rivers across Asia and Europe. Crucian Carp look very similar to Common Carp in their colour and scale pattern. However Crucian Carp have very high backs which almost form a 'disc' shape, as well as their noticable well rounded fins. There has been much confusion in Crucian Carp naming as many similar looking fish exist, such as hybrids between Common Carp and Goldfish.

Crucian Carp Weight and Size

The Crucian Carp is much smaller in weight and size than the Common Carp. It can grow up to a maximum length of 1-2 feet (0.4 metres) and reach a maximum weight of around 4 lb (1.8 kg).

Crucian Carp Baits

Crucian Carp are one of the most difficult and inconsistent Carp to catch. They normally feed around margins and prefer baits such as maggots, bread, sweetcorn, and small pieces of luncheon meat.

Grass Carp

About the Grass Carp

The Grass Carp (or White Amur) was introduced to Europe and the United States of America for the purpose of weed control. It originated from the Amur River and is native to Siberia and China. Grass Carp are a greenish-yellow colour with a white belly and large scales. They are found mainly in slow moving bodies of water with plenty of vegetation.

Grass Carp Weight and Size

Grass Carp grow very rapidly in size and weight, and depending on the age of the fish can grow over 10 lb a year! Grass Carp can grow up to a maximum length of 5 feet (1.5 metres) and reach a maximum weight of around 80 lb (37.3 kg).

Grass Carp Baits

Grass Carp are fond of baits such as bread, cherry tomatos, raspberries and spinich!

Ghost Carp

About the Ghost Carp

Ghost Carp, also known as 'Ghosties' are a variety of Koi Carp with distinctive white markings on the top of their heads. Their scales have an intense metallic lustre and can be in the colours of silver, gold, and white. Ghost Carp can also come with many different scale variations, such as those of Common Carp, Mirror Carp, and Leather Carp.

Ghost Carp Weight and Size

The Ghost Carp can grow to a maximum length of 4 feet (1.2 metres) and reach a maximum weight of over 50 lb (22.7 kg). However the majority of Ghost Carp average around 1-2 feet (0.3-0.5 metres) in length, and 10 lb (4.5 kg) in weight.

Ghost Carp Baits

Ghost Carp can be caught with most of the normal carp catching baits, although bollies, bread, pellets, and luncheon meat tend to work best!


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