Top 10 Kinds Of Carp Bait To Use Besides Boilies


carp bait pelletsPellets have a lot of the qualities that the carp bait boilies have in that they are very secure when hair-rigged and come in a range of sizes. They also make excellent floating baits as well as excellent feeding baits. Small micro-pellets can create enormous feeding frenzies if a large enough carpet is laid on the bed. Then larger trout pellets can be fished over the top. Another great thing with pellets is that they are easy to store and use again the next time you are out about stalking monster carp. Carp fishing pellets are obviously aimed at carp but don’t ignore trout pellets as well. They make excellent hook-bait for surface fishing.

Instead of going out and buying small bags of trout pellets from the tackle shops each time you go carping, consider buying a large bag online that you can reuse time and time again. It is a far more economical way of acquiring your carp bait.

Don’t want to hair-rig your pellets? Fine, try this: Go into your local tackle shop or visit a supplier online and ask for what is called a pellet band. These are tiny rubber bands that securely attach to the shank of the hook so you won’t need a hair-rig. Alternatively try gluing the pellets to the shank of the hook.

Pet food

Notice: Pet food is banned from some fisheries due to the water pollution it can cause so make sure it is allowed with the staff before using it

Dog biscuits

dog biscuitIn the past, floating dog biscuits have taken credit for masses of huge carp in the height of summer when the fish are bathing on the top of the water. Simply hair-rig it to an un-weighted line with a float on it, or if you don’t need to cast far then you might even get away with just a hook on the line. The indication that you have a bite is literally from watching the fish come up and suck the biscuit right into his mouth. It is a feeling of true magic when you hook a big carp with this carp bait, but remember there are only a few months of the year that this can be successful. One negative side to this method however is DO NOT use it where there is bird life such as ducks or swans. Not only will they come over and spook any fish that are in the area, but hooking one accidentally is a very unpleasant situation for both you and the bird. It should be avoided at all cost so it is probably best that if there are ducks about, don’t get the biscuits out.

Cat food

cat foodThis is the bait that can often be banned from some venues. It is smelly and rammed full of flavors and bits of meat and vegetables that carp absolutely love. Throw some cat food around the swim for 10 minutes or so before casting in and then drop in a piece of meat from the tin or pouch right over the top. The oily stench alone is one of the best things for drawing in big fish with big appetites. One of the best kind of carp bait.


RedwigglerLobworms make a fantastic kind of carp bait all year round. They are a natural food source for the fish and so they are very comfortable biting this bait. Man-made baits can often cause the fish to be more cautious when trying to eat it, and so this can give the worm angler a big advantage on some venues. Another great thing about the worm is that it is readily available to either purchase from a supplier or to collect for yourself. Lobworms can be found in the garden and Redworms can be obtained from having a compost heap.

They are a fantastic type of carp bait to use when it has been raining so remember to keep this in mind. Other anglers using other baits may do well, but after a rainfall carp will be scrounging the borders of the lake searching for worms. Take advantage of this by fishing the margins with lobworms.

Fishing a different bait than worm? Maybe corn or pellet? Try hooking a couple of redworms onto the hook bait to make it an appetizing cocktail for any big carp. It will add more movement to the bait making it more noticeable to passing carp.


cornSweet corn is perhaps one of the most widely used carp bait and there is no doubting that a hungry carp will not turn it down in a rush. It is great to mount directly to the hook itself for the smaller fish, or you can hair rig a few pieces together if you are going for something a little bigger. The obvious attraction to this bait for the fish is its color. And the attraction to the angler is its price and availability. Try feeding hempseed around the hook-bait to create a feeding frenzy and drop a few pieces of corn in there as well for good measure. Corn over hempseed is a proven favorite use of bait for many carp anglers.

Try hair rigging three pieces of corn to the hook. Then cut some tiny squares of sponge out to the same size as the corn and hair-rig these as well. This is great when ledgering to pop the bait up from the bottom, away from any weeds and rocks that may hide it from hungry eyes.

Most tackle shops sell tutti-fruity sweet corn as carp bait now in tins. This can give you a real edge of a venue that is fished a lot. Carp may become wary of anglers constantly using normal sweet corn and be reluctant to bite, so the red corn can be a real winner if the fish are not familiar seeing it. It also gives off a brilliant smell under the water attracting carp not only through sight, but through smell as well.


breadBread is a fantastic kind of carp bait, especially in the height of the summer season. You can use bread in a number of ways and it is dirt cheap bait.

No1. The crust

Use the crust of a slice of bread to either fish on the surface of the water or to pop bait up just off the bottom when ledgering. Break a piece of crust away from the slice to whatever size you feel necessary (normally about an inch or two is good), and then hair rig it to a large hook. This will then ensure that the bread is securely connected to the hook and will help prevent it from falling off when casting. To fish on the surface it is always worth throwing a few tester pieces of this carp bait out before you make your rig up. If there is noticeable attention from carp to the pieces you have thrown in then go right ahead. Connect a float to an un-weighted line and cast near where the tester pieces are. To make your hook-bait even more noticeable amongst the rest try feeding smaller floating pellets around it as swim feed. That will hopefully create a feeding frenzy. If the water is clear it is possible to aim the bait in front of targeted fish. An idyllic situation for every angler. You can also use bread crust to pop bait up off the bottom when ledgering. This is a brilliant tactic if the bed is weedy because unlike sinking baits that will get lost in the weed and go unnoticed by passing carp, the floating crust will be suspended just above where it is clear to see from all around.

