I’m confident I know why you’re asking. You most likely are having a tough time catching carp lately and want to know when the turnaround may take place.
Therefore it’s crucial to know when carp spawn.
A general blanket statement of when carp spawn would be late spring to mid-summer, but this can vary greatly depending on weather and state.
Read also: TOP 9 Best Carp Fishing Baits
Disclosure: At BonfireBob, we recommend products based on unbiased research, however, BonfireBob.com is reader-supported and as an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases if you shop through the links on this page. For more information, see disclosure here.
Table of Contents
- When do Carp Spawn?
- Carp Spawn Time by State
- More About When Carp Spawn
- Carp Spawning Facts
- Does Temperature Make a Difference on When Carp Spawn?
- How do I Know When Carp is Spawning?
- When Carp Spawn, What Happens?
- How Long do Carp Spawn For
- Are Carp Still Spawning in the Fall?
- How Many Eggs do Carp Lay?
- How Long do Carp Eggs Take to Hatch?
- Do Carp Die After Spawning?
- Can You Catch Carp When They Are Spawning?
- Wrapping it Up
When do Carp Spawn?
When exactly is this time? Let’s get down and dirty and elaborate when carp spawn. What does a spawning fish even mean or look like? Spawn or Spawning is a term used in biology.
Spawning is simply the release of eggs and sperm that are released into the water by fish.
Almost every aquatic animal reproduces through spawning except reptiles. Spawning consist of (gametes) or reproductive cells becoming fertilized and creating offspring.
- The Female Fish: Releases Ova (unfertilized eggs) into the water and at mass amounts. For carp, this number can reach nearly 1,000,000 eggs. Pretty crazy right?
- The Male:- They have a part in all of this as well.
They release spermatozoa or (milt) to fertilize the eggs. And that’s how babies are made.
2 Methods of Spawning is most common for carp
Option 1: The females lay her eggs either on the sea bottom or an aquatic plant or rock shelves under the water surface.
The male stops by nearly like a UPS delivery man and fertilizes the eggs.
A majority of the time, that’s it. They both endure in the swim of shame and go on throughout life.
Although the fish don’t necessarily need protection during the infancy period, you sometimes have the mommy and daddy teaming up to protect the eggs until they can handle their own.
Option 2: The male fish uses the rear or anal fin to push sperm into the female to fertilize the eggs.
Later the fish gives live birth.
Again, carp spawn for the most part spawn between March 15th and August 15th. This can vary based on the climate in the region you live in. Carp are highly active when it comes to spawning.
Does Physical location make a difference? Yes, it sure does.
Don’t worry. I did the legwork for you on this one. I took every state in the United States and compiled a list of documented and reported carp spawn times based on state.
Let’s get busy covering that first.
Carp Spawn Time by State
- Alabama: In Alabama, carp spawn between early spring and mid-summer in waters up to 6 feet deep.
- Alaska: In Alaska the carp population is too small or non-existent, so no real carp spawn times are available to report or document.
- Arizona: Carp in Arizona spawn from February to August 1st. You can usually spot them along rocky shorelines or the adult fish near the surface during the spawning period.
- Arkansas: Carp spawn in Arkansas from Mid Spring to Late August. Usually, you can find them near surfaces in shallow water near vegetation.
- California: Carp spawn time in California is generally when the water reaches 23 C. In California, the carp spawn in the early morning and late evenings most of the time but it can technically be any time of the day. You will typically see 2-4 carp together near weeded areas indicating spawning.
- Colorado: In Colorado Carp begin spawning when the water temperatures are close to 55 F. This is usually Mid-March All the Way to October. As soon as you see two rubbing together near the surface. You have your answer.
- Connecticut: Carp in Connecticut Spawn from the middle of February to the Middle of August.
- Delaware: Carp in Delaware generally spawn in the spring. The main spawning occurs in large rivers. Boat turbulence helps stimulate and trigger the spawning process. In Delaware, 68 F is the water temperature when carp begin spawning.
- Florida: In Florida, Carp spawning begins when the water temperature reaches 65-75 F. You will notice in Florida that small groups will come together near shallow waters. Generally, high vegetation will be present as well. The high vegetation rapidly increases the water temps. The spawning period would be Middle of February to Late September.
- Georgia: Georgia takes a bit longer for carp to begin the spawning process. Generally mid-April. Many anglers also report spawning to take off rapidly on the first Full moon of the year. Double check your calendars and plan!
- Hawaii: No Carp or spawn times to report here. Sorry and Aloha!
- Idaho: Carp in Idaho spawn in the Spring and early summer near weedy areas.
- Illinois: (My Personal State) Disclaimer- I didn’t need the DNR reports for this state! In Illinois, carp spawning season launches about April 8th is what I’ve noticed. It generally dies off heavily near June 15th. Here in Illinois, many of the lakes, pond, and rivers I’ve fished you can spot the carp in water only about 36 inches deep. During the spring, you may also confuse carp for bass in Illinois. During spawn time, they get splash happy.
- Indiana: Peak Carp spawning season in Indiana is between May and July in Shallow waters.
- Iowa: Carp in Iowa typically spawn between March and June.
