The modern carp market is awash with great baits. This is fantastic news for seasoned enthusiasts, but for those who don’t have a lot of angling experience it can be a nightmare. Where do you start? Which bait is best? Which should you buy and why? All of the baits you can buy in your local tackle shop will catch carp, but here are the three best baits, guaranteed to get the job done. Check out a retailer like Fishing Hut to get your hands on them.
Fluoro pop-ups are guaranteed to attract carp. They work well as single hook baits, as they are usually overloaded with flavours and are very attractive in their own right so don’t need to be used over a baited area. The smell they generate in the water means that fish are capable of homing in on them when they’re used as single bait hooks, and the bright colours mean they can see them clearly. In order to be successful, it’s important to ensure that there’s a contrast between the fluorescent pop-up and the lake bed, so white is best fished over a dark, silty lake bed, whereas bright yellows and pinks are better when fished over weed. Always keep in mind the state of the lake bed and choose a hook bait that will stand out against it.
The vast majority of carp are caught using boilies. Hundreds of excellent boilie types are available from tackle shops and bait companies. Fishmeal-based baits seem to work best in the spring, summer and autumn. Frozen ready-mades are also recommended, as they’re generally of a higher quality than the shelf life baits in shops.
Pellets have been around since the 1950s, when Dick Walker started mashing trout pellets up and using them as a paste. If he’d sealed them in a PVA bag and dropped them into Redmire, he would have caned the place, and wet, hessian sacks would’ve hung dripping from every tree.
Pellets remain one of the premier catchers on the market. Trout pellets, salmon pellets and halibut pellets are some of the best. Mixing and matching is advised, as different sizes and varieties of pellets together create a more confusing baited area for the fish. Be aware that the fish recognise the difference between pellets, and are more attracted to some than others. The difficulty for the angler lies in learning which pellets are high-performance and which aren’t. As a rule of thumb, you get what you pay for, and the more money you spend purchasing a pellet, the more high quality it will be.