How Carp Can Save Your Life

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How Carp Can Save Your Life

Fishing is a sport filled with all the anticipation of Christmas Eve. Sure, it’s a waiting game, but it’s a delicate process and a true art form.Those who fish know a good fishing trip can be immensely satisfying . Whether you are by yourself or with a group of people, it’s a true bonding experience with nature. It’s also a means to an end, where the more you catch, the more food you have to eat. While fishing for trout or bass may lead to an especially tasty dinner, trying your hand at carp fishing could actually save your life.

The carp has been a domestic presence for over a century. However, the 1970s brought a change. Four different species of carp were introduced into the U.S. to control clogging vegetation growth in the lower portion of the Mississippi River. Some of these carp managed to slip away unnoticed and have been making their way north through the U.S. waterways ever since.

Carp are heavy breeders. Female carp have the ability to drop more than one million eggs each year. Think about that for a second. Even if half of that amount is shuffled off the aquatic coil, there are still plenty of carp. Carp breeding shows no signs of slowing down either. Scientists located at Waterloo University have found that it only takes less than a dozen carp to establish a true fish population in a particular body of water. This can happen over a two decade period.

Carp are prevalent and prolific. But, what if we as a human population stop becoming prevalent? What if we are thrown into a survival situation and have only the water to live off of?

If this situation does happen, here are the best tips for making good use of the water and this exploding carp population.

Safety and Knowledge

First thing you should do now is learn all you can about water and boating methods and safety. In a survival situation, finding water is your number one priority. Learn how to navigate the water you find and avoid becoming a statistic. Head to to get the information you need. You’ll also need to make sure the water you own is safe for consumption. Purchase a water testing kit. There are many options and any type will do the trick.

boating methods

Photo by ell brown via Flickr

Finding Food

Buy a rod and put it into storage now. As far as bait goes, you don’t have to stress too much there. Carp will eat anything. Everything from cereal to cigarette package foil. Carp also enjoy salty bait. As salt is found in most canned food, you’d do well to stock up. In your go to survival area, make sure you’ve stored up enough food for you and your family to get by and then add the extra bait cans. Label them as such so when things start happening you’ll know what to grab first.

canned food

Photo by Salvation Army USA West via Flickr


The spread of carp has not been limited to the Mississippi River. Carp can be found all over the country from Pennsylvania to Ohio to Minnesota. For a real thrill, pack your gear including a bow and some arrows, and head to Washington state. Carp fishing is encouraged as there is no limit to how many you can catch in a day, and you don’t have to have a license. Plus, bow and arrow fishing is legal in Washington’s carp-filled rivers. Find the hot spots near piles of driftwood and tucked away overhangs.

spread of carp

Photo by jster91 via Flickr

Prepare for a Fight

Carp are the linebackers of freshwater fish. A good-sized carp will weigh in close to 40 pounds. If you’re opting for the rod and reel method of fishing, then you’ll need to start with a heavier line. You’ll be surprised at how hard they take the bait and hook. When a carp hits, you’ll know it instantly. Dig your heels in and do battle reeling him in.


Photo by AnglingLines via Flickr

By Tim Higgs

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