- Kansas: In Kansas, carp spawn between early spring and late summer. Water temperature typically around 60 F.
- Kentucky: Grab your bowfishing bows because in Kentucky the best time to catch carp is during spawn season. Carp begin spawning in Kentucky when the water temperatures reach about 62 F. April- July is typically the spawning season.
- Louisiana: Carp spawn season in Louisiana begins in Late spring and runs till mid-summer.
- Maine: In Maine, carp spawn from early spring to late summer when water temperatures sit between 63 F and 78 F.
- Maryland: In Maryland your looking at Late April until June. The spawn will be near vegetation in shallow waters from 12-48 inches.
- Massachusetts: Carp will begin spawning here when Water Temp reaches 60 F. They will move to shallow murky waters and you will often spot multiple males with one female carp. Not that’s easy to tell the difference or anything.
- Michigan: Generally, carp spawning in Michigan begins when water temperatures reach 63 F. This will be between Late April and August could still be considered Carp spawn season.
- Minnesota: June 1st is the best estimate at the start time for carp spawning in Minnesota. It will typically depend on when the water temp reaches 58 F.
- Mississippi: Carp along the Mississippi River has been an ongoing problem with relief efforts from many states trying to pitch in. Especially with Asian Carp. It seems in this region of the United States, carp never stop laying eggs but Mid Spring- Mid August is your common spawn time in Mississippi.
- Missouri: In Missouri, nearly all carp spawning occurs from March until June but can persist until fall. Eggs are just dropped over logs and rocks in Missouri. Carp in Missouri typically only live a lifespan of 12 years.
- Montana: In Montana, your spawns will be from mid-May until July. July will be your peak spawn time.
- Nebraska: Spawning in Nebraska will begin the first of April most years depending on climate. The spawn will run through fall.
- Nevada: Spawning carp in Nevada will run from March until nearly October. Carp in Nevada can live up to nearly 40 years. Lucky for you anglers in Nevada. A carp with that kind of age will be a great trophy fish when caught. Make sure to leave a comment if your one of the lucky anglers to land one.
- New Hampshire: Spawning begins in the spring near vegetation and shallow water. Numerous males will usually gather around one female in plain sight in New Hampshire.
- New Jersey: Carp in New Jersey start getting jiggy with it in when water temps hit 63-79 F. This is usually the first weeks of June and occurs in grassy shallows.
- New Mexico: Spring- Late summer with water temps between 72-84 F.
- New York: In New York, your looking at water temps needing to be 60 F and usually between May and June is when spawning will commence.
- North Carolina: April- June is prime carp spawning season in NC.
- North Dakota: Late Spring all the Way to November depending on water temperatures.
- Ohio: Late April until June.
- Oklahoma: Water Temps between 70-80 F. Usually May- July is hot spawn time.
- Oregon: Water Temps need to reach roughly 60 F in Oregon for carp spawning to commence. Usually around the 1st of May.
- Pennsylvania: March Until June is prime spawn season.
- Rhode Island: Water Temps near 60 F. Usually in shallow waters. Late May-Late Summer.
- South Carolina: April-June.
- South Dakota: Water Temps Around 60 F. Between May- End of Summer.
- Tennessee: Spawning launches in TN when water temps hit 62-65F. Late Spring.
- Texas: May- June.
- Utah: Early to Late Spring.
- Vermont: Late Spring- Late Summer.
- Virginia: 62-64 F water temps are needed for carp to begin spawning in Virginia. April to May and can last till mid-summer.
- Washington: Between 60-65 F. Late Spring, generally in April spawning begins.
- West Virginia: Mid- Late Spring-Early Summer.
- Wisconsin: Early Spring- Mid Summer- Water Temps near 62 F.
- Wyoming: March Until June.
More About When Carp Spawn
Maybe you are curious if fishing for carp during spawning is still possible? By possible I mean, some chance exists that you can get back to reeling in the trophy size carp on a daily basis.
I wish it was that easy. I, 100% don’t blame you because I absolutely hate the feeling of seeing them on top of the water in plain sight but with zero interest toward anything I’m offering.
During this time, it does not matter what you have to offer. They are not interested. The problem with the entire idea is that we have nothing to complain about.
Would you have any interest in bread or corn if you were working on spawning? I mean, If I’m the fish in the scenario you better have the last meal known to exist for me to divert my attention.
I will break down all the specifics on spawn times, and what to do during carp spawn season. Let’s start breaking down in depth and answer the question of “when do carp spawn”.
Carp Spawning Facts
As many of carp anglers already know. Carp are an extremely unique species of fish. Carp fishing can be tough.
I don’t think many people understand how picky this fish can be and how long it really takes to become semi-capable of catching carp on a regular basis. It’s taken me nearly 3 years just to reach a point where I’m comfortable sharing my techniques or tips related to carp fishing.
Carp have also been hated for quite some time until the last few decades. Well in the United States at least. Other countries, carp is a huge food group and a fish many overseas anglers target for a variety of reasons. I’m here to tell you nothing is wrong with carp in any form of the sport.
They can be cooked to taste good. Possibly the best fish to eat if prepared properly. This will show you how to cook carp in case you are curious or don’t believe me that they can taste pretty darn good.
