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Koi Fish Carp – In A Nutshell

The colourful Koi from Japan is basically an ornamental variety of common carp. In Japanese it is called ‘nshikigoi’; literally meaning brocaded carp. Even a single look at this magnificently beautiful fish will justify its name. Koi is beautiful, colourful, adaptable, agile and sensitive to human care. What more can you ask for from a domesticated fish.

If you are planning to add the Koi colours to your pet world, then some handy information about the varieties and basics of this species would not be out of place.

The Koi fish carp is available in many colours. Some common colours are white, black, red, yellow, blue and cream. However, due to constant breeding for colour mutations and efforts of specialist breeders, Koi is now available in almost every colour under the sun. Some specific varieties have also been categorised based on the colour; e.g. Kohaku – red and white combination, Taisho sanke – red and white combo with black marks, Kinginrin – with metallic scales, Ogon – single metallic colour, Hikari moyomono – combo of 2 metallic colours, etc. Some hybrids like the Butterfly Koi and the Ghost Koi have also been developed.

Koi fish carp, has gained popularity not only because it’s beautiful, but also because it’s extremely adaptable and quite hardy. It can survive without being fed for almost a week. Average life expectancy of a Koi is 25 to 30 years. This means unlike other pets, your Koi can be with you for most of your life with proper care and keeping. It can live very well in temperature ranges of 100 to 200 C. You need to ensure that the pond neither freezes completely in winters nor does it get too warm under direct summer sun.

Koi attains sexual maturity at the age of 2. A mature Koi can grow up to 3 feet long and it takes years (as long as ten years) for it to attain its complete length. So for the initial period of a few months or a year, it can also be kept in a fish tank or aquarium. But a pond is an absolute necessity for the growing, increasing Koi, after this initial period. Apart from the difference of colour among various varieties, another difference that prevails is between the two genders. A female Koi is bigger and fatter bodied than the male. This is because she bears eggs. A male has smaller and edged fins, whereas a female’s fins are bigger, rounded and less coloured. Also, a male is more energetic and with ‘attitude’ compared to a female. However, females are quicker in becoming friends and more trusting. They will be the first to attack the food or take it from your hands.

Koi is a very healthy fish with a fairly strong immune system. However, lack of proper care and nutrition or contact with diseased fish can create health problems that can even prove fatal.

Serious fish diseases that can take a toll on your Koi’s health include:
?  Koi herpes virus – In case of an outbreak of KHV, there are no specific symptoms that can be evident. It is necessary to go for autopsy for proper diagnosis, if there are sudden deaths.
?  Aeromonas bacteria – Proper information regarding the ways to prevent bacterial infections and implementing the same is the key to dealing with this problem.
However, most common reasons for the Koi to go sick are not any major diseases but stress creating conditions like:
?Poor water quality
?  Parasites
?  Low oxygen level
?  Crowding
Proper knowledge regarding the specific requirements of Koi and maintaining the same should help you deal with these problems or rather eradicate them.
So if you love your fish more in the pond than on the platter, don’t coy away from Koi. Some responsible hard work and you shall have beautiful fun!

Nelson writes koi fish here: http://www.koifishinformationcenter.com/kio-fish-care. He has raised, studied, bred and cared for hundreds of varieties of Koi. His twenty plus years of practical experience and research are available in his latest book,<a rel=”nofollow” onclick=”javascript:_gaq.push([‘_trackPageview’, ‘/outgoing/article_exit_link’]);” href=”<a rel=”nofollow” onclick=”javascript:_gaq.push([‘_trackPageview’, ‘/outgoing/article_exit_link’]);” href=”http://www.koifishinformationcenter.com”>http://www.koifishinformationcenter.com”> Insider’s Secrets To Raising Healthy Koi: The Ultimate Guide</a>.

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How To Fly Fish For Carp

Fly fishing for carp is awesome and frustrating at the same time. Carp have a really uncanny ability to spit out baits they deem suspicious before you have a chance to set your hook.  Although it’s a very exciting thing to see, it can also be heartbreaking to see a large carp disregard your bait and quickly swim away. If you do hook one, however, hold on for deal life and hold on to that trembling, vibrating fishing pole!

Carp regularly come to the surface looking for food and the best baits to lure them there are breads, chic peas, salmon eggs and canned corn. These are all inexpensive baits as well.  These baits must be securely attached to a #4 or #6 hook.  It’s advisable to break your bread into small portions, dampen it, seal it in a sandwich bag, and let it sit in the sun for about an hour or so.  Since different breads have different textures,you’ll have to experiment to know which one will stay firm enough to cast.  Another great bait are the pellets which you can buy ready to use.  These are simply store made versions of classic baits, all rolled into a convenient, and smelly pellet!

Carp tend to scare easily, so when they begin to swim around your bait, be careful not to jerk the bait and scare them away.  The longer they analyze the bait, the more comfortable they’ll become.  This is the fisherman’s best chance for a nice strike.  This tactic can be very useful if using zig rigs.

If a carp takes your bait, quickly rebait your hook and cast back in.  Don’t cast directly on top of the feeding carp or they will surely scatter.  Cast away from the feeding area then slowly reel the bait into position.  Slowly reel your bait into the middle of the feeding carp, and try hard to keep it as close to the surface as possible.  You may want to rig it 6-8 inches unter a float to ensure it sits close to the surface. 

Here are some tips that have been helpful to me:

-Use smaller amounts of bait for carp.  They nibble at the bait, and a big chunk will allow them to nibble for a long time before getting to the hook.  You don’t want them to get their fill without taking your hook.

-Use heavyweight line and a steel leader.  Carp tend to rub their teeth and gums together after they bite, and this can break your line.  I recommend at least thirty pound test line, as carp are voracious fighters.

-Dip a piece of sponge in some fish scent (can be bought at any bait 7 tackle store) and hang the sponge above your hook.  The scent will help the carp find the bait-and your hook.

-Using a float is a good idea because it helps keep your bait close to the surface and it’s easy to find your rig.  You can also tell right away when you get a bite.

-When fly fishing for carp, use a standard five second count after your fly or bait hits the water.  If you don’t get any hits, increase it to ten seconds.  Carp tend to practice restraint if they are unsure of a bait.  Those extra seconds could mean the difference between getting a bite or not. 

In the end, it really isn’t the bait that’s most important but how the bait is fished.  Throwing some bait into the water before fishing, also called “chumming”, can also be an effective technique to draw carp to your fishing area.  This makes the carp think that there is an excessive amount of food for them there and before you know it there will be a large school of them ready to feed.  The number one key to fishing is patience.  If you can wait them out and wait for them to realize there is food available, you’ll definitely catch a big carp.

If you would like to learn more about fishing for carp and read some more fly fishing tips, visit: Fishing Tips For Beginners