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Common Carp Species Breakdown

Scientific Name: Cyprinus carpio

Also Known As: German Carp, European Carp, Leather Carp, Mirror Carp

Common carp are members of the minnow family. They were popular sport fish in their native waters so they were introduced to the US to expand the sport.

How to Identify a Common Carp

Common carp are large, thick-bodied fish with a long dorsal fin and forked tail. They have babels in each corner of their mouth. They are olive-brown to reddish-brown with a yellow belly. Their scales are large and thick.

Common Carp Size

Common carp can grow up to 100 lbs and 4ft long. They are more commonly caught around 1-8 lbs and 1-2ft long.

Common Carp Size Chart – Length to Weight Conversion

7″4 lbs
18″5 lbs
20″6 lbs
22″7 lbs
24″8 lbs
26″9 lbs
28″11 lbs
30″13 lbs
32″15 lbs
34″17 lbs
36″20 lbs
38″23 lbs
40″27 lbs
42″32 lbs
44″38 lbs
46″44 lbs
48″50 lbs

View World & State Common Carp Records

Where Common Carp Are Found

Common carp are native to Asia, Europe, and Turkey. They have been introduced throughout the world. They have a long history of being farmed for food.

They prefer slow or standing water and can tolerate temperatures from 37-95 degrees fahrenheit.

Lifespan of a Common Carp

Common carp can live up to 47 years in captivity but average 15-20 years in the wild. You can tell the general age of common carp by referring to the table below.

Common Carp Age Chart

1 Year Old5 – 8 inches
2 Years Old8 – 11 inches
3 Years Old11 – 14 inches
4 Years Old14 – 17 inches
5 Years Old17 – 20 inches
6 Years Old20 – 23 inches
7 Years Old23 – 26 inches
8 Years Old26 – 30 inches
9 Years Old30 – 34 inches
10 Years Old34 – 37 inches
11 Years Old37 – 41 inches
12 Years Old41 – 45 inches
13 Years Old45 – 46 inches
14 Years Old46 – 47 inches
15 Years Old47 – 48 inches

Fishing for Common Carp

Are common carp hard to catch?

Common carp aren’t the easiest fish to catch. They are quite skittish and will spit out anything that gives much resistance, like a tight fishing line. It is best to use slight slack until they fully bite your bait.

What size hook do you use for common carp?

The best hook to use for carp fishing is a 4/0 circle hook.

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What type of bait to use for common carp?

My favorite bait when fishing for common carp is canned corn. I put as many kernels that can fit on a 4/0 circle hook and let it sit on bottom until I feel a bite.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are common carp good to eat?

Common carp are edible but aren’t the best tasting carp. They have a darker meat with a strong flavor. Many attribute the strong flavor to their diet of savaging the bottom.

Are common carp invasive species?

Common Carp are an invasive species. They are native to Asia and Europe, but were introduced to the US for sport and farming.

What do common carp eat?

Common carp are omnivorous but mostly eat plants. Adults will also eat seeds, insects, crustaceans, mollusks and fish eggs. They feed from the bottom by sucking up mud, spitting it back out and eating the particles.