In Asia and Europe, Carp is a much sought after fish. In North America, it is considered more of a pest than a trophy.
History and Background
Carp fishing has been targeted by fisherman for centuries. For example Isaak Walton in the Compleat Angler had a chapter on the carp, and a recipe on how to cook it!
In Europe, extremely large fish are caught: tens of pounds.
Carp has also been raised in fish farms in several countries. It was experimentally introduced for fish farms in Egypt in the 1970's, and was successful adapting to the environmnet, and growing to large sizes. My uncle raised them in a fish farm for one season, and we did fish huge ones there. Consumers did not get used to this fish though, making it a commerical failure.
In North America, carp was introduced and stocked in rivers, so as to provide a food source for a growing population. Because of the lack of natural predators, carp has multiplied out of control in the Great Lakes ecosystem. It competes with other species for food, eats their fry, and disturbs the sediment because it is a bottom feeder.
Although some immigrants from Eastern Europe go after carp, it is not a fish that is sought by Canadians or Americans.
Some enterprising folks on the St. Lawrence waterway have established a tourism business based on carp fishing for mainly British clients.
Pictures of Carp Fishing
Here are some pictures of me fishing for carp.
Carp is considered a good fish to eat in many places in the world, such as South East Asia, and Eastern Europe. It is a staple in some areas, and a delicacy in others.
In North America, it is not eaten, except by some immigrants.
I have tried it myself, and the flesh does not taste very good, having a muddy dirt taste. Also, there are many small bones in the flesh, making it a hassle to eat.
I will not fish for carp to eat anymore after that. I may do catch and release only in the future.
Resources and Links
- Several cottage resorts specialize in carp in Ontario. Most of them are on the St. Lawrence River, or on the Trent-Severn Rivers. The clients are mainly British or European. Among them are Carp Canada, Canadian Carp Fishing, Canadian Carp Club, Kawartha Carp Fishing, as well as other Cottage Resorts.
- As for fishing for carp, you can check Walleye Warrior's page, which has a lot of good links. Also, Fish Ontario's Carp fishing page, and Carp European Style page. Ontario's Ministry of Natural Resources also has a page on Carp.