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Carp

The carp you will find in Winsford anglers Waters are Common Carp and Mirror Carp, they are present in nearly all of our waters in varying numbers and weights, on this page we will try and show you what a carp is some of its sensory and internal organs, where to find them and what weights they have grown to.

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What Can a Carp Hear??

 

The first thing you probably need to know about Carp is that they have excellent hearing. they have no obvious ears but they do have a couple of ways to hear what's going on, in and out of the water firstly their ears are hidden just hidden behind the gill covers. They also have a line running down each side of the fish called a lateral line that will pick up vibrations in the water which are usually caused by movement rather than simply sound, but either way, they have adapted well to be able to hear and hear very well.

We can never be sure how sensitive a carp’s hearing is, so if you are talking quietly on the bank they most probably wont detect that, but bangs like feet stomping, someone hammering in bivvy pegs, slamming doors, and banging gates can be more of an issue. as these sounds will travel through the water However it’s the noise made in the water that’s more important. If you want to wade out to cast or put bait in do it slowly, when casting try not to be casting every five minutes as the lead hitting the water will definitely be heard as will a spod hitting the water, The latter may actually attract carp in the short term as a sort of dinner bell, but once the fish associate the danger of being caught they will most likely shy away from such noises. of course each water will different and waters with a public footpath at the waters edge may cause less disturbance due to regular boise of people walking by, than a very secluded quite water where any disturbance may spook the fish. so wherever you are fishing be aware of what noise you are making.

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What can a Carp See?

Carp have well developed colour vision adapted to suit low light and murky water conditions, due to its eyes being on the side of its body it does not have binocular vision like we do, and as such can't judge distances very well, but ban see a wide area around its body, this is very useful when the fish is smaller as Carp are prey fish, so seeing what is sneaking up on you is a good idea. a carp may be able to see you on the bank if it is in the margins and you are stood up close to the water, but the further out the fish is the less it can see of the bankside, so if you are margin fishing in a clear water it may pay to sit back a bit and keep low. Although a Carps vision is much better than ours it has limits and as the fish go lower in the water the light penetration becomes less, and their colour vision fades to shades of gray, apparently one of last colours to fade in their vision is pink.

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Carp Reproduction

Carp in the UK tend to spawn in early summer, usually when the water temperature reaches around 17 degrees in parts of the waterbody,  When males are ready for spawning, they develop breeding nodules on the head and pectoral fins, principally along the bones of the fin rays. These appear as fine whitish raised spots. The nodules appear in abundance on the pectoral fins in regular rows and are rough to the touch. During breeding, the male nudges the female with his head and fins to encourage spawning,  male fish will start to gather simulating their spawning runs, this tends to happen in marginal areas like reed beds, tree roots and weed beds, basically anywhere there is cover the eggs and hatching fish, when the females are ready they will join the males and spawning can begin, females will rub against the roots weed or reeds where they have chosen laying their eggs as they go along, they are enthusiastically chased by the males as they need to fertilise the eggs thith their milt, upon release into the water there outer shell becomes sticky and the eggs will stick to the roots to stop them being washed away, this process can continue for several days and may stop and start, one single female carp can lay millions of eggs, if found by other fish they will feed on them and carp themselves will eat their own eggs and fry. once laid eggs will take about eight days to hatch. the Carp in most of our waters had a good spawning season in 2021.

Carp diet

Carp are omnivores and as such will eat meat as well as pant food, their natural diet will consist of including planktonic crustaceans, insects (including their larvae and pupae), the tender parts and seeds of water plants, and also fish eggs and larvae, as well as smaller fish  It is important to note that carp are flexible and opportunistic feeder that can switch from preferred to alternative diets according to the food availability Carp are predominantly bottom feeders and eat a wide variety of foods such as insects, aquatic vegetation, crustaceans, worms, and algae, but will take items of food mid water and on the surface, their feeding behavior is also influenced by their surroundings time of day and perceived presence of danger. They use a special organ, called the olfactory rosette to locate food and in conjunction with the fishes barbels help it locate food in water that sometimes has zero optical visibility. 

From the beginnings of modern carp fishing and before boilies arrived some basic food items have been used to effectively catch carp, these items include, potatoe, cheese, luncheon meat, lots of different types of seeds and nuts, (though these need proper preparation before use) you can almost guarantee if you can attach a food item to a hook or hair rig it's been tried! obviously with varying success, one of the most effective food items still used to catch carp is corn, this can be straight from a tin or prepared corn specially for angling purposes, it's been flavoured and coloured, even plastic or rubber fake corn can be a great hook bait and has the advantage of not coming of the hook as easy as real corn. Modern carp fishing is all about boilies and there are now a multitude of bait companies making all advertising their bait as the one that will catch you the biggest and most fish. but beware as not all carp like the same stuff, in some carp venues the fish prefere a fismeal type bait, others it will be a sweet flavoured milk protein bait, obviously over time and as fish get caught on a certain bait their preferences will and do change

Where and when to catch carp?

Most WDAA waters contain Carp, have a look at our waters pages to see which ones.

Whether it be Common Carp, Mirror carp, or Crucian carp, carp are most active when the water is warmer so as the weather warms up in spring the fish start to move around more and feed, locating the fish is essential to catching them, if you are fishing in a part of the lake that has no fish present on the day you are fishing then there is very little chance of catching them, in spring they may be found in shallower areas where the sun warms the water quite quickly, in a deeper water with not many shallow areas the fish may be all at a certain depth in the water, wind and weather can also have a big influence on where the fish are, as it effects water currents, which in turn can move around the natural food in the water column, a rainy day might stop the fish feeding if the rain is colder than the water temperature, or it may have the opposite effect as rain will also introduce oxygen into the water.  In Winter the carp are less active and only feed for short periods or may be not at all some days, when the do feed they will not be whizzing around like they might be in summerso locating fish can be even more essential to success. you can make your carp fishing as simple or as complicated as you want it to be, simple can be just turning up and casting out, but if you want success you will need to take all the above factors into consideration, plus a lot more not even mentioned here

As with all of the above subjects there is a huge amount of information out there, and here we are just scratching the surface.