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Carpfishing in Canada
N.A's Most Underated Sportfish !
Common Carp ( Cyprinus Carpio)
Carp are an ancient fish, they originated in Asia, then spread to Europe ,from there spreading to almost all other continents. They have been used as a foodsource , fished for as sportfish , bred as fancy "Koi"carp, they are truly an amazing fish .Carp are extremely adaptive & hardy , they can stand most man made abuse of the environment (much more than any gamefish). They have low oxygen tolerance , & turbid water does not bother them . In fact there are only two limiting factors, apart from exess pollution, one is cold water temparature in the summer ,since carp need in exess of 64 degrees f to breed .If this does not occur regularly during summertime then carp will not proliferate ,although they will still grow to very large sizes ,so long as water temps are above 50 degrees carp will remain feeding & fairly active. If summertime temps are prolonged in the mid 60's & up wards to about 80deg ,then carp will spawn & proliferate .The other is deep water access (in Canada) carp need this ,I would say in stillwater lakes for sure, if they are to reach over 20 lbs, because of the eventual fishkills which occur during winter freeze-up,also many dam area's are lowered during winter, which is not helpful as far as producing big fish goes. Sizes range generally to 40 lbs, but many monsters 50lbs & up to 80lbs+ have been caught. 
If water conditions are not particularly good for other species i.e weed growth is poor or water quality is bad ,then carp can get overpopulated. This is when carp get the blame for any underlying problems , many times it is human mismanagment to blame , but the scapegoat is carp , but .....carp are here to stay ,they can provide great sport ,they are a survivalist & there is no reason now ,with catch & release fishing becoming more popular ,why these great fish should not also provide great sport too. So get involved ,these fish can test your resolve to the limit , in N.A they are not difficult to catch . So read on to find out how to enjoy this great fish. Dont forget to visit all the links & let me know about your great fishing adventures fishin for carp!
Quick Stats
Temp range : survival 34 -90+ deg f
Temp range feeding ; 39 - 85 approx (depending on oxegen & ph levels)
Ideal feeding temps : 58 - 70 deg f
Prefered water type; Eutrophic rivers & lakes (warm & rich in aquatic life) but will inhabit less fertile (mesotrophic) lakes & rivers too if temp is suitable. Carp generally are not found in higher altitudes, & in barren swift flowing streams. Carp need deep water to overwinter in a lake,which sees 2 months or so, of sub zero , (deg C) 32 deg f ,temparatures. Carp can live alongside salmon (in freshwater) but salmon need cool water & cannot live in a carp's domain for long.
Size range ; generally to 40 lbs in good water conditions & low stocking density, but sizes to 60 lbs are fairly common in Europe . The current world record is 82 lbs. - - Nettings of 100lbs + have been reported in N.A. but verification is scant. Where stocking densities are high, fish will generally make at least 10 lbs, with some going 15lbs, and a handful of bigger fish.
Habitat & Breeding; Carp like warm water, they are omnivorous, which means they will eat animal or vegetable matter, ideal feeding conditions  approx 60- 70 deg f. They will feed at temps outside this range too, but less food is eaten, since body chemistry is affected (metabolism), below 50 many carp cease to feed at all . They generally like water with good weedgrowth, & enjoy sunbathing if conditions are right. They are not generally predatory on other fish, but they can dig in the mud for food, & this is the action which gives carp a bad name in N.A. Everyone wants clear water but carp will dig in the mud when hungry (wouldnt we all ?) one of there favourite (& nutricious) foods lives in the mud. Carp breed when water temp rises to about 65 in the spring, they will look for cattails or other emergent or submerged vegetation to lay there eggs in. The water will normally be only 2-3 ft deep, there will be many carp around when this occurs, which is usually in May & early June. A big female will lay many thousands of eggs, which they do not guard, although the comotion that spawning carp make will keep most fish away from the area. Also baby carp grow at a phenomonal rate, which is why carp are immune from most predation. By 2 yrs old they may already be 2-3 lbs in size, which is too big for many predatory fish. They also have a serated dorsal fin which makes for good protection. When carp have spawned, they will normally move out of the area if there is somewhere else to go. By this time most other fish would have spawned too. I have NEVER seen carp bothering nesting fish at spawning time.  Carp spawn from age 3-4 yrs up untill 15 yrs old or so, this is a very intensive activety & actually slows the growth rate of carp quite severely. There is a theory which states that the biggest fish are non spawners & the more you think about it the more sense it makes.
Lifespan; approx 50 yrs in ideal conditions, although there are many records which have exceeded this. In tough water conditions with severe ice & shallow water problems, then it could be considerably less; in N.A. longevity is documented to 16-20yrs. Carp cannot become frozen like some of the smaller catfish can tolerate.There are fish in England documented , around 70 yrs old.
Carp are good at tolerating the heat of the summer.
Natural foods;-  Bloodworms, tubifex, mussels, chironomid  larvae, (midge & mosquito), annelid, crayfish,  shrimp, & other molluscs & crustacians. Also various vegetable types of food are eaten including many beans, seeds & grains , some types of algae & water weed. Generally carp will make the best of what is available to feed on. The biggest fish seem to come where they have mussel beds & crayfish to eat. Normally this coincides with deep water nearby too. Big fish also seem to live on a hard bottom too, i.e gravel or rocks, whereas softer bottoms seem to produce more, but smaller, fish. Also the adage a 'big water for a big fish ' DOES normally bear out.
Natural Enemies;- A 20 lb carp does not have many natural enemies, their biggest threat is MAN. A small carp 1-5 lbs might be taken by a big pike or muskie or a big catfish. Larger predators would be otter & alligators. Once a carp gets to 5 lbs (which could be in 2-3 yrs) it is safe from most N.A. predators.
There are a couple of things which allow carp to survive when other fish cannot, one thing is oxegen concentration : carp along with catfish & labyrinth fishes, can survive extremely low oxegen levels, this is why they can survive out of the water for so long. The second is fecundity (breeding) there is no other as proficient as carp for this. To witness a spawning cycle is something never forgotten, at this time carp are oblivious to anything but the task in hand! Ironically this is when the big females are at most risk from Hunters. It is a tragedy (in my eyes anyway) that a fish of such grace & beauty should be shot in the prime of life by an arrow. Life does not seem fair , but then - -  no one ever said it would be .
How to catch them;- If you are from Britain or Europe, you probably have a good idea. The Americans have been at it a long while too. If I have got your interest even one incy bit - -  read on. Carp are catchable after they have spawned & into the summer & fall, but now you have to pit your wits against the fish , & this is when it gets to be a challenge. Go and catch a 30+ lb carp by design in August in N.A & you can say you have learnt more than most ever will, about catching the wily carp! 

Carp ARE smart; Compared to other fish carp are actually quite intelligent; the important thing to remember is that carp can learn. They are far smarter than trout, & they do not often feed with aggression. You will have to really stretch your technique at times & they will seem to be uncatchable. But there WILL be a way, you will have to get smarter than the carp to catch him! To do this will at times be difficult. Dont give up though,.... keep trying things untill you find the way. When you do there will be a really good feeling of accomplishment. THIS is the reason to challenge the mighty Queen of the rivers... a good, stately & subtle fish. (Isaac Walton C1400)

                                Tite lines  & 'smart carpin''.
                                  BFN- - -  Carpsav

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