Cyprinus Carpio



River, Lake, Backcountry

5 - 100 pounds

16" - 47"

Common Carp

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

Guides Who Fish This Species

Common Carp (Cyprinus carpio) Description

The Common Carp is a popular game fish that thrives in warm freshwaters. It has a golden-yellow hue on its body mixed with olive color on its top and face. They are heavy-built and have a barbel on each side of their lower jaw, just like some catfishes. These barbels are whisker-like sensory organs that help the fish get a taste of their environment; making them alert for both food and predators.

They’re mostly found in waters that are stagnant such as lakes, lagoons, sloughs, reed beds, and slow-flowing rivers and they easily thrive in both clear or murky water. The common carps are voracious bottom-feeding omnivorous.  They eat aquatic plants, bottom-feeding insects, crustaceans, crawfish, and worms.


Interesting Facts About the Common Carp

  • The common carp is not native to the US. It’s the 3rd most introduced fish species in the world and is considered as pests in some countries, including the United States. They have a knack for dislodging aquatic plants which destroy some homes of tiny fishes and in turn reduces the number of both plants and other fish species. Though they can be destructive, they do have benefits such as dispersing seeds of aquatic plants. It’s just that in some areas they lack predators to keep their numbers in check.
  • They were brought in the US mainly for food but did not become a popular choice by the general market.
  • Wild common carps and domesticated ones look slightly different. Wild common carps have a slimmer body compared to domesticated ones which are stockier and a bit rounder.


Common Carp Size & Speed

Common carps are known for their stocky built body. Anglers love their fighting spirit; they trash around and they don’t get tired quickly. They are large fishes with average sizes of 15.75 - 31.5 inches and their average weight is 4.5-31 lbs. Anglers would often target the carps that are around 20 pounds or more as these are the more challenging game fish. They can also grow to enormous weight and sizes. The longest caught was 47 inches, and different anglers around the world caught 100 pounders (though the biggest one is 100.5 lbs).


Fishing Habitat & Distribution of the Common Carp

The common ca