If you’re looking for the best baits to catch carp, then look no further.
This guide will cover the top 5 carp baits and also give you a quick overview on how they’re used.
The common carp has been spreading wildly in the US over the last few year. Aside from being prolific breeders, they also suffer from very little angling pressure.
So, why not try your luck and have a good chance of easily catching a fish over 10 pounds.
You’ll be in for a good fight with some drag peeling runs.
Most carp anglers use real edible baits instead of lures. But yes, it is possible to catch them with artificial lures. It’s just not as likely. I remember I once caught a pretty nice carp on a lipless crankbait while I was bass fishing. But I consider this to be a bit of a fluke.
To really target carp, you need baits with a smell that can attract carp from a distance. The bait should also be edible and have a flavor that carp are attracted to.
Many anglers use hair rigs to catch carp. When using these types of rigs, you’ll need a fish that’s going to swallow the bait if you want to get a good hookset.
Carp will eat worms, crustaceans, fish and plant material such as algae. So, when you’re looking for baits, there’s much to choose from.
There are natural baits with strong smells. Or homemade made doughballs that anglers will prepare ahead of time.
So, here are the top 5 commercially available carp baits.
Berkley Gulp Alive! Corn
It’s well known that corn is a favorite carp food and bait. But getting your hook into a kernel of corn can be a pain. What’s more, real corn can easily come off your hook as well.
With Berkely Gulp Alive you get the corn look with added benefits. These baits are infused with scents and flavor to help attract carp and get them to eat.
It will also be easier to keep on your hook than regular corn. It has a consistency that is stickier and more resilient.
Berkeley Alive Corn comes in a 2.2 oz. container. This should easily last you for a day or two of fishing.
Wicked Carp Company 8oz (~40/tub) 15mm Catalpa Worm Boilies & Dumbells | Hard Dough Carp Bait & Catfish Bait
These boilies are made from a mixture of food items that are attractive to carp.
It contains bird seed, flour and flavoring to help attract and keep carp locked on. Soaked in attractants for over 72 hours, they’re intended to create a strong feeding response in carp.
All their flavors have been field tested in Texas over many years.
What’s more is that these boilies will catch most all species of carp. As a bonus, catfish can also be caught with these too.
They’re also durable and you’ll be able to often reuse the same bait more than once.
Keep in mind that these meant for use with hair rigs and not for threading on hooks.
They come in a tub with about 40 pieces per tub. So, one tub should be able to last for more than one outing.
What is a carp hair rig?
A hair rig is basically a line with a hook on it with some additional line that extends away from the hook.
The boilie is then threaded through this piece of line. This allows the carp to eat the boilie without feeling the metal of the hook.
Oftentimes carp can get wary of hooks. This rig is meant to catch carp that would otherwise reject a bait with a hook in it.
It may not be absolutely essential to catch carp. You can definitely catch them with baits threaded on a hook. This is especially true if the entire hook is hidden in the bait.
However, if you’re dealing with especially pressured carp, then a hair rig is something worth trying.
Vbestlife 30Pcs/Box Smell Soft Fishing Lure Soft Boilies Fishing Bait Boilies Floating Smell Ball Beads Feeder Artificial Carp Baits Lure
If you’re looking for a more do it yourself approach, then these floating foam balls are a great option.
You can use them floating on the surface or, combine them with a sinker rig and have them rise just a few inches from the bottom.
A bait that floats up from the bottom like this can be much easier to see from a distance. This is especially true if there is significant weed growth where you’re fishing.
They do come pre-soaked with attractant, so you can use them right away.
The do it yourself part comes if you want to create your own concoction of attractants and soak these foam balls in it.
You can then create your own secret recipe for the carp in your area.
The foam balls come with a hole through the center so you can run your hair rig lines through the foam.
So, if you’re dealing with cautious fish, you’ll be able to keep your hook separate from the bait.
Fishcm 100pcs Fake Soft Baits Corn Worms Carp Fishing Lures Floating Baits with Nice Scent
If corn is the bait of choice for your carp fishing then try these fake corn baits. They’re infused with an attractant that helps get carp to strike and stay on.
You will need a needle to help route the hair rig line through them.
They’re made of TPR of Thermo Plastic Rubber. This is a synthetic material that is infused with a sweet flavor and smell.
Unlike other brands, this product comes with 100 pieces.
Chumming with real corn and then mixing these baits in with the chum can be a deadly tactic for catching lots of carp.
And since they’re a rubber material, they can be reused multiple times.
If you’re just starting out, I’d recommend you get some hair rigs and rigging tools too.
What Kind Of Tools Do I Need To Rig Carp Baits?
If you’re going to be rigging hair rigs, then you’ll need a few tools. A needle can help you puncture baits and get them ready to thread. Some carp anglers also use a small drill bit.
The drill bit is used to drill and widen a hole that is runs through the bait.
This hole is where the hair rig line passes through.
Some baits can come apart. The drill bit helps prevent this from happening.
After you have created a hole in your bait, you then need to pass your line through it.
Having a tool to do this can make your life much easier. A threading tool can come in different styles. The end result should be that it allows you to attach your line to it and then thread the line through the bait.
Additionally, some tools you may already have include scissors or finger nail clippers.
If you’re cutting braided line, you’ll want to get special braided line scissors. Many conventional scissors have trouble cutting it.
There are sets of some of these tools like this one here:
Carp Rigging Tips
If you’re new to carp fishing and just want something that will get you started, then this kit will work. You can also order some hair rigs too if you don’t want to make your own.
Another very useful tool for rigging carp bait is called a PVA bag. The idea is that you fill the bag with your bait of choice. This can be corn, boilies or whatever the carp in your area prefer.
You then insert your hook into the bag and seal it. To seal it, you can just use some moisture or some tape to close off the ends. It’s recommended that you cut off the corners of the bags for a couple of reasons. One, to make sure you get all the air out of the bag. Two, to aid in the dispersal of the delicious bait.
Don’t worry, these bags won’t litter the water. They actually dissolve rather quickly in the water. You’ll have about 30 to 90 seconds before they have almost completely dissolved.
As they dissolve, all the juicy bait starts to work it’s magic. The release of the bait smell will draw in the carp. The hook that should be well hidden in the bait will be difficult to detect.
This rig should definitely help you get some strikes.
Carp fishing can be great fun. Large carp are excellent fighters and you can catch them almost anywhere.
They’re also not very popular with anglers. In the future as people discover that they’re hard fighters this may change.
You can even turn a carp into a great meal.
Carp can be deep fried or baked and many say that it’s delicious.
Overall, if you live near a body of water that has a carp problem, catching them might be a great way to help alleviate it.