Cyprinus Carpio

Current British record: 68lb 1oz (2016)

Dean Fletcher, Cranwells Lake, Wasing Estate, Berkshire


Many anglers spend a lot of their time sitting on the bank awaiting a bite from the biggest in the lake. The Carp originated from Europe and Asia and have been bred to show large bellies and high backs. The carp name is shared with a varity of species including the common, crucian and grass carp. The most targeted is the common carp in the UK and its relatives the Mirror and Leather carp. The common carp is covered with small scales whereas the mirror will have few large scales and the leather carp is smooth.


Over the years the weight of the carp grows and grows, with a UK record of 64lb 0oz, these fish grow big! It is known for a carp to grow in excess of 100lb in the right condition in Europe. With an average weight of 10lb these are great fish for any angler to have in their net. With a specimen size of 25lb, many anglers wait for the biggun to bite, allowing them to boast to their fellow anglers down the local watering hole.


Carp will rarely exceed the 100cm mark.


It is thought that Carp will not exceed 40 years in age.


Carp spend the majority of their time in stocked lakes, gravel pits and slow moving reservoirs. Carp have been known to pop up in slow moving rivers and canals. Carp favour reeds and banks when seeking out a meal, this also offers protection from others. You will usually find Carp around the margins or next to an island or lily pads.


Carp are shoaling fish, the larger of the community tend to stay out of trouble allowing the others to eat and take risk when feeding. This makes the challenge of catching a specimen a little harder.


Carp are generally low level feeders but have adapted to feeding from the surface in warmer months. Carp offer a challenge to all anglers as they may change their feeding habits throughout the year. Carp will eat a natural diet of worms, molluscs and vegetation. The more common bait is the variety of boillies on the market, all with different flavours, sizes and shapes to offer a variety of treats.


Males will reach sexual maturity between the ages of 3-4 years, It takes females a little longer at 4-5 years.


The ladies will lay around 100000 to 200000 of eggs per kg of body weight. Laying in dense weed around May to July. To be successful with their breeding the water must be around 20 degrees centigrade. This can cause problems in the UK and at times no breeding will take place.


All information is from a variety of sources, if you think we have missed something? Email with your update.

See you on the bank.

The Fishing UK Team!