The carp is classified under the Family Cyprinade, with the scientific name Cyprinus Carpio. Their origins can be traced in Asia, specifically China, during 1000 BC where it was hunted and bred for food. The Chinese introduced the carp to the Japanese and other Europeans as an appetizing delicacy and a colorful ornament, which remain even to this day.
Carp are large, yellow-green and brown colored fishes, which prey on both small fishes and weeds. There are two barbells found on the upper jaw, a distinct feature of carp. They can either live alone or in schools, usually found in shallow waters, lakes with a muddy bottom, rivers and ponds. During spring, the female carp lays her eggs on plants found in shallow water, which usually takes four to eight days to hatch. The carp reaches their full maturity after three years and may live up to fifty years. The average length of a carp is around fourteen inches but can reach up to forty inches and have a weight of nearly fifty pounds.
The Chinese were the first to breed different species of carp for food. They made the Mirror Carp, Leather Carp and Crucian Carp. The Japanese were the ones who bred the Koi Carp, the ornamental type of carp of different colors. But still, there are a several breeds of carp available. First is the original common carp, which has small regular scales all over; the Leather Carp, with no scales; the Mirror Carp with just a small number of big scales; the Liner Carp, similar to the mirror carp but scales are concentrated on the lateral line; the Grass Carp, looks like the common carp but with a body shaped like a club and an upturned mouth; the Italian Carp, a grey colored mirror carp with the torpedo shape of the common carp; the French Carp, a golden colored mirror carp with wide shoulders and a down turned mouth; the English Carp are colored brown and gold, with the same mouth as the French carp and a streamlined body. And there are also the Silver carp, Snail carp and Big-head Carp.
Carp species go toward the shallow waters when there is a rise in temperature. The stay in groups at first then divide into breeding groups containing dominantly of male carps. After the females spawn, the eggs laid drift freely until they secure themselves to something at the bottom of the water. When carp spawn, they do not concern themselves with food until they finish spawning. This is supposedly the best time to fish for carp since they would be aggressive eaters after spending several hours to few days spawning.
Some people claim carp are caught very easily, due probably to its stupidity, it has been a growing hobby to go carp fishing. Some studies have quoted them to have only a memory lasting to four seconds but some say up to twenty years. Carp are heavy and strong fish which may give the fisherman a hard time reeling them in. Put the tip of your finger at the mouth entrance after removing the hook will keep the carp still for you to be able to tag them or cook it for your lunch.
I myself find carp very difficult to catch and, very easily spooked. Most people have had success catching carp with a single piece of corn on a hook.