The number of carp fishes that exist can make anyone perplexed. By amount, we are not implying the specimen’s abundance. We are actually referring to its variety. It’s almost like every carp is different and has a name. Common Carp, Koi, Crucian, Mirror, Grass, Ghost, and the list goes on. One of those many types of carps is our topic of discussion today. We are talking about the very unique and rare Leather Carps.
Basics You Need to Know About Leather Carp and Leather Carp Fishing
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Is Leather Carp A Mirror Carp?
Leather carps are a kind that is often misunderstood as Mirror carps or kept in the same bracket as Mirror carps. They are very similar, so it is natural. Even some moderately skilled anglers often make mistakes in identifying the Leather carps. But no, a Leather carp is not a Mirror carp. Mirror carps have scales all over its body, and Leather carps lack those. And it’s the easiest way to recognize a Leather carp among the Mirror carps.
Also, the thing is, Leather carps are not as available as the Mirror carps. Let alone common carps. This one is a rare type, especially when it comes to the big ones.
Identifying A Leather Carp
A leather carp has a triangular head, a protrusive mouth, a long dorsal fin, almost more than half of its entire body, and has an arched back. However, these are not what make a carp a Leather carp. When a carp you caught has no scales on it, except some along the dorsal fin and tail, then you know you got your hand on a Leather carp. There are absolutely zero scales in most of its body, barring the exceptions, of course, and the skin resembles leather. The leather-like skin makes it the Leather carp. Hence, the name.
Of course, every living being is. A Leather carp is genetically very different from the other carp fishes. Otherwise, it wouldn’t have a distinct appearance and nature, obviously. These are very curious. The S-gene in the carp fish, not playing its part much while breeding and mutation result in carps with null scales, basically the Leather carps.
What’s In The Name
Leather carps are also known as naked carps due to their lack of scales. However, it is no Mirror carp and not a Linear carp too. Compared to Leather carp, Linear carp has more scales.
Hard to Breed
Leather carps, as we said, are rare. These are rare because, unlike other carp fishes, they are hard to breed. Thus fisheries tend to avoid farming them. First, breeding them is hardly successful, and second if somehow they breed, the survival rate is abysmal. That makes this specimen all the more exclusive. The fisheries or fish farmers who farm leather carps hence are high in demand.
Leather Carp Fishing
Those of you who are interested in Leather carp fishing by now have understood that angling this specimen will be a task. Let alone angling, finding its habitat will be too challenging for many even to attempt. The quest is going to be too long for your likings. But to make it easy for you, we have two water bodies known for having leather carps, with a ton of other fish species. Sander Baggersee Lake and Weeping Willow Fisheries. The former is in Germany, and the latter locates in Kent County, United Kingdom. Other water bodies inhabit Leather carps too, but these two are the most popular and sought-after.
Lacks Red Blood Cells
Due to the lack of red blood cells in Leather carps, they don’t grow much either. The largest Leather carp that was caught was in 2006 in the Car Park lake, England, and was named Heather the Leather. It was big, but we have seen bigger, giant carps. Heather The Leather was about 54lbs 8oz.
The rarity of Leather carps makes them a prized possession. Whoever somehow manages to angle one, no matter how small it is, knows they have got their hands in a specimen that is very hard to get. Though anglers leave the carp fishes they catch back in the water, comparing hooking in a Leather carp to any prized possession will not be wrong at all.
Not for The Impatient
Leather carp fishing is not for you if you are into quick fishing or lose interest within 15 minutes of waiting. You could angle hundreds of fishes in your entire Leather carp quest yet may not find the one you aimed to quest and triumph. Fishing a Leather carp is no mean feat, thus no fun. At least in terms of quicker baiting and hooking.
Weaker of The Carps
Unlike other carp fishes, Leather carps are weak. They have a weak immune system due to the lack of red and white blood cells. Thus they are attacked by viruses pretty easily and cannot survive oxygen reduction as well. They are fighters like other carp fishes and hard to hook in. But if you compare a Common carp to a Leather carp, you will feel the difference in their might while pulling and putting up a fight. Leather carps almost struggle compared to a common or a mirror carp.
Active in Winter
Compared to other carps, Leather carps are very active during winter. Carp fishes are omnivorous, so are the Leather carps. Carps eat everything, from plants to animal matters. Thus they could survive on the fat reserved on their body on cold days. So, they remain mostly in the bottom, lazy and dormant. But the leather carps don’t have fat reserves, so they are seen feeding themselves along the water surface in winter. So, there are more chances for you to catch a leather carp on a random cold night in winter.
Leather Carps in The USA
Carp fishes were always well revered in European countries. Finding a Leather carp there in random lakes, rivers, ponds, and fisheries will be easier than in any body of water in The United States. The USA has just now taken carp fishes seriously. And mind you, carp fishes had to be one of a kind, powerful challenger game-fish to be revered and accepted by them and remove the nuisance and pest tag. So such a rare specimen like a Leather carp turns rarer when you are an angler searching for it in the USA.
Fishing successfully a Leather carp is less in your techniques and fishing equipment but mostly on your location and your luck. So, keep honing your fishing techniques and use the best equipment possible, but do your research of searching for the water bodies that have Leather carps and wait patiently for your lucky day to arrive.