Three varieties of Carp, the COMMON, the MIRROR and the LEATHER CARP all live in British still waters whether they are natural or man-made.
There are two distinctive types of the fully scaled common carp, the large, deep bodied fish, which originally came from a continental-bred stock, and a much slimmer, slightly built fish, which is known as a WILD CARP or “WILDIE”. The WILD CARP supposedly been derived from the carp introduced to Britain in the middle ages. The MIRROR has large scales along the lateral line, and the LEATHER CARP has no scales whatsoever.
The carp has four barbules, two from above the upper jaw, and one from each corner of the mouth. These are used for searching and feeling for food. They find much of their food, which consists of small invertebrates and vegetable matter in the soft muddy bottom, which the fish will sink into during the cold winter months.
During the summer, it would be fair to describe the carp as a surface feeder, as they are often seen feeding on flies and other foods from the surface. These fish are very acrobatic, seen jumping clear of the water during the summer.
The carp species can grow to over 50lbs or 22.8kg but to catch one in its twenties is a very good fish.