Santa Clara A Velha, Algarve (PT)
Carp (Cyprinus carpio) originally come from Asia, but since ages they are native to Europe. In the Middle Ages, monks introduced carp into ponds and lakes for food. Carp thrive in virtually any environment and can grow up to 80lb!
Quite surprisingly, carp are a part of the minnow family and are actually the world’s largest minnows. Carp have an overbite “suckerfish” type mouth. They can grow as large as 47 inches long, although they average between 16 to 32 inches. They prefer to hang out in slow-moving or standing water and generally travel in schools of at least five. Carp eat vegetation as well as insects, worms, and crawfish.
They are generally a brownish-gold colour with darker tails, dorsal fins and heads. Their large scales form a sort of spotted formation of gold and dark brown. Experts distinguish linear carp, leather carp, common carp, mirror carp, fully scaled mirror carp...
Carp are native to both Europe and Asia where they are often a target species for many freshwater fishermen. In Europe, Spain, France, Germany, the United Kingdom and Holland are the most passionate about carp fishing.
Since their introduction into the United States in the 20th century, their population has grown massively in many American bodies of water as well. Carp can be found in every US state except Alaska at this point, but the best carp fishing is in the Great Lakes Basin in the upper Midwest. In fact, each year there is a massive migration of carp into Grand Traverse Bay, part of Lake Michigan.
For tackle, we'd need a whole new section. Carp anglers sleep in their bivvy on their stretcher, they have a rodpod for their rods (usually 2 to 4 rods). They have specialized carp fishing landing nets, unhooking mat, weighsling, carp cradle, special desinfectant for hookwoonds in the carp's mouth.
For ground baiting, they use a boat with fish finder and sounder or a remote controlled baitboat to drop off the hooklinks and for groundbaiting with pellets, boilies, particles, etc.
You’ll want to outfit your rod and reel with medium tackle. Carp can be caught fishign with a float, but most carp anglers fish with a weight on the bottom and a carp rig: simple hair rig, pop-up rig, chod-rig, hinged stiff rig, helicopter rig, KD rig, etc.
Since carp are bottom feeders, their taste is largely dependent on the body of water that you pulled them out of. Carp have the potential to be very good to eat if caught from a clean source of water which is a surprise to most people.
With the above being said most carp fishermen are generally in it for the love of the sport and once a few iconic pictures are taken, carefully return the fish to the water unharmed.
Since carp can be caught all over the world, in almost every US state and on at least 3 continents, please be sure to check your local regulations before fishing for carp, since they vary everywhere.
Regulations vary by location, so make sure to stay up to date with the regulations in your area of fishing if you plan on fishing without a charter.