Name: Hoven’s carp.
Common names: mad barb, mad carp, river carp.
Species: Leptobarbus Hoevenii. Cyprinidae.
Thai name: Pla ba.
Max length: 1m.
Max weight: 10kg (21lb).
IGFA record: 6kg (13lbs.3oz).
Diet: Seeds and nuts, shrimp, worm, molluscs, insects, boilies, maize and bread.
To fish for our mad carp, which act very similar to a European rudd, try small pieces of breadcrust tight to the hyacinth beds, or alternatively try float fishing approximately 18ins below your float close to the hyacinth beds with a single grain of maize or breadflake. For fly fishing, they will take a dry fly, especially hopper patterns, and also buzzer patterns fished in the surface layers with a very slow figure-of-eight retrieve. Again we allow the use of 8wt tackle for this fish, provided you only use floating lines and small flies. When hooked these members of the carp family dart from side to side, and regularly jump, so keep a tight line to them at all times. Once netted this rudd lookalike is no problem; they are very hardy, need no special care, and there are no sharp or dangerous areas to worry about. However they are a very lively fish so keep your hands away from their gills, as they will wriggle and jump from your hands given half a chance. Once you have your trophy shot, place the fish back in the water and support the fish until it is ready to swim away unaided.
General facts on the Hoven’s carp:
The mad carp is a member of the carp family cyprinidae; they are distributed from Thailand to Sumatra and Borneo, and found most often in freely flowing rivers and streams and seasonally on floodplains when they migrate into the flooded woodlands. During this period they eat parenchyma and seeds of chaulmoogra tree that have fallen into the water, and they become intoxicated and behave in a peculiar manner, hence the name mad carp or pla ba! During this period they are toxic, and eating the flesh of the fish can cause nausea in humans, but after this period they are prized highly as an eating fish, especially in Vietnam and Cambodia. After the floods they return to the rivers to spawn, where they reproduce very quickly, and populations can double in two years. The mad carp is also a popular aquarium fish, and under artificial lights with their green hue and red fins, they look spectacular in an aquarium, and are an easy fish to keep.