They put up one of the best fights imaginable which is the whole-hearten reason I love fishing for carp. The adrenaline rush is huge for me. For that moment in time, the rest of the world’s problems disappear and it’s just You Vs. Mr. Carp.
But what’s the problem?
They still like to get there freak on is the problem! It throws major kinks in my game. Yours as well I’m assuming, otherwise, why are you curious when carp spawn?
Where does this leave us? Casting to a ghost town unfortunately. Well maybe, some tips can still help catch carp or other fish during this time.
Does Temperature Make a Difference on When Carp Spawn?
Temperature plays a huge role in carp spawning. Why though?
If you haven’t noticed Carp generally only spawn when water temps are between 55 F and 75 F. It’s due to variations of eggs being able to hatch.
Carp also begin with much more activity with warmer water temperatures.
They will basically go ghost on you during the coldest months of the year although it is 100% possible to catch carp ice fishing as well.
How do I Know When Carp is Spawning?
This is easy to spot. Carp spawning will generally be in plain sight. They won’t bite any bait near them no matter how good the bait smells or how great of a caster you may be.
You will either see two carp nearly on top of each other or several males flocking one female carp.
They aren’t generally very deep.
We are talking roughly 12-48 inches down near vegetation and other weedy marshy areas. In my other blog post, I discuss the importance of carp scouting which can greatly impact your fishing success when spawning time ends.
When Carp Spawn, What Happens?
We basically just touched on this but when carp spawn the female will release her eggs for fertilization by the male carp. The male carp will release his sperm so to speak to begin the spawning process.
When they spawn hundreds of thousands of eggs are dropped.
This has helped bow fishing for carp become a major sport for many anglers.
Unlimited targets and we all want to clean up and get rid of some of them.
How Long do Carp Spawn For
How long do carp spawn for? Carp eggs typically hatch about 48 hours after they are laid. In cold weather the spawn takes a longer time to hatch.
Please let me elaborate:
It is extremely difficult to answer. It depends greatly on water temperature if you haven’t noticed from our 50-state breakdown.
Sometimes it can last a few days and sometimes it can start and stop for weeks at a time with fluctuation in water temps.
A carp is only going to spawn once a year. Sometimes, not at all depending on water temperatures and climate factors.
Are Carp Still Spawning in the Fall?
This again is tough to answer but the best answer is maybe. If the water temperatures and spawn gods dictate it’s a good time to get busy, you can still see carp spawning in the fall.
How Many Eggs do Carp Lay?
Varies but common carp are said to lay 300,000 eggs in a single spawn. Some other species of carp have been shown to drop 500,000 up 1 Million eggs in one spawn.
How Long do Carp Eggs Take to Hatch?
Carp eggs typically hatch about 48 hours after they are laid. Granted, they are only about 5 cm in length and thinner than a DNA sample but they surely are alive and kicking within just a short 48-hour span.
This is just mind-blowing to me for some reason!
Do Carp Die After Spawning?
Spawning does not kill a carp and NO they do not die after spawning. The myths you may have heard of carp dying after spawning is more related to drastic changes in water temps or environmental factors such as oxygen levels.
If a carp begins spawning and must stop midway, this can sometimes cause issues or place heavy stress on the carp.
Overall the carp will, however, survive the lovemaking session before, after and during.
Can You Catch Carp When They Are Spawning?
It’s very tough. They are reluctant to take any bait you offer them, and I don’t think anyone here can blame them.
You can try one of the best best fishing carp baits such as corn, bread or boilies but you won’t have much luck.
I’d recommend learning bowfishing for carp if you are that excited and just can’t wait any longer.
Spawn season for carp is a beautiful time to bow fish.
Jumping carp during this season would also be better to avoid.
Spawning carp are on the move frequently.
Spawning does bring in other species of fish to the nearby area though so fishing overall can still be great.
If I had to pick one side of the fence. I would vote to avoid attempting to catch carp when they are spawning or bow fish only.
I personally have only had luck with the ladder.
Do I think it is possible to catch spawning carp?
I suppose it’s possible, but it seems highly unethical. I’m not trying to come across as someone who will judge you for trying but your more than likely going to snag the carp and drag him in belly up than you are likely to catch the carp with any fight or actual skill.
If your going to do this, just let the arrow tip take care of business.
Take advantage of the other fish that are attracted to the area during spawn season and hunt the carp down when they are done doing their business.
Wrapping it Up
It seems that many people are getting into the hobby and sport of carp fishing, but some are still learning the natural flow of the seasons.
Spawning is just part of this process. It’s possible to catch other great fish during carp spawn season and again spawning season is a killer scouting time for your planned water adventures for the year.
Besides that, it’s best to let them run their course and start hammering away at catching them when they complete spawning.
As always, I like to emphasize, I’m not an expert carp fisherman by any means. I don’t get paid to catch carp nor study the spawning habits.
My goal is to just bring value to the fishing community and interact with all of you.
As I learn, I post it here in hopes maybe you can teach me a thing or two as well.
If I have left out any major spawning tips and tricks for carp, be sure to leave a comment below.