Soft bread

Soft bread is another great type of carp bait that is very natural looking and slow to sink. It is great when carp are feeding at all depths in the water as it will slowly descend from the surface when you cast in, to the bottom, passing through each depth on its way. Simply break a piece away from the slice leaving 75% of the piece fluffy and the other 25% of it squeezed hard around the shank of the hook. For maximum security when casting, you could hair rig this bit instead. The only downside to this bait is that it can easily come off the hook. It is also not ideal to use it in a venue where there are a lot of smaller nuisance fish, as they can nibble away at the bread until it has completely gone and go totally unnoticed by the angler. Not great when you’ve sat there for half an hour with an empty hook and a lot of cheeky minnows laughing at you from the depths.

Bread paste

Bread paste is yet another option as carp bait. Simply strip the crust from a slice of bread and squeeze the soft bread that is left into a small ball almost dough like. Make sure all the air is removed and then hair-rig the ball to the hook. A good tip here is to use curry powder when squeezing the bread into a paste. When the bread swells up in the water the odor will be released, hopefully attracting carp right to your hook.

Luncheon meat

lunchmeatThis bait is frankly superb. It’s easy to get hold of, it keeps for years if unopened, and most importantly of all, the carp love it. Cut the block up into small cubes and if you want you can marinate them in a smelly sauce such as curry. It is also good because the cubes can be cut into whatever size you want. If you don’t want to be pestered by smaller carp or other fish, you can put a nice large chunk on the hook and wait for the bigger fish. Remember though that with this carp bait it’s easier to hair-rig it to prevent it from falling off the hook when casting. It also increases the chance of hooking the fish as more of the hook is visible.

Luncheon meat secrets

Try mashing up luncheon meat and mixing it with curry powder for carp bait. Then ball in the mash to the area that you are fishing and place your hook bait over the top. The mash will break up when it hits the water and form a carpet of smelly attractant. However as there will be no other larger chunks of meat around, your hook bait will stand out a mile and it wont be long before your sinking that hook into a monster carp.

Not sure how to use a hair rig or don’t have the tackle? Visit your nearest garden center or raid the shed and see if you can get your hands on some thin gardening wire. Make a loop in the wire and press it over a large hook leaving a piece of wire hanging below. Push this wire through the luncheon meat and turn it up at the end and push it back into the block of meat. That gives you carp bait that will be much more secure on the hook when casting as well as a full hook showing to make setting the hook easier when striking.


prawnsBoth cockles and prawns can make fantastic baits as they have a really strong scent that fish can pick up on. They are ideal in murky water where other carp bait that rely on movement and color for attraction will not be effective. However they are usually very fragile and can come of the hook easily when casting so make sure they are hooked nice and securely.

Many anglers buy these in jars from shops that have been preserved in brine. This is not very clever as the preservatives mask the natural scent of the bait. For maximum results make sure you are buying these fresh.


castersCasters are simply maggots that have changed stage (chrysalis) in development to becoming a fly. They have a harder surface and do not wriggle or move like a maggot. They can however be great as a carp bait when wanting to fish a very tight swim and don’t want them crawling away. Casters like Maggots can be bought from most fishing shops but be warned that they sometimes need to be ordered (unlike maggots that are usually at hand to purchase whenever).

When fishing for carp with casters try using hemp seed to bait the swim. This can be purchased dry or in tins and will help attract fish to area hopefully creating a feeding frenzy right around your hook. Add a few casters to the feed as well for a real edge. The only real setback to this method is that you may get pestered by smaller fish such as roach and perch. So make sure you feed plenty to get the carp interested as well.


maggotsMaggots are probably the most commonly used carp bait you can come across and have proven success when it comes to carp fishing. They are readily available from fishing stores and come in a range of colors for added attraction. They also give the angler a lot of choices when it comes to targeting certain carp. Shy biting fish can be easily drawn in to a single maggot mounted on the hook, whereas bigger fish may be more easily attracted by bunching maggots together or even using the ‘maggot ring’ or ‘cork ball’ technique. Remember that with maggots it is important to loose feed the swim due to them being rather small and unnoticeable to the bigger carp that are passing through the area. If the angler puts down a carpet of maggots around the hook bait then carp will often vacuum up the lot, and hopefully take your hook as well. A single maggot on its own may be easily missed by that fish you really want to hook.

Why not try the Maggot ring as carp bait. You can buy them from many tackle shops now and they have been known to net some real monsters. Simply hair rig the ring to a large hook and hook onto the ring maybe 15 or so maggots. This will then provide bait that even the most particular of fish will surely not be able to resist. It will be a large mouth needed to swallow this however so make sure you are geared up with heavy line and tackle.

Another great secret is using what many call the pop up maggot ball. This bait takes a little more time to prepare but will give you more movement and attraction for those bigger fish than almost any other bait. You will need to purchase a small cork ball from a tackle shop or online supplier. Then simply super glue as many maggots as possible to the ball by there tails, leaving their bodies free to wriggle and wriggle. Then all you need to do is hair rig that ball to a large hook with a weight around six inches from the hook. The Ball will then pop-up from the bottom of the river/lake and be super noticeable as a carp bait to the monster carp passing by.

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