Why Do Carp Jump? (5 Main Reasons)

Author:

Published:

why do carp jump

Have you ever been on the bank and witnessed a carp suddenly leap out of the water? whether you’re trying to spot carp or even if they’re jumping over your baited area. It can be quite an exciting view, knowing you’re on the fish, but have you ever wondered “Why do carp jump?” There are actually several reasons why carp jump, and it’s not just to taunt anglers who haven’t caught yet.

One reason carp jump is to clean their gills. Carp are bottom feeders, meaning they spend a lot of time near the bottom of the water. This can lead to their gills becoming clogged with debris, so they jump out of the water to clear them.

Another reason carp jump is to remove parasites. Parasites can attach themselves to a fish’s skin or scales, causing irritation and discomfort. By jumping out of the water, carp can shake off these parasites and rid themselves of the annoyance.

Types of Carp Jumps

Crashing

The crashing jump is when the carp jumps out of the water and lands back in with a loud splash. This is often linked to the cleaning of their gills after a feeding spell. Alternatively, they could be trying to rid themselves of any annoying parasites.

Crashing is one of the most notable jumps as they can be rather loud. The best thing to do if you see or hear a crash is to launch a rig out there as close as you can as you know the carp are there, giving you the best chance to get one on the bank

Head and Shouldering

In a head and shouldering jump, the carp jumps out of the water and turns its head to one side, while its body remains in the water. This type of jump is often seen when the carp is trying to remove parasites from its gills or when it is trying to get rid of any other irritants.

Heading and shoulder is usually less distinctive and harder to spot, so you’ll need to keep your eyes peeled for this one.

Rolling

In a rolling jump, the carp jumps out of the water and rolls over on its side before quickly going back under, usually a lot harder to spot as they aren’t out of the water for very long. It may also not be a definitive sign of carp, it could be another specific such as a bream, pike or even a catfish.

Head Poke

The head poke jump is when the carp jumps out of the water and pokes its head out before splashing back in, another sign of a potential feeding carp. A head poke isn’t as full-on as a crash but still quite a distinctive jump.

why do carp jump - head poke from carp

Why Do Carp Jump?

Carp jumping out of the water is an exciting thing to witness as a carp angler as it gives you a great indicator of where to locate carp and where to bait. But why do carp jump?

Cleaning of Gills

One reason why carp jump is to clean their gills. Carp are bottom feeders, and as they feed, their gills can become clogged with debris. Jumping out of the water can help to dislodge this debris and allow the fish to breathe more easily.

Removal of Parasites

Another reason why carp jump is to remove parasites. Carp are often infested with parasites such as leeches and lice. Jumping out of the water can help to dislodge these parasites and provide some relief to the fish.

Taunting Anglers

While this may be a joke, some carp may jump out of the water to taunt anglers who are on a blank. When you’re sat in your chair and you witness countless jumps over your baited areas, but nothing on your bite alarms. It can be very frustrating and almost feels like the carp are having a play with you.

Why Do Carp Jump? (Anatomical Reasons)

Swim Bladder Adjustment

Carp, like most fish, have a swim bladder that helps them control their buoyancy in the water. This swim bladder is filled with air, and when a carp wants to adjust its depth in the water, it can adjust the amount of air in the swim bladder.

Sometimes, a carp may jump out of the water to adjust its swim bladder. This can happen if the fish is trying to correct an imbalance in its buoyancy. By jumping, the carp can quickly adjust the amount of air in its swim bladder and regain its balance.

Esophagus Clearing

Another reason why carp may jump is to clear their oesophagus. Carp are bottom feeders and often eat things like insects, crustaceans, and other small creatures that live near the bottom of the water. When they eat, they can sometimes accidentally ingest air along with their food.

If a carp has too much air in its oesophagus, it can cause discomfort and make it difficult for the fish to swim properly. Jumping out of the water can help the carp expel the excess air and clear its oesophagus.

While these are two of the most common reasons why carp jump, there may be other factors at play as well. For example, some carp may jump to avoid predators or to escape fishing lines. However, if you’re an angler who’s on the midst of a blank, don’t take it personally – sometimes, fish just jump for no apparent reason!

About the author