The best fishing bait for carp

Updated July 20, 2017

Carp long have been a treasured catch in Europe, where they are known for their fighting ability. In the United States, carp fishing has started to grow, and anglers are trying to find the best way to lure in one of these hard-fighting fish.

Traditional baits

Each angler will swear one bait or the other is the best for taking on carp, but the truth is it all depends on what the carp in the particular area you area fishing are interested in. In the United Kingdom, anglers rely on a bait called "boilies," which can be flavoured in various ways to draw a carp's attention. There is a link to a variety of recipes that have been developed in the United States by the Carp Anglers Group. Another traditional carp bait is bread dough. Take a few slices of bread and add enough moisture that it becomes a texture you can knead and shape. Shape into little balls and put on your hook. If it becomes too soggy and wet, simply add a little flour to stiffen the dough.

Non traditional baits

Ozzy Osbourne once tried to catch fish on his reality television series, "The Osbournes," using a piece of cheese. While Osbourne didn't come up with a catch on the show, it's quite possible he was thinking about carp while baiting his hook. Carp, according to, will eat just about anything and have been known to hit hooks baited with cheese, corn, bread, worms, cut bait and even hot dogs.

Watch and learn

Carp can be picky eaters at times and might refuse many baits thrown their way. A smart fisherman will try to scout his prey and make use of any information he finds. One example of this, according to the Carp Anglers Group, is carp that enjoy eating mulberries. When the mulberries drop into the water from an overhanging tree, the carp will swarm and eat it. This would become prime bait for anglers looking to get their hooks into carp. Make note of what the local carp are eating and try to emulate it as closely as possible. And keep trying different things. What a carp likes one day might not be what it is after the next. Switch up the baits until you find what is working for them.

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About the Author

Sam Eggleston has been a journalist since 1999, working primarily with Gannett, Ogden and Morris newspaper companies. He has written for the "Escanaba Daily Press," "The Marquette Mining Journal," the "Kenai Peninsula Clarion," the "Novi News," the "Northville Record," the "Livingston County Press" and "Argus." Eggleston studied English at Northern Michigan University.