Fishing BaitsSpecies Guides

What Is The Best Bait For Carp Fishing?

By August 28, 2020No Comments

If you have experience with carp fishing you will know the first battle is finding a bait that they like.

If you can grab their attention or even better yet, drive them into a feeding frenzy you are going to have a much better chance at enticing one to bite your hook bait.

When it comes to carp, anglers either have something that works for them or they go with a tried and tested method.

If you stick to commercial baits then you will usually have a solid session but sometimes experimenting with unusual carp baits is more fun and sometimes yields better results.

Our List Of The Best Carp Baits

1. Boilies

Reasons To buy

  • Very Effective
  • Strong Smell
  • Long Shelf Life

Reasons To Avoid

  • A little expensive if you want to groundbait

Boilies

Boilies are popular across the UK and regarded as the most effective carp bait by match anglers. In fact, this is the most popular carp bait worldwide.

Boilies come either as float bait or sink bait and both have their uses. Check this guide on the best carp boilies and how to use them

Shelf life boilies last for around a year, don’t cause any mess and carp love them. So why would you choose anything else? 

Well, a lot of carp anglers don’t choose anything else and are happy to stick with the most popular commercial carp bait. 

Once carp have a taste for boilies there’s no stopping them. And since they come in a host of sizes its great for waters where smaller fish steal your bait. 

The downside to boilies is that they are expensive. By far the most expensive bait on this list.

2. Hemp

Reasons To buy

  • Very Affordable
  • Great For Bulking Out Bait

Reasons To Avoid 

  • If you don’t have a lot of storage
  • If you are looking a ready to use bait

Hemp Seeds

While this isn’t a hook bait, at least not without some additional steps, it is a great bait to add to your carp fishing repertoire. 

Dry hemp floats and you can’t really use it for bait. But once cooked, the kernels open up and now sink. 

Hemp seeds have a great flavour and a bunch of oils making it a great additive to bait mixes too.

Cooked hemp is extremely useful for attracting fish to your peg. 

Whether you are scattering it over the top with a bait catapult or adding it to a PVA bag, once it’s in the water it will grab the attention of nearby carp.

It’s thought that the hemp mimics natural prey of the carp – water snails.

3. Sweetcorn

Reasons To buy

  • Very Effective
  • Cheap and available everywhere
  • Long Shelf Life

Reasons To Avoid

  • Easily Stolen by smaller fish

Tinned Sweetcorn

Yes, this is an extremely effective bait and some of my best carp have come from corn on the hook.

This is really cheap at the supermarket and lasts in the cupboard for ages.

One issue with sweetcorn is that other fish love to steal it off your hook before the carp can bite.

Sweetcorn works much better in the winter when there is less competition for carp.

Floating Bread Bait For Surface Fishing Carp

4. Bread

Reasons To buy

  • Very Effective
  • Strong Smell
  • Long Shelf Life

Reasons To Avoid

  • A little expensive if you want to groundbait

Bread

Bread is a classic carp bait and is most effective in waters where people come to feed bread to ducks and swans.

This is another example of a cheap supermarket bait that is very versatile.

Bread can be used as a hook bait by either squashing it into a ball so it sinks or just added to the hook as a floating bait.

On warmer days carp love to feed at the top of the water and its a great bait to use when stalking carp.

The downsides are that bread falls off the hook really easily, smaller fish also love to steal it and after a few minutes in the water bread tends to disintegrate.

But here’s an angling pro tip – when the surface fishing white foam is the perfect replacement for bread.

It will continue to float long after bread, is reusable and looks identical to the real thing.

5. Plastic Baits

Reasons To buy

  • Cheap
  • Cant Be Stolen From Your Hook
  • Last Forever

Reasons To Avoid

  • No natural scent to attract carp

Plastic Baits

The most popular plastic or rubber bait for carp is the imitation sweetcorn.

One of the biggest advantages is that once you attach this to the end of your hook, small fish aren’t going to break it off.

They never go out of date too and are super easy to store in your tackle bag.

However, they don’t really attract fish from far and wide so you should consider getting artificial scents and letting the rubber baits soak it up before using them!

6. Spam

Reasons To buy

  • Very Effective
  • Strong Smell
  • Long Shelf Life
  • Cheap and available everywhere

Reasons To Avoid

  • Can be stolen from your hook

Spam

Good old spam is yet another example of a supermarket carp bait.

Like the other good baits on this list, spam is full of oil which attracts more fish to your peg.

Spam is a soft bait which is easy to add to the end of your hook but its easily stolen by small fish too.

Another thing to consider is this protein-rich bait can fill carp up so I wouldn’t recommend you use spam as a “Groundbait.”

7. Tiger Nuts

Reasons To buy

  • Very Effective
  • Strong Smell
  • Long Shelf Life

Reasons To Avoid

  • If you want a ready to use bait then this isn’t for you

Tiger Nuts

Once you have soaked and boiled these sweet nuts, carp love them. They are full of sugars and oils which travel far in the water to attract the carp closer.

You can even add sugars and extra scents to these hook baits to attract even more carp to your hook.

Kyle Davies

Kyle Davies

Having angled for over 15 years some would say i’m something of an expert. The trouble with learning from experience is, it never stops. Come read along as i review some of the most (and least) popular fishing tackle that you can buy. And join me on my journeys to catch some beautiful fish.

Leave a Reply