The TOP 9 Best Carp Fishing Baits – Baits to Catch More Carp


We all want to know the answer to the question… What is the best carp fishing bait?

Well, if we knew the answer it would be called ‘catching’ and not ‘fishing’ right? Part of the fun of carp fishing is to rise to the challenge and work it out.

If it is too challenging however, then we don’t catch fish. My aim when I head out to my favorite spot, rod in hand, is to choose the best carp bait. This article will give you some ideas as to what bait you should be using.

Want to know the secret?

I’ve had a good look around, tried a few, and have assembled a list of what I consider to be good carp baits that should catch more fish.

Disclosure: At BonfireBob, we recommend products based on unbiased research, however, BonfireBob.com is reader-supported and as an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases if you shop through the links on this page. For more information, see disclosure here.

TOP 9 Best Carp Baits of 2020

Fishcm Fake Soft Baits Corn

Carp love Corn. When carp fishing the simplest solutions are often the best. Start off your session with something that is a tried and tested fish catcher.

So why not just buy a can of corn?

Whilst real corn is a really good carp bait it can be difficult to keep on the hook when casting. If you have the option to get every single benefit of the real deal, and then some extras, why wouldn’t you use it?

This bait is as close as you will get to real corn. Each kernel is manufactured from a realistic-looking, and environmentally safe rubber.

But the similarity doesn’t end there…

Carp use smell as much as sight to locate their food. This bait is artificially flavored in order to smell just like the real thing. You are going to get excellent value from this bait.

Because it is artificial it keeps forever, and if you don’t get a bite then you can take it off the hook and reuse it another day.

Why You Should Choose This as Your Next Bait

You can get all of the benefits of corn, which has proven to be very effective at catching carp. By going artificial you get all of the good, with none of the bad.

Take a look at this video to see how carp go crazy for corn!

Berkley Gulp! Earthworm

There’s a very simple reason why people always associate fishing with worms.

One reason. Two words… Want to know what they are?

Worms. Work. It really is that simple.

The only downside to worms is that you either have to dig them yourself or make you way to the bait shop to pick up a batch. Allow me to give you the solution: Berkley Gulp earthworms. This bait will allow you to catch a carp, or a whole range of other species too.

The worms are stretchy, super lifelike in appearance and are manufactured by a company that has made its name producing bait that catches fish. They are artificially flavored to leave a strong scent trail in the water, this allows fish to locate your hook bait even in low visibility conditions. You fish them exactly the same way as you would a real worm, and you’ll catch just as much.

Don’t take my word for it… watch this video for a side by side comparison

Why You Should Choose This as Your Next Bait

If the carp prefer organic bait then you want something that looks as natural as possible. This bait is as close to the real thing as you will get.

Magic 3722 Carp Bait

Carp can be smart. Sometimes too smart. If a fish has been hooked a few times he may start to know which foods are ‘dangerous’ and will be reluctant to eat your bait.

So, what’s the answer?

You have to mix it up a bit and use baits that are not seen that often. Magic 3722 is a great example.

Its shape is different. If you imagine something that is yellow and shaped like a marshmallow then you will get the idea. The bait is artificial but is also biodegradable and environmentally friendly. You aren’t going to miss out on scent either as it is packed with carp attracting flavors.

Why You Should Choose This as Your Next Bait

It looks different. Sometimes by presenting something that is unusual you can encourage a bite out of sheer curiosity.

Phecda Sport Bait Boilies

Boilies have featured as the best carp bait in Europe for decades. And with good reason. They catch a lot of fish. Carp are attracted to smells and tastes. With this bait they are in for a real treat.

Want to know why?

The bait comes in 4 different colors and flavors, so if they are cautious about a certain color, you can change it up and fool them. The artificial flavors are strawberry, sweetcorn, sweet potato and, my personal favorite, green apple.

Anything else?

Well actually yes. The bait floats too. When the water is warm and the carp are on the surface this could be the best carp bait for summer fishing. Alternatively, tie it to a weighted rig and it will sit a couple of inches above the lake bed, ensuring maximum visibility.

Why You Should Choose This as Your Next Bait

Boilies are a tried and tester carp catcher. They can be mounted on the hook in a number of ways.

Y&C Carp Floating Fishing Beads

Have you been paying attention?

If the normal baits aren’t working then you are going to have to change up your style. By putting on something that carp haven’t seen before, you may increase your chances of success. They don’t come much more unusual looking than this.

What do they look like?

