Carp catching season is underway, and you can go to watch

Christmas carp will be more expensive this year, but you can get it cheaper from the pond right when it is caught. Staff

Written by Staff Published on 06.10.2022 15:07:00 (updated on 06.10.2022) Reading time: 2 minutes

Carp will be plentiful this year, but more expensive. The fresh-water fish is a staple at Christmas dinners across Czechia. They are sold fresh from sidewalk stalls and in front of shopping centers in the days just before Christmas, but the actual catching of the fish from ponds is taking place now across South Bohemia.

Prices will rise by up to 20 percent this year, according to fisheries. The rise is due to higher energy and fuel costs, among other things.

Rybářství Třeboň board chairman Josef Malecha told news server iDnes that carp sold now at the fishing grounds will go up from CZK 98 to CZK 120 per kilo, but it is too early to say what it will cost at Christmastime. But prices from stalls in cities, though, will certainly be higher than at the fishery.

People line up to buy fresh carp ahead of Christmas. (Photo: Raymond Johnston)
People line up to buy fresh carp ahead of Christmas. Photo: Raymond Johnston.

The largest producer of freshwater fish in Europe, Rybářství Třeboň plans to catch 2,000 tons from 250 ponds from September to November. Carp accounts for 80 percent and the rest consists of tench, zander, pike, catfish, grass carp, walleye, and perch.

Another fishery, Blatenská Ryby said their carp currently costs CZK 98 per kilo and will go up around 5 percent this season.

Seeing the carp caught is a spectator sport in South Bohemia. Throughout October, people go to watch people in waders throw nets in ponds and haul out fish by the hundreds. For the last two years, people were discouraged from going due to Covid restrictions, but this year will be a return to normal.

One of the biggest such events will be at Rožmberk rybník from Oct. 7 to 9. “Rybník” is the Czech word for artificial fish ponds. Visitors can see not only the traditional fishing craft, but also taste fish soup and fillets as well as meat dishes, or buy live fish from the catch. Activities for children include a chance to try fishing firsthand. There are also similar events at other ponds managed by Rybářství Třeboň throughout the month, but a bit less elaborate.

Fried and breaded carp. Photo: iStock, zi3000.
Fried and breaded carp. Photo: iStock, zi3000.

Rybářství Třeboň board chairman Josef Malecha told new server iDnes that the fish this year will not be as big as they were in other years due to a dry and relatively warm first half of spring. Water came later in the season, but too late to speed up production.

Another fishery, Rybářství Hluboká, also has events set up, mostly at the end of the month. Their biggest one is at Munický rybník on Oct. 28. A full program has not been announced yet, but it will include live music and of course fish treats. Dates are subject to change, though, depending on the weather so check the website before going.

Rybářství Hluboká director Vladimír Kaiser also mentioned the weather as a factor but said it was too early to evaluate the quality of this year’s fish.

Blatenská Ryba has its main event on Oct. 15 at Podkostelní rybník. Blatenská Ryby manager Jiří Bláha said the event was organized in cooperation with the town of Putim, and will include refreshments. A PDF list of dates for catches at other ponds can be found on the fishery website, but these will be without festivals.  

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