Despite the fact that most fishermen discuss catching common carp and mirror carp during the summer in the UK, you’ll also see a wide variety of other carp species being caught. This includes the crucian carp, the F1 carp, the mirror carp, and the grass carp. Grass carp is an intriguing addition to the carp family because it is difficult for fishermen to catch.
Grass carp are more difficult to catch than other carp species for a number of reasons, chief among them being their herbivorous diet. Nevertheless, grass carp can still be caught with the proper baits and approaches.
If you’re wondering how we’ll be able to capture this tenacious fighter, we’ve got you covered. This page explains what grass carp is, how it varies from other carp species, what baits and rigs can be used to catch grass carp, as well as some additional tips for catching grass carp.
Therefore, let’s dig in!
What is a Grass Carp?
People often cultivate grass carp for fishing and consumption. In Britain, it is often regarded as a coarse fish and is never consumed, although in other countries, it is consumed.
Descriptions of the body
Grass carp, also known as Ctenopharyngodon idella, is a very large species of fish. Its scientific name comes from the pharyngeal teeth it possesses. Its head is scaleless, however its body is covered with enormous scales. The body is torpedo-shaped and elongated. It can weigh as much as 88 lb. and is quite plump. Its tail is branched.
It is greenish-brown or olive in colour and has a white underbelly. Some grass carp are coloured silver. It lacks both the normal soft lips and barbels of other carp species. The scales on the back and sides are defined with a dark tint, giving them an outlined look.
Grass carp are primarily herbivorous, although they will eat insects or fish eggs if they cannot find sufficient plant food. It is a voracious eater, typically consuming three times its body weight every day. Most nations introduce grass carp to reduce the proliferation of unmanaged aquatic vegetation.
Grass carp are typically found in freshwater streams, swift-moving rivers, lakes, and ponds because they find an adequate quantity of aquatic vegetation and the ideal conditions for spawning in these environments. Temperatures in the 20°C to 30°C range are optimal for grass carp reproduction.
It lays its eggs in swiftly-moving water because, throughout the incubation stage, the eggs must float in water or perish.
Grass carp typically require two years to reach maturity, although they may continue to grow for much longer.
Differences From Other Carp Species
Grass carp is distinguished from other species by its peculiar appetite and eating habits. It is predominantly herbivorous and feeds on water plants. In contrast, the vast majority of other carp species are omnivores and consume aquatic plants as well as insects, crustaceans, small fish, and fish eggs.
Grass carp feeds more than other kinds of carp. It is able to consume up to 40% of its own weight in food. Due to the incomplete digestion of the meal, the animal’s waste might generate algal blooms in its environment. This is why it typically generates imbalances in the ecosystems in which it resides.
When being reeled in, grass carp is also a very active combatant. It furiously thrashes, which is why most fishermen find catching grass carp to be a fun challenge.
It is typical for novice fishermen to get the several carp species confused. Numerous species, like the common and grass carp, are very similar and might be difficult to distinguish. Let’s be honest! When the carp is thrashing on the line, it is impossible to identify its species with certainty.
However, we are here to help. Let’s compare the differences between grass carp and common carp, since the common carp is the species you are most likely to confuse it with.
The Best Baits For Grass Carp
Grass carp are predominantly herbivorous; therefore, you must adapt your baits to meet their needs. We’ve got some recommendations if you’re still confused!
The following are popular baits for grass carp:
Balls of sweetcorn and breadcrumbs used as bait.
Since the majority of these baits are readily available, we are certain that you will have little difficulty altering your bait supply to attract grass carp.
The Most Effective Lures And Methods To Catch Grass Carp
The grass carp may occasionally resemble the common carp, but that is the extent of their similarity. Grass carp are notoriously difficult to capture, so you’ll need the proper equipment to ensure success.
Firstly, ensure that your fishing line is lengthy, as grass carp prefer to float in deeper water. Only during migration and spawning do they venture into shallower waters.
Additionally, you will require:
A 20- to 30-pound-test fishing line (preferably monofilament or fluorocarbon)
A reel that allows for a line extension of up to 200 yards.
A chod rig while fishing in vegetation.
A hair rig if you are just beginning.
A zig-rig that is adjustable for fishing near the surface
The majority of anglers prefer to use lines that are not immediately visible, such as fluorocarbon. They use circle hooks for carp fishing because they are the most ideal for the mouth of a grass carp. In addition, ensure that the hook is completely concealed by the bait, as grass carp are naturally wary and will not bite if anything appears amiss.
Now that we’ve covered the precise baits and equipment required to catch grass carp, let’s move on to the techniques. Fishing for grass carp is not particularly difficult! Simply follow these techniques and have your camera ready to shoot a photo when your line emerges with a massive grass carp battling on it!
Then, let’s dig in!
We are well aware that grass carp enjoy plant-based meals. A few days before your fishing trip, bait the area with sweetcorn so that grass carp develop accustomed to feeding there. This will increase your chances of catching a large number of fish.
If you wish to pre-bait the area with bait balls made of sweetcorn and breadcrumbs, you can pack an extra punch.
Grass carp can be pursued if the water is clean enough. If you have baited the area beforehand, you may observe grass carp swimming near the surface. Cast approximately six feet ahead of the carp and allow them to swarm to the bait.
Sight fishing is a highly rewarding approach since anglers can see precisely where to cast and what to do to get carp to bite. As grass carp are easily scared, be sure to cast close to the fish instead of directly at it.
Grass carp can also be caught using traditional methods.
Do Grass Carp Fight Back After Being Hooked?
You must manage grass carp in a specific manner if you want them to reach the landing net safely. In close proximity to the rod tip, they put up a vigorous fight. In this situation, you must ensure that the drag is sufficiently loose, should the grass carp’s fighting tear it off or pull the hook. They are also fairly huge, so their uncontrollable struggle may provide a problem.
When they notice the landing net, they react most fiercely, thus it is vital to be vigilant. We’ve even heard some grass carp jumping out of the landing net in their frantic efforts to escape!
If possible, transport the fish to a grassy area and place it in an unhooking mat so that it remains safe and does not thrash wildly, injuring itself. Use caution when photographing it, as it can damage you or itself with its aggressive behaviour.
Techniques To Capture Grass Carp
Certain techniques can help you catch grass carp, just as they can help you catch other species. If you’ve spent some time on the banks, you must have met some helpful old-timers who are willing to share their knowledge. People believe that the greatest location to learn about carp fishing is on the water itself.
So, what grass carp-catching techniques did we learn throughout our carp-fishing excursions? Let’s find out.
Fish During The Summertime
Find Sluggish Waters
Ensure that there is no drag
Use a free-spool line that is guaranteed to have no drag, as grass carp are extremely watchful and will flee at the first sign of resistance. Once the drag is eliminated, you will not be able to detect whether anything bites the line. To combat this, maintain a finger on the line to detect bites and be prepared to strike a fish in motion.
Protect the Hook
Always ensure that the hook is completely concealed while angling for grass carp by hooking the bait. Even a slice of something strange is enough to frighten the carp away.
You Should Camouflage Yourself
Grass carp have keen vision and are able to detect movement outside of the water. If you intend to engage in surface fishing, you should wear neutral colours and avoid rapid movements that could frighten the carp.
This concludes the information we have on how to successfully catch numerous grass carp.
The grass carp is popular among fishermen seeking a challenge since it is difficult to locate, difficult to attract, and fights fiercely once caught. If you want a challenge, we hope this guide to catching grass carp has given you ideas for your next fishing trip and what you need to do to excel on the lake.