When do Carp Spawn? FAQ's about Carp Reproduction!

When do Carp Spawn

Carp reproduction cycle may not be very interesting to many, but it has a great influence on anglers fishing for carp.

When do carp spawn is one of the most frequently asked questions, especially by beginners.

It is hard to give just one precise answer because carp spawning season is a process that depends on the climate and the temperatures.

Also, some anglers want to know is there any chance (and how) to catch a carp during spawn season.

If you would like to know more about carp spawning, how is it affected by water temperature, how long it lasts and much more, you will get the answers by reading the following chapters.



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What is Carp Spawning (Carp Reproduction Process)?

Spawning is a process of releasing the eggs and sperm into the water. It is a form of reproduction process practiced by aquatic animals.

Many variations of spawning exist. They depend on anatomy differences, and a way in which spawn is released. Reproductive cells called gametes are becoming fertilized and eventually produce offspring.

During carp spawning, female carp can release an enormous amount of eggs into the water. The average number is around 300 000, although some can release more than a million.

Males release the sperm called milt which fertilizes the eggs.

The number of eggs is high but many of them get destroyed before the offspring hatches. Various kinds of bacteria, fungi, and small predators consume a number of eggs.

That is a reason why carp population remains the same if there is no external influence. Young carps become food for other predatory fish before reaching adulthood.

When they are hatched, they are extremely small. And after reaching the size of less than a centimetre, they start feeding.

Carps have two different spawning methods.

In the first one female carp lays the eggs on the bottom or on top of aquatic plants. Male carp swims by and fertilizes the eggs. That is the most common method. Both male and female carp sometimes guard the fertilized eggs, although that is not very common. The eggs are “sticky” which is a reason why they stay connected to a plant or a rock, especially in rivers.

Another option is that male carp fertilizes the eggs while they are still in the female carp by using his rear fin to push the sperm into the female carp. She guards the eggs inside and gives live birth. This process is not very common.

How do you know when carp are spawning?

Luckily, it is very easy to figure that out. There are certain behaviours that carp have while spawning.

Several males may follow one female or one male and one female will be close together.

You will be able to see them but if you try to catch them, they will not be interested in any bait you have to offer.

Spawning carp will spend time in shallow waters frequently, ranging from 30 to 120 centimetres deep.

Unlike usual hiding places, now they will spend time near areas suitable for laying eggs. Those areas include aquatic vegetation and rock formations that can be used as shelves for fertilized eggs.

The ability to recognize this can save a lot of time for beginners who are sometimes unaware of this process. Also, excessive fishing during spawn prevents the fish to reproduce and it may cause a drop in their population.

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When do Carp Spawn in Europe?

Same as everywhere, it depends of a location and temperatures.

For example, in the UK carp season is closed in May and June. Spawning season occurs when water temperatures are between 18 and 24 degrees Celsius. The actual spawning season is not always corresponding with a closed season. Sometimes it can occur as late as July.

In Slovenia, carp spawning occurs in May, sometimes even later if the water is deep and needs more time to warm up. It is similar in other countries too, where most of them spawn in May and June.

In some European countries with warmer climate, such as Spain, France or Portugal, certain waters can warm up earlier and spawn season can occur in April.

In northern and colder countries, spawn season occurs few weeks later.

Also, keep in mind that shallow waters warm up faster than deep ones or fast flowing rivers. Spawning season may vary in the same country with the same climate for carp living in different waters.

When do Carp Spawn in USA?

Carp spawning season in the USA depends of a location.

Different states have different climate. In some states, spawning season begins in February, which is very early. One of the examples is Arizona. In other countries spawning season does not start until the water reaches at least 23 degrees (California).

Some carp populations begin their spawn season mid-spring, such as those living in Colorado and Georgia. In Kansas their spawning season begins in summer.

As you can see, there is no specific answer to when do carp spawn question. It depends of a season and water temperature.

Generally speaking, carp spawning season in the USA lasts from February until the end of summer.

If you are planning carp fishing in the USA, don’t worry, and check the specific location. Carps will not spawn during the whole spring and summer season.

Spawning takes a certain time and you can read more about that in the following chapters.

When do Carp Spawn - In spring

How Many Times a Year do Carp Spawn?

Most of carp will spawn once a year. But that is not a rule. There are certain situations where it can happen more than once. It depends on water temperature and climate in a certain area. Sometimes it is possible that carps are spawning for the second time during fall.

If the conditions are right that can occur. On the other hand, temperature can be good but they will not spawn for the second time.

It is impossible to precisely predict that.

In some cases, it is possible for females to produce eggs more than once a year but they do not become fertilized and get eaten by other aquatic animals.

