Welfare of the Carp at Winterley Pool

Carp Care


It starts before you even have a fish on the bank!Ensure that you have all the right gear in the right place. Ensure the landingnet is set up and near to your rods, and that the net is the correct size forthe fish you are fishing for. Both our pools contain specimen Carp!
Equipment for the job
Once the Carp is in the net, try not be in too much in a rush to pull the fishstraight out. Leave it in the landing net and make sure that the net is wellsecured, while you get what you need. A bucket or container of lake water isessential for keeping the fish wet and also clean for any photographs you maywant to take. Lay the fish on your unhooking mat while it is out of the watermake sure this is ready and positioned away from the waters edge and in a goodposition for a photograph. If you intend weighing your fish you will need aweigh sling and scales, these should be ready in advance. You will also need tohave a pair of forceps to hand in case your fish is deeply hooked. Wet slingsand have scales zeroed before you lift the fish. When lifting the net to placeit on the WET unhooking mat, the Carp is still hooked and you could causedamage to its mouth if not careful ensure you pay off line, or if fishing witha quick link connector un-clipping the hook link can also be a good idea.Ensure that the fish is positioned neatly in the centre and bottom of the netbefore you lift, this way it won't suddenly get trapped in an awkward positionor tumble to the bottom of the net when you gather the mesh and lift it. You should never lift a fish by using the net pole or handle as either could easilygive way under the weight of the fish. You should always gather the mesh inyour hands just above the fish and the lift carefully with the fish in one handand your rod and net pole in the other.
Carp Welfare
Once you have carefully transferred the fish from the water to your unhookingmat, keep the fish out of the water for the minimum amount of time necessary.Be careful when unhooking the fish, and if there is any damage from the hookhold it is a good idea to have some antiseptic treatment handy (Klinik is agood one, as is the Nash Tackle Medi Carp). Just apply a small amount to theeffected area. When transferring fish from net to sling, ensure you are not wearinganything that could damage the fish, like a ring with sharp edges or a watchwith a sharp strap. When you transfer the fish to a sling, again make sure thatthe fish is in the bottom centre of the sling and that its pectoral fins aretucked into the body so that it won't damage itself when you lift it up.
The camera gear should have been set up prior to lifting the fish from thewater. You need to be very competent at handling both fish and camera to takethe picture by yourself, so if possible get somebody to take the picture foryou. Firstly, ensure the photographer is ready with the camera before youattempt to lift the fish. When lifting you should try not to hold the fishagainst your body as clothing can damage the skin of the fish and remove itsprotective membrane. Also you should try not to lift the fish from under itsbelly. Many of the delicate organs including the heart are located on theunderside of the body. The best way to lift a carp is to have one hand underits head, just in front of the pectoral fins, and one hand under its body, justpast the stomach by its anal fin. With the photographer in front of you, you want to have the fish on its side with back towards you and belly towards the camera. Then, carefully scoop your hands under the fish from behind and bring them round to the front of the body. Scoop one hand under the head and slidethe pectoral fin between your fingers. Then scoop the other hand under the rearsection around to the anal fin area. Then, slowly lift and level the fish. Be prepared for the fish to kick and be ready to cushion it when it does. Keep thefish low to the mat and hold it steady. For Big fish it helps to brace the fish by keeping your elbows on your knees. Get the photographer to be at the same level as you, which should be low to the ground. See video below for more details onhandling Carp.   
Returning the Carp

Once you have the shot it's time to get the fish back in the water. Place it back in the centre and bottom of the sling as before and again make sure the pectoral fins are tucked into the body, and then carefully lift the fish and place back into the water. Once back in the water remove the sling and gently support the fish upright by loosely holding around the wrist of its tail. The fish should be returned with great care, keep the body position upright and allow the fish to gain its composure before letting it go.