Carp: The largest of the fish in our lakes are the Carp; a fish around which many myths, legends and mysteries have been woven. Growing to over 50lb in UK waters, our largest Carp weigh in the mid thirty pound range and we have three main varieties.
Common Carp: Now slightly mis-named as other species of Carp outnumber them, the Common Carp arrived in this Country as an easily reared food source with the early Monks and the remains of their fishponds may often be found near old monasteries and abbeys. The Common Carp is distinguished from its cousins by its being totally scaled body having regular, similar sized scales. Colour varies from almost silver to very dark bronze often shot with flashes of yellow and orange on the fins.
Mirror Carp: Derived from the Common Carp, the Mirror Carp is identified by its irregular scaling of large mirror like scales and smooth skin. The scale pattern ranges from just one or two large scales to fully scaled, but may be distinguished due to the varying sizes of their scales. Each fish has a totally unique scale pattern and may be recognised by this when caught again.
Leather Carp: A completely scale less fish with a smooth leathery skin which gives it its name.
Ghost Carp: A beautiful crossbred fish; the progeny of a Koi Carp and a Common Carp, Ghost Carp are a highly prized quarry as they are thought to be much wilier than the other Carp species. Colours vary, but they are generally a white or yellow flanked fish with black markings on their backs and heads.
Crucian Carp: The smallest of the Carp family and recognisable by their blunt face, rounded shape and lack of barbules around the mouth. Generally a beautiful golden bronze colour, the Crucian is a shy biting fish, a good fighter for its size which rarely exceeds three pounds and a fish which most Anglers love to catch.
Tench: Often described as, "the Glorious fish of High Summer", the Tench is easily identified by its lovely olive coloured, scale free skin, stocky powerful body, red eyes and huge powerful fins. A strong fighter, the Tench is the favourite fish of many Anglers.
Bream: Generally regarded as two sub-species, the Silver Bream and the Bronze Bream depending on their colouring, Bream are a shoaling fish, a bottom feeder which may be caught in large quantities. They are very deep in the body but slim in cross section, very slimy, and their fins are generally colourless. A sluggish fighter, the Bream is often the favoured quarry of many Anglers.
Roach: A true 'silver fish', the mainstay of British Coarse Angling, the Roach is frequently described as "a bar of silver" and to this is added a touch of blue on the back and red tinged fins. The mouth of the Roach has equal length lips; an important identifying feature. A 2lb specimen is a prize aspired to but not often achieved.
Rudd: A near cousin of the Roach, the Rudd grows to a similar size and looks very similar. Colour is more bronze on the flanks with a touch of olive green on the back and blood red fins. The lips are an important identifying feature as unlike those of the Roach, the Rudd's lower lip is much longer than it's upper.
Gudgeon: A small and seemingly insignificant fish often looked down upon, the Gudgeon which rarely exceeds four ounces, with its flat head, (designed to help hold it near the bottom in running water), mouth barbules, blue flanks and spotted clear fins, is often the only fish to feed in cold winter weather and so is then greatly welcome when caught.