Carp Fishing With Prawns. Do Carp Like Prawns?

This is another part of our “do carp like this bait” series where we look at baits that sometimes get overlooked. The question today is do carp like prawns, and are they any good for carp fishing?

The answer is: Yes, carp love prawns and they can be used to catch you a lot of carp and other big fish. They are a fantastic choice for carp fishing when used correctly and can be purchased fairly cheaply.

I nipped down to my local supermarket and picked up a big bag for £3. This will last me for quite a few trips as I feel you never need loads of prawns when you compare them to how many pellets or maggots you may use.


Prawns Are a Natural Bait

I am always a fan of a natural bait as I feel it’s more like what the fish want to eat and stands out that bit more than a standard pellet or boilie that they have seen 100 times before. Natural baits feel are something that I personally feel confident using and there are others I like such as mussels, worms and maggots.

What’s the best way to present them when carp fishing?


Likely to cost more just because it’s fresh. These wouldn’t be my first choice but if you think it gives you an edge over using a frozen bait then give it a go.


As mentioned above, frozen prawns are just so easy to use that I feel it would be silly not to have some in. In the morning you can just take out as many as you need for that days fishing and off you go. These will last for ages.

Hair Rigged or Directly Hooked?

The way you present your prawn on the hook can make a big difference.

Prawns are a very soft bait and can quite easily come off when cast out over a long distance.

The tip is to thread the hook through the thicker part of the prawn and have the end of the hook come out of the other side. Almost so that the curling of the prawn matches the curling of the hook.

When pole fishing for carp this is the way I would hook it.

Using a hair rig

The other option is to hair rig the prawn. This means you can use a slightly smaller hook and the hook is always exposed. If you are casting over a long distance and want the prawn to stay on for longer then this is would I would recommend.

What Size Hook Should You Use For Prawns?

When carp fishing using prawns I always use a slightly bigger hook than if I was using a pellet. That’s because prawns are a larger bait than most and therefore you should increase your hook size to match this. I like to go through my fishing tackle box and find myself a size 10 hook or above.

What about additives?

A prawn gives off a natural fish smell which is great and to be honest it probably doesn’t need much else adding to it. However, if you after giving it a boost there are some things you can do.

We would recommend adding some garlic powder (we covered garlic here in another article) but adding salt and some garlic will actually stiffen the prawn slightly. This will make it easier to hook and it’s more likely to stay on the hook a bit longer. I also can’t see any harm in adding a bit of garlic to a prawn, because who doesn’t like a prawn that’s covered in garlic? I think it definitely makes your bait become that bit more attractive4 where fish are used to seeing the same baits.

What About Free Offerings?

Just like any bait, I believe that throwing in some free offerings of bait is a good idea.

However, I do think you should do this with more caution when compared to other baits.

It’s good to keep prawns mainly for the hook bait and not get them too used to seeing prawns. If you are chucking in hand fulls then over time carp may get suspicious. I believe this, gives the angler an advantage over others.

What I like to do, is break up a few prawns into smaller chunks and mix these with pellets when feeding.

What Other Fish Like Them?

As well as being a great bait for catching carp, fishing with prawns will also work well for lots of other fish.

At my local lake, there are some really big perch that goes over 4lb in size. These love to take a prawn and I am certainly not going to complain at catching such a specimen perch. These work really well in the winter months when perch fishing is harder.

Some other species that love to eat prawns are:

  • Perch
  • Bream
  • Chub
  • Eel
  • Pike

Final Thoughts On Fishing With Prawns

Fishing with prawns is actually something I do quite a lot but I do find I catch fish better on some venues than others. One local venue has a lot of carp between 4lb and 10lb. You can really get plagued with smaller fish on some baits, but I know if I put a big juicy prawn on then when that float goes under it’s going to be a decent-sized fish.

If you want to watch a great video on prawn fishing then watch this video by Graham over at TA Fishing.