13 of the Best Carp Baits
There many baits, hundreds in fact – we’ve handpicked some of the best carp baits that can be used all-year round!
Sweetcorn, pellets, boilies and bread are popular carp catching baits for many anglers.
Let’s explore 13 proven big carp baits that can increase your chances of landing that dream fish!
Bread has been used to catch carp for many years.
These days it’s best used on the surface, or as a breadcrumb in spod or PVA mix.
It’s cheap too.
Price: Around a £1
Varieties: Crusts, Crumbs, Use as a paste
Tip: Freeze leftover bread crusts and before your session, defrost, break up and pop in a blender for an instant breadcrumb base!
Especially as a winter carp bait, trick those slow moving carp with the yellow dream bait!
This bright yellow grain is well known for attracting carp – they absolutely love the stuff and we don’t know of a lake anywhere where the carp won’t eat it!
Price: 50p a tin/£1 a froze bag
Varieties: Tinned, Fake,
Tip: Use corn to ‘tip’ your hook bait to add a speck of colour. Fake corn aids buoyancy too.
Boilies need no introduction at all……specially formulated to attract hungry carp.
There are a huge variety of colours, flavours and sizes.
Fancy learning how to make your own boilies at home?
Price: £7 per kg average
Carp pellets are another bait that carp can’t get enough of.
You can buy slow sinking or floaters & they are available in all sorts of sizes.
A good carp food because pellets can take a while to break down to give your swim an ideal longevity bait.
Price: £6 to £7 per kg
Varieties: Trout, Halibut, Flavoured, Expanders
Tip: When baiting with carp pellets, use varying sizes and types. This will create variety such as break down time, flavours and the size of carp to your swim.
5. Hemp Seed
Hemp seed is known to be one of the finest carp attractors around.
A hugely successful oily ‘particle’ bait.
Great used in a spod mix.
Price: £6 per kg cooked/£4kg unprepared
Varieties: Crushed, Whole
Tip: Cooking hemp from home can save you money
Everyone knows what a maggot is and it’s long association with all types of fishing.
Wheh the going gets tough – slipping a maggot onto your hook is a classic winter carp bait that can yield a bite!
The smell, colour and movement provide the carp with an irresistible, tasty morsel!
Add a carp liquid attractant to boost the flavour!
Price: £3.50 a pint
Types: Dead, Alive, Frozen, Colours
Tip: In our opinion, maggots come into their own during the colder months
7. Chick Peas
Using chick peas to catch carp as part of a particle mix can be devastating.
Underwater, they look very natural and carp really enjoy feeding on them due to there sweet taste.
To prep, buy a packet from your local supermarket and soak them for between 12-24 hours. Bring to the boil, and they are ready! Simple.
Price: £1 per 500g
Types: Packet, Tinned
Tip: Boost them using an attractant such as marmite, bovril. Adding a colouring can also pay dividends.
Adding salt to your bait can really make a difference.
In the winter months, using salt (especially rock salt) when fishing a highly targeted area can really zone in on the carp.
You can add salt to a paste, particle mix or even sprinkle onto maggots an corn.
Price: £1.50 per 500g
Types: Table salt, rock salt
Tip: Filling a PVA bag with salt is often under used – but devastating! Use rock salt where possible.
Using carp liquid attractants can add an edge to your angling.
They can be trickled over a single hook bait or a bucket of spod mix to really boost flavour.
Price: £5 – £10
Types: Different types of consistencies, goo, colours, flavourings
Tip: Once you’ve filled a PVA bag with your bait of choice, pumping a liquid into the bag can really stir up your spot with all those lovely smells and colours that liquid attractors give.
A Pop-up is a buoyant imitation bait in the form of a boilie.
They can produce bites all year round & they excel when used in & around weed or lily pads or above a spread of bait.
Because of the buoyancy, you can fish pop-ups at whatever depth you need.
Some pop-ups are super bright and highly scented -all great signals to alert wary carp.
Price: Around £6-£7
Types: Round, Dumbbells
Tip: In the winter, keep a pop-up low to the lake bottom as the carp are slower and tend to swim in the depths.
11. Imitation Baits
Imitation baits usually have some form of buoyancy added, which is generally why anglers use them.
You can easily add some colour or shape to your hookbait & experimenting with the various forms is vital to this.
Price: Around £2-£3
Types: Imitation corn, pellets & maggots
Tip: Imitation baits last much longer than traditional forms – so if you’re intending of leaving a rig out for hours, or days then you should consider using them.
12. Tiger Nuts
Tiger nuts are fantastic for catching carp.
If prepared right (see below) tiger nuts can really come into their own on lakes that contain nuisance fish, such as bream, because no other species of fish like them!
Some lakes still ban tiger nuts – because anglers were unsure on how to prepare them correctly.
How to prepare Tiger Nuts
First, soak them in water for 24 hours, then boil them for 30 mins.
After this, leave them in an air tight bucket for at least 48 hours – this will ‘slime’ them up and if kept air tight, will last you quite a while.
They can also be frozen after cooking if necessary.
Mixing an additive such as maple syrup. can really boost the attraction of tiger nuts.
Price: Around £5 for 250g
Types: Pre-prepared, raw
Tip: Floating a tiger nut on the surface during warmer months could nick you a bite or two!
For those who have never heard of Vitalin, it’s a mixture made from maize, bone meal and meat.
It’s not a hook bait as such, but in the same category as hemp seed .
It’s great used over the winter period either as a ground bait or made into balls.
To make a bucket of Vitalin up, just pour your dry mix in along with your other ingredients (any from this list really) add hot water and give it a good stir.
Quick & Simple.
Price: Around £7 for 2.5kg
Well, there you go….13 big carp baits that are sure to land you a few!
Other baits include:
Spices (chilli is a good one)
That concludes this article!
We hope we have given you food for thought and maybe you’ve discovered the best carp bait for you from our list?
Mike has over 30 years of fishing experience in carp fishing and general coarse fishing. He is always looking for the latest fishing kit to try out and talk about and needs a bigger shed due to all the fishing tackle he owns. You can read more about him here.