How Long do Carp Take to Spawn?

This question is hard to answer. It is similar to the “when do carp spawn”.

It depends on some external factors, where the temperature is most important one. It takes much longer in cold water. Average time needed for a fertilized egg to hatch is about two days.

That does not mean the spawn season lasts two days.

Depending of a temperature, that sometimes fluctuates, spawn may take few days, but it can also last for weeks.

One more possibility is that a spawn starts and then stops due to water temperature drops. And after that it starts again. If that happens during a time you planned your fishing trip, you won’t have a good time.

At What Temperature do Carp Spawn?

Temperature is the most important factor when it comes to carp spawning. Temperature needs to be at least 13 degrees Celsius. Usually they require temperatures between 13 and 24 degrees, some even higher, up to 28.

It depends of a carp species but also about location.

Carps in different countries spawn at different temperatures. When it comes to time of the year, it is usually during mid-spring until mid-summer, but it depends on how fast the water warms up. The warmer it gets the more active they are.

Certain temperatures are required for the eggs to hatch.

Carp spawning season is influenced by some other factors too. Food availability, oxygen levels and longer daylight are important too.

Can you Catch Carp When they are Spawning?

In theory this is possible but in practical terms it is very hard.

While spawning, carp are not interested in food. You can present baits that usually attract them but during this time, carp will not bite. They still occasionally eat while spawning but that is not enough to catch them.

Carps can be hard to catch in normal conditions, so you can imagine how hard it must be during spawning.

Some anglers practice bow fishing during spawn season as all the carp are in the shallow and unaware of any danger because they are focused on reproducing. Again, that may not be the best idea.

When do Carp Spawn - Underwater

Other Carp Spawning Questions: FAQ's about Carp Reproduction

There are a few more frequently asked questions about carp spawn season.

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Can I Predict Carp Spawning Season?

The answer to this question is a bit complicated. No one can predict it certainly. But there are some signs that spawning season could occur soon.

They usually start spawning when water (temperature) levels are rising. And because the most common time for carp spawning is spring, that usually occurs after seasonal flooding.

Among other reasons, floods bring nutrients and as already mentioned, food availability is important.

Some ask why food availability if they are not interested in eating when spawning. The answer is that they need the food to start and they will need it after spawn, when they start feeding very actively.

Also, their offspring needs micro nutrients that flood water brings.

Do Carp Eat their Own Eggs?

The answer is yes, they sometimes do.

In waters where there is an abundance of carp, they can self-regulate future population by consuming eggs or newly hatched carp. Lower number of adult carp enhances the chance of young carp to reach adulthood.

This practice is quite common in many fish species.

How Exactly does Hatching Process look Like?

Eggs are laid by females in the water current and some of them stick to nearby objects while other eggs can be washed further away.

Biologically speaking, it would be a very long and complicated explanation, but let’s keep it simple.

Eggs colour can vary between orange, yellow and amber. Depending on water temperature they hatch after two to eight days. In the first days the fry digests the yolk. At that point they are up to 8 millimetres long. After hatching it consumes plankton.

They tend to spend some time in the shallow, protected from strong currents and predators that might eat them.

They learn to swim. When they grow a little, they start moving around.

How Long does it Take for Carp to Grow Up?

This question has many answers. Most of them become sexually mature at the age of 2, in spring.

Grow rate is approximately 15 centimetres and almost one kilogram per year.

Some specimens can live up to 60 years. Carps hatched in fall, when the second spawning season occurs have almost no chance to reach adulthood. Food sources in winter are insufficient for them.

Is it Against the Law to Fish for Carp during Spawn Season?

The answer to this question depends of a location. In some countries or in some places in certain countries there is no closed season or any other regulation that would prevent anglers to fish for spawning carp.

Other countries have rules and regulations and strictly defined periods when spawning carp are protected.

Every angler should check the local law before going fishing.

When do Carp Spawn - Closed Area


Carp spawning is a complicated biological process that can negatively affect anglers fishing success.

Out of billions of eggs laid by carp, majority of them will die, but that is a way of keeping their numbers in order. The ones that grow up will continue to reproduce from the age of two until they die.

When do carp spawn is a question which has multiple answers.

There are certain conditions that have to be met for carp to spawn, including water temperature, food source and oxygen levels.

Spawning season usually occurs in spring, and lasts up to few weeks.

Fishing is mostly unsuccessful during that time, and in some places, it is forbidden by law. Even if you are unsure of the spawn season time, it is easy to recognize it when you visit your desired fishing location.

Be mindful of the spawn season while fishing for carp. Maybe one of those eggs will produce a giant specimen that will be a catch of a lifetime in the future!

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