Common Carp

Common Carp

World Record: 75lbs 11oz
Lac de St. Cassien France
May 21st 1987
Length: up to 50 inches
Found in: Lakes & Rivers
Warm Waters 28C


The common carp is a heavy-bodied minnow with barbels on either side of the upper jaw. Carp have stocky bodies, large scales, and range in color from dark olive bronze on the top of the back to lighter silvery yellow on the belly. The color intensity varies to blend with the color of the water or the habitat background. Typically, color varies from brassy green or yellow, to golden brown, or even silvery. The belly is usually yellowish-white. The dorsal and ventral fins have a stiff-barbed spine at the front followed by soft flexible 17-21 rays. The oldest recorded age is of at least 75 years. They have good eyesight and are sensitive to sound, and disturbances in or near the water. The mouth and lips are adapted to extend like a short tube for sucking up food. Regular scales easily identify the Common Carp over the whole of its body. They have an orderly scale pattern and slender bodies.


Common carp prefer large bodies of slow or standing water and soft, vegetative sediments. They prefer to be in groups of 5 or more. They naturally live in a temperate climate in fresh or slightly brackish water. They will readily survive winter in a frozen over pond, as long as some free water remains below the ice. Carp are able to tolerate water with very low oxygen levels, by gulping air at the surface.


Common carp are omnivorous. They can eat a vegetarian diet of water plants, but prefer to scavenge the bottom for insects, crustaceans (including zooplankton), crawfish, and benthic worms.