Comparison Between Carp vs Catfish

Carp and catfish are the two most popular fishes in the world among fish lovers. Both of them feature delicious taste, superior health benefits, and most importantly, a wide source of nutrients. Besides, both the fishes are good and beneficial for fish farming.

However, a large number of people aren’t acquainted with their characteristics. They consider both of them to be the same. Some people do not even know these are the two different species. Knowing carp vs catfish comparison will help you pick the right one for farming and eating.

People generally distinguish catfish from carp by their whiskers. However, there are a lot more differences between them. Both of them have different moving preferences along with food habits. The tastes are different from one another. Even the lifestyle of these two fishes are different as well.

Carp vs Catfish
  • Save
Carp vs Catfish

Carp vs catfish quick comparison table 

You should have a quick look at the comparison table before diving into the detailed part. 

Carp Catfish
Breeding carp own scales on their body. The position of the scales varies depending on the breed.  There is no existence of scales in catfish. Instead of scales, they have slimy & fat flesh. 
The smelling ability isn’t good enough for carp. They are more backward in hunting than catfish. Catfish have a good sense of smell as well as the capability of hunting. There is a sensory organ near its mouth called barbels or whiskers. This organ is an assistance for smelling the victim intensely. 
Carp are difficult to catch. They don’t respond easily to the bait. Besides, they are skillful at fleeing away & it saves them from getting caught easily.  Catching catfish is comparatively easier than carp. They also try to escape but their tricks can be understood easily. 
Carp tastes slightly oily & muddy. They are preferred in meals for their mild-tasty flavor.  Catfish tastes slightly sweet. Its flesh is delicious & packed with protein as well as healthy fats. 
It’s mandatory to put ice quickly after catching it for cooking purposes. Otherwise, their flaky flesh can rot.  Catfish are highly surviving & they don’t need ice instantly after catching. But, ice is required when it’s the talk of long-route transport. 
Carp die very quickly in absence of water. It’s experimented that they can survive only a few minutes without water.  Usually, catfish can survive for several hours.  It’s experimented that catfish have survived around 15-18 hours without water. 
Natural foods like planktonic crustaceans, insects & smaller fish are carp’s favorite food.  Aquatic detritus, healthy insects, zooplankton, snails, etc. are in catfish’s food routine. 

Comparison: carp vs catfish

Here are some elaborated comparisons on carp and catfish.

Are carp and catfish physically similar?

The physical outlook of carp and catfish is different.  Barbels are one of them. It’s rarely found near the mouth of carp. These barbels or whiskers of catfish are a sensory organ which helps to find the nearby prey. The barbels remain on both sides of the mouth equally.

Catfish have a cylindrical body with extremely long dorsal and anal fins. On the other hand, carp have small eyes and thick lips along with a forked tail. It also has a single dorsal fin. The scales of carp are large enough. Carp have an oblong body instead of the cylindrical body like catfish. The above part of carp is dark silver grey colored whereas catfish own darker color. 

Do carp and catfish live in the same place? 

People think that the habitat of carp and catfish is similar. Both of the fishes indeed live in the same lake or river but in different parts. Carp’s priority is to live in moving water. But, catfish prefer a hole or deep area for staying constantly. Even catfish revolve around their residence most of the time & get out of there occasionally.

The preferred depth of water for catfish can be changed according to oxygen availability. Catfish exist in the deepest water in winter and summer for better oxygen supply. During the daytime, they prefer muddy water areas when it’s a river. Being freshwater fish, carp live in clearwater with decent temperatures. Carp often go for a hangout in the warm water because they find plenty of food there.

Carp or catfish – which is hard to catch? 

Fishermen know how difficult it is to catch a carp. On the flip side, a simple bait rig can catch the catfish easily. At the same time, the ratio of fishing carp & catfish will be huge. Carp don’t respond to the bait as fast as catfish. If you can somehow get near the carp, it will escape smartly. 

Carp will try to make a quick fight with its tail even after getting caught. Catfish also try to escape after getting caught but they don’t perform smartly. They tend to move straight to the deeper waters. Then, they stay there for a long time & try to make the hunter confused anyhow. 

Is carp tastier than catfish? 

The taste depends on the choice of people. If anyone loves a very subtle flavor with flaky flesh, carp is the best choice. The fishy taste of carp can easily be removed after applying ice to it. Carp’s flesh is white-colored & smooth in texture and mild. 

Catfish have conquered people’s hearts for their sweet, mild and moist flavor. It owns the minimum flake compared to other whitefish. Most of the catfish taste muddy as a large number of catfish stay in the muddy area.

Carp or catfish – which one has a decent food habit? 

Most of the breeds of carp are omnivorous. They have a great attraction for natural foods like planktonic crustaceans, larva, and pupae of insects & so on. Besides, smaller fish is their pick food. 

Young catfish take aquatic detritus as well as zooplankton regularly. Besides, they prefer crawfish, snails, green algae, and terrestrial insects. However, they always take their food only after sunset and before sunrise. 

Are carp & catfish commercially significant?

It’s observed that catfish have more commercial value than carp worldwide. Carp can’t live for a long time after getting caught. They die after only a few minutes in absence of water. Moreover, they require applying ice as quickly as possible. The record of rotting is very high for carp during long-route transportation. Therefore, they need high transportation costs. 

But, catfish are capable of surviving without water for a long time. It’s found that catfish can live 15-18 hours in absence of the right amount of water. It doesn’t require applying ice instantly. So, it’s easy to transport & distribute over a large area. Catfish is easier to catch than carp and it keeps it advanced in the commercial race. 

More carp related popular post at outdoorboat

Grass Carp VS Common Carp

How to Catch Carp with Corn Quickly

How to Catch a Carp in a Pond

Best Carp Bait for Summer

Good Carp Fishing Spots in Gauteng


knowing carp vs catfish will help you pick the right one for business or eating purposes. People believe that they only have physical differences. But both of the fishes have a lot of dissimilarities. Different food habits, attitudes, the taste of flesh, etc. simply make the difference.

Carp require crafty tricks to catch and have varieties of the breed. But, catfish are easy to catch & sell without huge arrangements. See, lots of differences are there and all of them matter for farming or eating. So make sure to know the differences and get the most out of them.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Share via
Copy link
Powered by Social Snap