Common carp (Cyprinus carpio)
The common carp originated in Western Asia and naturally dispersed to China, Siberia and the Danube basin. Carp where introduced to Britain by the Romans in the mid fifteenth century. They collected wild carp from the River Danube and introduced them throughout Europe as a source of food. Carp culture in China dates back to the 7th Century BC where some 90% of the current 11 million ton world production is still grown. Carp where then spread throughout Europe by monks between the 13th and 16th centuries as a food source. The fish where grown in small mud ponds and fed to be eaten as required. Carp have now been introduced to all continents and some 59 countries. In Western Europe, the carp is cultured more commonly as a sport fish although they are still eaten by some. Here In the U.K, carp fishing is now the largest and fastest growing area of coarse fishing. Many fisheries are now dedicated to carp fishing and can provide excellent sport.
Carp can be found in a wide variety of waters ranging from rivers to shallow ponds, although they are most at home in warm silty ponds with plenty of cover and natural food. The carp is a very hardy fish, capable of withstanding poor water quality considered harmful to many other species.
The main attractions to to fishing for carp is the power of the fish and the effort required to catch a specimen size fish. Large carp are very wary and have an uncanny ability of ignoring the anglers baits. Their feeding habits are greatly affected by weather conditions and the abundance of natural food. There is nothing predictable about carp fishing! Probably the greatest attraction though is the size of the fish. Carp can grow very large. The current U.K record is just over 60lb and the world record is over 100lb.