These Y&C boilies are multicolored and an unusual shape. They look like pills. But that might be just the ‘trigger’ you need to invoke a bite. They come with a subtle flavor; however, they do soak up scents very well so you have the option of soaking them overnight in something that you know works.

The bait floats, so is great for freshwater surface fishing.

Why You Should Choose This as Your Next Bait

The multicolored effect of this bait gives you two colors on one hook. The shape is unusual and by offering a floating bait you can target fish on the surface.

Berkley Gulp! Extruded Nightcrawlers

Every tried to catch nightcrawlers in winter?

The reason you probably haven’t is because it’s hard work. Why go to all that effort when you can order a jar that out performs the real thing?

Wait, what? Really?

Yup. This artificial bait is absolutely packed with scent and flavor, in fact so much so that it releases a scent trail around 400 times as powerful. You might as well ring a dinner bell for the carp.

They offer great value, by cutting the worms in half and mounting them on your hook you effectively double the amount of bait.

This is one of the best carp baits for winter. Why? In winter the fish slow down and tend to only favor natural foods. By presenting an option that they would likely encounter in the wild, you are giving yourself the best possible chance of success.

Why You Should Choose This as Your Next Bait

When the water is cloudy or you are fishing in low light conditions you will need a bite that gives an attractive scent trail in the water.

OriGlam Simulation Fake Corn

Sometimes when fishing it’s good to have a few options. With this handy bait box, you get 5 of them. If your chosen venue is hard fished the carp may begin to associate a certain color with danger.

Fortunately, you’ll have alternatives in your back pocket.

This bait is clean, compact and handy. The soft high-quality rubber is designed to exactly mimic tasty bait that is attractive to carp. Whilst the color of the corn is different, it is flavored to taste and smell exactly like the real thing, perfect for fooling even the most educated of fish.

For the money this is a good investment, the kernels can be reused again and again. Due to them being constructed of durable material, they will stay on the hook for a long time.

Why You Should Choose This as Your Next Bait

When the Carp like corn, but are turned off by the color it is good to have an option as a halfway-house. You get all of the benefits of natural corn and can offer the fish something unusual, therefore increasing the chances of a bite.

VGEBY Artificial Tiger Nut Baits

For a really effective carp bait. Go nuts.

No, I mean that literally. Use tiger nuts. The real thing can be a real nuisance to hook so for an alternative this bait looks absolutely identical to the real thing.

And the best thing is…

They float! Just like real tiger nuts. The ‘nuts’ are made from high quality and durable plastic, ensuring that you can distance cast without fear of the bait coming off your hook.

They are unflavored. But that’s a good thing as you can soak them in a scent of your choosing to make the perfect combination of visuals and smell.

Why You Should Choose This as Your Next Bait

Natural tiger nuts are a great bait but difficult to hook. By using an artificial version, you can remove this problem.

Jammas Freeze Dried Shrimp

Across the pond in European waters shrimp and fish flavoring has been carp angler’s secret weapon for quite some time now. Whilst carp are herbivores, they don’t miss an opportunity to get a bit of protein into their diet from time to time. A nice juicy shrimp represents the ideal opportunity.

Shrimp? Really?

Absolutely, and because the shrimp are freeze-dried, they will last for ages. The exciting thing is that because they are dried, they will hydrate when they are held in the water. When they are submerged, they will gradually release all of their scent into the water in an attractive cloud that will attract the fish.

As they are an organic product, they look super natural too! And will attract a range of species (including catfish).

Why You Should Choose This as Your Next Bait

If you can choose something natural, that has all of the qualities of a synthetic flavored bait, why wouldn’t you? Even if you don’t want to make them into a hook bait, they can be ground up and added to my bait ball recipe below.

Carp Bait Buyer’s Guide

Whilst shopping for bait seems simple, it can be ‘make or break’ in how successful you are, so it pays to think carefully before you make your choice.

Here are some things I consider before I head out to the lake.

a very large carp caught

What Type of Fish do You Want to Catch?

You wouldn’t feed a vegetarian a steak, would you?

Well, fish are equally as choosy when it comes to what they eat. Different species like different things. Some bait is found only in saltwater, some in freshwater. So do your homework beforehand and think about which species is most likely to eat the bait that you are going to choose.

Oh, and remember…

If you are going for bigger fish or using bigger baits, make sure your tackle can handle it. The line is the one thing that keeps you connected to a fish. If you are going to be fishing for carp, make sure you take some good quality carp fishing line too!

Use Scents and Flavor

As I said in my product review, certain species don’t hunt using sight alone. Consider the condition of the water you will be fishing in, as a scent trail may be the only way for a fish to find your bait.

