When carp are in a hungry mood, I honestly think they will take most baits. If you are stuck at home and think you have no bait for carp fishing, then take a look in the cupboard and I bet you have some potatoes you can make bait from. Think back to the 60s and ’70s before bait companies produced commercial pellets and boilies were normal and I bet you a lot of carp anglers were fishing with potatoes. It is an extremely versatile bait.
Answer: Yes, carp love potatoes. They were a popular bait in the 60s and 70s before commercial pellets came out and can be used today to catch plenty of carp.
What’s Good To Mix With Potatoes?
There are a lot of recipes online, but we like to keep things simple.
Add Some Food Colourings
As well as adding flavourings you could always add some food colourings and make the potato various bright colours. Fish react differently to different coloured baits so it’s worth trying and it’s no extra work to do.
We have covered garlic in another article on our site. More and more commercial companies are using it as an additive so that’s no reason not to give it a go when creating your potatoes.
Yep, you read that correctly. A friend of mine once told me how he read about some crazy recipe online where someone had soaked potatoes in coffee and had great results. Details of this are below.
Peel and cut potatoes into roughly 20mm cubes. Then boil the kettle and create a big jug of coffee. Place the potatoes in the coffee overnight to soak up the flavour. This sounds weird, but it could be worth a try?
How Do You Use It As a Hook Bait?
There are various ways to use potatoes as hook baits to catch carp.
Boil And Roll Them
Cut up the potatoes into roughly 1-inch squares and put them into a pot of boiling water.
The tip after that is to add corn starch and then you can also add any flavourings that you think you need to add. These could be anything from your current flavourings, or maybe use something like a more natural flavouring like chilli powder.
Boil the water until the potatoes and starch turn into a paste.
Then you need to get a melon baller. This is used to scoop the paste into round little balls that look similar to boilies.
Place these onto a baking tray lined with baking parchment so that they won’t stick to the baking tray.
Let them cool. As they cool they will go harder, but not as hard as a boilie
After that, they are ready to fish with but they will fall off after a few casts because they are soft.
Hair Rig Them
My advice to make sure they stay on the hook better would be to use a hair rig with a baiting needle. This works well whether you are using a hard piece of potato or a soft potato. It just means that the hook is less likely to pull through and it should stay on securely.
Should You Leave The Skin On?
It’s a personal preference. If you are not boiling them to make round-shaped balls are want to keep them as rough chunks I would recommend leaving the skin on. This will help when it comes to hair rigging them as it will give the soft potato an extra layer on the outside. This will help keep it on the hook for longer.
Just make sure you don’t cut the chunks too small or you may end up catching smaller fish that are not your intended target.
They Are A Cheap Carp Bait!
Potatoes are probably one of the most accessible, cheapest foods available. You can get these from any supermarket and they keep them for a long time in the cupboard.
What About Mashed Potatoes?
So, this isn’t something I have tried but there is certainly no harm in giving it a go. Groundbait and mashed potatoes can have quite a similar consistency and will take on additives very well when compared to some other baits.
It almost becomes a sort of potato paste that could be used as a slop down in the margins to attract the fish that way.
Part boiled and chopped potatoes?
Rather than boiling your potatoes all the way before you mash them. Why not part boil them so that they become almost like the consistency of luncheon meat. The reason for this is that they become softer and easier for the fish to digest.
It will also make them lighter in the water which will be perfect when used on the end of a pole pot when pole fishing.
One easy way that required no preparation on the angler’s end is to open a tin of new potatoes. These are generally the smallest new potatoes that you can find and they already come in the perfect hook bait size. After googling online, this seems to be the most preferred method by many carp anglers.
Something To Try When All Else Isn’t Working
If fishing has become hard on your venue and other carp baits don’t seem to be working then it could be worth giving them a go on your next fishing trip. What’s the worst that can happen? You might land yourself a big carp!
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.