Why do Carp Jump Out of The Water? (Answered!)

Many people including myself have always wondered why carp do some of the things that they do. As a carp angler, it’s just traits of carp that we naturally want to know. As I’m writing this blog, I’m obviously not very curious anymore since I know the answer.

Why do carp jump out of the water?

Carp jump due the swim bladder that carp naturally have. It controls buoyancy of the fish. This just means that carp remain at a certain water depth or current water depth without using energy to swim. When gas builds up, it can cause the carp to jump.

Also nice to know: How to carp fishing in hot weather.

When I first began carp angling, however, I was curious and wanted to learn everything humanly possible about the carp, so I could effectively develop my hobby and ultimately catch more carp.

Knowledge is power.

Which in return caused me to be sitting around the house the other day and realized that we probably have at least 1 new carp angler or curious George out there every day, so I wanted to take the time to give you the answer as well. I had to do some digging but here what I learned.

Keep reading.

Table of Contents

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The Carp Jump Broken Down Further

The swim bladder also acts as a chamber that can help the carp produce or receive sound.

Gas builds up within the carp’s swim bladder. In most circumstances, the carp can handle releasing the gas with no further action being needed.

However, times present where the carp will use jumping as a mechanism to release the gas. When the carp hits the water after a nice tall, rising jump. The impact will release the gas from the carp swim bladder.

I mean, let’s face it. It’s impressive when you actually witness a carp emerge out the water and get some pretty good height beneath the jump. Especially if your lucky enough to see a 10 plus pound carp do it.

How Can The Carp Jump be Useful For All The Carp Anglers?

Well, it can tell us a few things. The jumping carp are not going to be particularly useful unless you are in a river flooded with them and are equipped for Bow Fishing which is a purely fantastic hobby if you haven’t tried it.

If you want to get lost in a blog or need a guide to get started bow fishing for carp, check out my other blog that breaks down exactly how to bow fish and top tricks of the trade.

The Jumping Carp Can Reveal where the Carp are Feeding a Particular Time

The carp natural diet can lead to the carp building up these gases after having its a delicious meal for the day. If you notice carp jumping in your area of fishing, it could indicate that they are hungry and ready to strike. Just be sure to stick to the bottom fishing methods.

Carp Also Jump Due to Spawning

You may also witness a carp leaping through the air during spawn season for carp.

If you’re not familiar with carp spawn season, I put together an entire guide in an older blog post going over everything in-depth about carp spawning and how to fish for them during this time. You will typically be able to tell pretty quickly if the carp are spawning or if that’s the cause of the “jump” so to speak.

They will be groups of 2 plus fish, and you will have about a 0% chance of landing a carp during this time. They only have one priority during this time, and I assure you it’s not your bait.

Carp Also Jump Out of The Water in Lack of Oxygen

Carp can also be known to jump out of the waters if they are lacking oxygen. If they perform this, it’s probably due to climate, and water temperature is causing them to be a little more squirrelly on any given day.

Not worth the Time to Fish For Carp During this time

Any carp angler knows that’s it’s almost impossible to catch carp when surfaced unless using stalking methods or bow fishing methods.

I recommend developing both of those skills because without an underwater camera, jumping and surfaced carp are extremely common to see and wouldn’t it be great to find a way to begin catching them during these time?

Trust me. Traditional bait methods just won’t work when carp are in this kind of mood.

Why do Carp Surface?

Okay, we are talking about something 100% different than jumping now, but some of the answers and explanation remain the exact same. Carp can surface for a variety of reasons. Carp often enjoy sunbathing if the climate and temperature are right for it.

You will usually notice this near weed, plants and other structures in the water but you can definitely notice surfaced carp without spawning or oxygen issues being anything to do with it.

Another common reason carp may surface could be to execute on feeding near mouths of creeks and rivers where food is easily accessible to them. Not at the bottom of the water obviously but washing near the top.

Windy days or days with high levels of oxygen in the air near the body of water may cause a carp to surface as well just to gain more access to more oxygen. They want to breathe too! Don’t try to outsmart the carp. They are smart and will surprise you.

Again, unless you are learning the great sport of bow fishing, surfaced carp and jumping carp are not worth the time to try, and you are most likely wasting your time.Wait till the carp are doing there natural thing and scrolling the bottom waters before making a big go at it if you want to see the most chances of success.

Carp stick to routines more than most carp anglers believe and they will do what they need to do to get to food sources, provide oxygen to there fishy bodies and ultimately survive.

So to Recap, do we understand why carp jump and why carp surface?

This was a blog purely for fun and to tell the carp angling community that if you know and witnessed a carp jumping, especially in substantial size, it can be exciting as hell. However, targeting those carp or not realizing that it’s spawn season can ultimately lead you wasting your time and efforts.

Continue to gather data and even consider underwater camera technology to begin learning the behavior of carp.It will ultimately make you a better angler if you can invest the time in understanding how a carp thinks and how a carp interacts with his or her natural environment.

Any facts you can add about why carp jump or surface? I’m always open to adding more fun information for the carp angling community to view so be sure to leave a comment below.

Want to read more? Essential Carp Fishing Equipment Checklist

Bob Hoffmann

The author of this post is Bob Hoffmann. Bob has spend most of his childhood fishing with his father and now share all his knowledge with other anglers. Feel free to leave a comment below.

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