So, flavor always works, right?

Nothing ‘always’ works in fishing. Sometimes the fish might like something that tastes natural instead of ‘green apple’ flavoring. The best solution is to take both flavored and unflavored bait, then you can try both and see which gives you the most success.

man fishing in lake

Think About Price. Are You Getting Good Value?

Just how much are you willing to spend?

If you are using a lot of bait, it can get expensive. If you can reuse the bait and still ensure a decent catch rate then your purchase becomes more cost-effective with each cast.

It’s a balancing act.

Consider how likely your bait is to work. If for a couple of dollars extra you will have a reasonably high chance of catching a carp, then it is probably a good investment.

What Bait is Best for Carp in Winter?

As the water gets cooler, fish tend to slow down quite a lot. As a result, this affects their feeding activity and their natural food becomes scarcer. However, you can use this to your advantage.

Really? Why?

By presenting a bait that offers a high energy treat with minimal effort by the fish, you actually increase your chances. See it like offering a hamburger to a starving man.

The fish are not going to expend energy on a bait they do not know, so in winter use things that they will have seen before like corn, or natural-looking worm baits.

What Bait do Carp Like the Most?

Think outside the box…

Carp are curious fish. They like to taste things before they decide to swallow them, often sucking in and blowing out the bait before committing to eating it. (it’s why a hair rig works so well). Unusual looking baits are often the answer. You can often create interest in a bait by using a variety of different colors or flavors.

What is the Best Time to Catch Carp?

If you are at the water, you have a chance.

Carp are most active when the water is full of oxygen and there is an abundance of food. In summer time that is around dawn and dusk. In the winter the water is at its warmest around midday. So, depending on the season, change your schedule accordingly.

accessories and bait for carp fishing

Homemade Carp Bait Recipes

I’m not just limiting this to carp, it also works for catfish too! You should have all of these ingredients at home.

Here are easy recipes for:

Carp Peanut Butter Combo Bait Balls

  • ½ jar peanut butter
  • 250g flour
  • 150ml water
  • 3 tablespoons of sugar
  • A pinch of sea salt

This one is a really easy bait to make. You are aiming for a dough like consistency that is strong enough to stay on the hook.

In a large bowl mix the flour and water to make a thick dough. If it is too crumbly add more water. If it is too wet add a little more flour.

Add the remaining ingredients and give it a good mix by hand. Roll into individual balls or take as a lump and do it down by the bank.

The Cereal Breakfast Ball

Carp seem to love cereal. Any cereal you have available will work.

  • ¾ cup any cereal, Cornflakes or oats work really well
  • 200g flour
  • 100ml water
  • 1/5 cup of sugar
  • Any food coloring (the choice is yours; I really like bright colors)

Simply mix all of the ingredients together in a bowl. Add enough flour and water to get the consistency just right. A top tip is to make two batches and then add different food coloring to each, then you have some variety in your carp bait.

Wildcard Best Carp Bait

  • 100g cornflour
  • 100g white flour
  • 100ml of water
  • 2 tablespoons of sugar
  • 2 tablespoons of peanut butter
  • Two handfuls of crushed shredded wheat

Mix the cornflour, flour and water until you have a stiff ball of dough. Then add the sugar and the peanut butter.

Roll the dough into bite-sized balls and then boil for 40 minutes in a pan on low heat.

Remove the balls, allow them to cool slightly then roll them in the shredded wheat.

The ball will sit on the hook quite nicely and as it soaks in the water it will gradually release small flakes of cereal. These tasty particles are ideal for attracting carp.

tiger nuts on a white background

What to do when bait doesn’t work?

Well, you have two options.

Try a different bait or…

Well, I sometimes take my bow. If you are bowfishing for carp then you aren’t going to need any bait at all! But generally, fishing is a game of patience, so either stick with it or change your bait.

Oh, before I forget…

It’s no use getting lots of bites and then remembering you forgot some essential carp fishing equipment. So, whilst bait is important, make sure that you have got your tackle ready to go, so you can fish using the right method.

Summary

The best carp fishing bait will vary day to day. What I will say is the one that catches the most fish is the best to use.

As to what that is, well with some trial and error, and a bit of patience, it shouldn’t be too difficult to work out. Have you got any homemade bait recipes that work, or have you tried some really successful artificial carp fishing baits?

Leave a comment below and I’ll try it out and add it to my list.

Bob Hoffmann

The author of this post is Bob Hoffmann. Bob has spend most of his childhood fishing with his father and now share all his knowledge with other anglers. Feel free to leave a comment below.

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