Can you catch carp at spawning time?

Chris Davis wrote:

Is it possible to catch carph when they are spawning? I know it’s a lot more difficult but is it still worth going?

Hi Chris,  Yes fish can be caught when they are spawning or at least just before and just after, as during the actual spawning they won’t feed. Firstly not all the fish in the lake will spawn at once, and often you will still pick up the immature and smaller carp. The easiest way to reply to your question is by a story that happened to me a few years back.

I had decided to go down to field test the Etang des Vinçons near Bourges, with my mate John during May. The weather was very hot and the fish were spawning all round the lake on our arrival.

We set up on the dam wall, but were not very hopeful. That night we had a thunder storm, and the temperature dropped about ten degrees. All sign of spawning ceased and we started to get takes. From 7am to 1pm when we packed up we had had over 48 carp between us.

All the carp were shoaled up together and takes were often instant on casting out. The successful tactic was a Method feeder and a short fluorocarbon hooklink, I used scalded trout pellet on the feeder which caused a cloud effect as it hit the water.  This set up causes competition amongst the groups of carp and they were literally taking the bait on the drop.

Spawning time can be hit and miss its true, but I have had large catches on a number of occasions at this time of the year. The hardest part is to predict when the fish are actually going to spawn as this can be as early as April or as late as July, depending on the weather and the water temperatures.

spawning carp


3 thoughts on “Can you catch carp at spawning time?

  1. Jon Perkins says:

    It really depends on the lake in question, some lakes fish badly around spawning time, others fish well. On Horseshoe Lake in the UK after spawning it was always hard, the females always went off and sulked for two weeks, whilst the males remained in the weed – no doubt hoping for more action , and they were catchable. On my lake in France, the fish spawn two or three times every year, or should I say there are 2 or three spawning events, as Gareth says not all the fish spawn at the same time, I believe that the bigger females need to spawn more than once to get rid of all their eggs. Spawning has not had a detrimental effect on the fishing here, because not all the fish are “at it” together, and the week before spawning normally produces great catches, this is because the carp have a big feed to provide them with energy for the spawning event. Afterwards it can go quiet for a couple of days, and the carp can be seen resting up. After this they often resume feeding heavily, in order to regain their condition. The weights of female fish are all over the place during the spring and early summer, it is normal for a female carp to carry around 20% of her body weight in eggs before spawning, and obviously the big females lose a lot of weight after they have shed their eggs.

  2. Andrew says:

    why would anybody want to catch a carp in spawn, a true pb would be when the fish is spawned out and at its true weight, people should leave spawning alone and give the carp some respect, i am a three season carper so still learning but i know that carp in spawn should be left alone and not stressed out by ego men as the carps weight shouldnt be classed at that time.

  3. Welsh-80 says:

    they are spawning on my sindicate lake at the moment, still plenty getting caught, infact its probably fishing better than usual!!

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