With the introduction of specimen carp tp 35lb in 2007, Celtic lakes Resort has soon become one of the premier "big fish" waters in the whole of the UK. Elysium (Lake 6), the Specimen lake holds the biggest carp. Originally stocked with over 350 Marc Simmonds mirror carp between 4lb and 10lb
and 350 common carp between 2lb and 20lb. The specimen lake has already produced
carp to well over the 30lb mark.
It was the Romans who first brought the carp to Western Europe way back in the forth century AD but it was not until the 1400s that they were first introduced into British waters. Introduced initially by monks as a food source, carp became established and were
stocked into estate lakes and fisheries, and once available, quickly became a target for anglers. The carp have since become the most sought after coarse fish for anglers because other than the catfish, they grow larger than any other coarse fish and these wily fish offer a real challenge for anglers.
Carp tend to establish themselves as the dominant species at any venue and can easily put on 3lb in weight in each year. The original wild carp that were introduced have since cross-bred many times and there are few true wild carp to be found in Britain these days. There are now many varieties of carp in our waters, the two most prevalent being the Common Carp and the Mirror Carp.
Recently the British Record was broken by a fish of over 60lb. Whilst carp this large are a rarity, they readily grow to over 10lb, with 20lb being considered specimen sized. Carp are amongst the longest living fish species in the country, with wild fish of over 60 years old being recorded, but most carp will live for 10 - 20 years.
Carp appear to learn to avoid baits on which they have previously been caught and as such present a great challenge to anglers. However, carp will basically eat anything when they are hungry and if the conditions are right, you can catch carp on a single maggot or a piece of luncheon meat the size of your fist. In recent time, there is one bait that has become the dominant bait for catching the really big carp ... the boilie, a highly nutritional bait available in a huge range of flavours and sizes.
Carp are best targeted in the summer months because they feed less in winter as their metabolic rate slows down. However the temperate Welsh climate means that fishing for Carp at Celtic Lakes Resort can be enjoyed all year round.
All techniques seem to be working well so far at Celtic Lakes Resort. A wide variety of techniques including modern carp fishing, waggler fishing, traditional ledgering and even pole fishing are all putting plenty of fish on the bank.
The most effective baits so far seem to have been boilies of all flavours and sweetcorn, although don't forget the much neglected maggots which so far have not been tried.
The Common carp is similar in appearance, but not in shape, to the wild carp. It has a fully-scaled body and a golden/silver colour. Generally the common carp has a sleeker body shape than its fellow mirror carp.
The common carp is a ferocious fighter. Although they are very tolerant of most conditions and water quality, the common carp prefer large bodies of slow or standing water and soft, vegetative sediments.
Carp are schooling fish and they prefer to be in groups of 5 or more.
Carp will eat a wide variety of bait presented to them ranging from, maggots, bread, worms, etc. through to well prepared particles, top quality boilies, and artificial baits like plastic corn/maize.
Although carp will potentially eat most baits a good quality boilie remains the favored choice amongst the majority of modern carp anglers today. The common carp is a strong fighting fish and arguably commons often provide a more powerful fight than any other carp.
Current British Record ... Simon Bater, Conningbrook Lake, Ashford.-
Current World Record ... Graham Slaughter, Rainbow Lake, France -
The mirror carp is slightly different in shape to the common carp. As a rule, mirror carp have a fuller, more rounded shape. A huge swollen belly is not uncommon in some larger specimens, although some can be quite slender if food is not plentiful.
Its skin is covered with varying amounts of different sized scales, varying from fully scaled mirror carp (fully covered in different sized scales) through plated mirror carp (one of several huge scales on each side) to leather carp (completely scaleless).
The colours of a mirror carp is dependent on the water in which it lives. Gravel pit carp can be almost black whilst mirrors found in clay ponds are often light grey or brown with large areas of orange or goldish colouring.