Best Time of Day And Year to Catch Carp

What’s the best time of day and year to catch carp?

  • To Catch big Carp: 5-8 AM
  • To Catch Any Carp: 12-5 PM

I know a lot of factors go into pinpointing the best times to catch certain species of fish. Seasons can impact how carp interact and which part of the body of water they are inhibiting at the time. Proper bait and rig techniques are also large factors.

The skill of the angler is a huge consideration as well and the waters they fish.

I think carp can be caught any time of the day in most bodies of water by even beginners anglers, but I also believe what we laid out here proves that more ideal times do exist if all other X-factors are equal.

First and most importantly is understanding the way carp interact with other species and what makes them “tick” so to speak.

Understanding everything gives you a much better chance at success during your next carp fishing trip.

Learning how to catch carp is a good blog to read first.

It will give some fundamental carp fishing knowledge.

Spawning, water temperatures, how easily they spook and even the current season of the year are all factors that impact the ability to catch carp with any success.

Even knowing when carp spawn and what this looks like can add success in a hurry.

Table of Contents

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My Experience on The Best Times to Catch Carp

Season: I’ve had the most success catching carp in early to mid-summer. Spring has always been a pitfall of mine for catching carp due to spawning. I can always locate them, I just can’t seem to get them as interested in my rigs or setups as I can in summer.

So, for me, the best season to catch carp would be early to Mid-Summer- May-July

As far as the time of the day I’ve noticed is the best for reeling in carp? I’ve broken this down due to my (I know, a little weird) fishing journal. In my other blogs, you will hear me reference my journal.

I document everything. It may be a mix of OCD and it may just be to improve efficiency. I’m not sure but nonetheless, I recommend it and are the findings!

I’ve had the best luck at 2 specific times of the day. For the larger carp, 5 pounds or greater I’ve had the most success between the hours of 5 AM and 8 AM. This is a catch – 22 however because I’ve also caught roughly 15% less total carp during this time so it really depends what you are after.

Side note – hopefully the fact I journal the fish I catch doesn’t steer you away from the future blog post I create. I know it’s a bit of weird additional hobby but what can I say, I like knowing my numbers.

For overall most activity catching carp, I’ve noticed afternoons are surprisingly best.

Late afternoons.

From Roughly 3-6 PM I’ve had great luck catching carp in frequency and having a ton of activity going on.

When is The Best Time to Catch Carp

The answer to when the best time to fish for carp is going to be compiled from 3 total sources.

First will be, my experience fishing for carp and what I’ve noticed to be the best times for catching carp.

Second, I’ve researched a combined total of 7 popular fishing forums, broken down the results and created a percentage to share with everyone.

Third- I’ve read 4 other popular blogs from other carp enthusiasts with the breakdown of when the best time to fish for carp really is according to them.

Now, let’s look at the forum results I asked the web, for the best answer to the best time to catch carp.

I’ve broken these down into time blocks.

  • 5-8 AM- Early Morning
  • 8-12 PM- Late Morning
  • 12 PM-5 PM- Mid/ Late Afternoon
  • 5 PM -8 PM- Evenings

Here are the responses.

5-8 AM:

9 fishermen stated this was the most successful time to catch carp. However, 2 of them specifically mentioned that they also caught the larger carp during these hours.

8 AM – 12 PM:

I only found 1 individual who stated this was the best time to catch carp and used the exact phrasing “It was the only time I could fish and could usually find some feeding window during these hours”.

Sorry buddy, I’m not looking for a feeding window and some good luck, I’m looking for a feeding frenzy and I’m assuming all of you are as well.

12 PM – 5 PM:

6 fishermen stated that these were the best times they had luck with. Nobody in these windows of times mentioned any correlation to the size of the carp.

5 PM – 8 PM:

This statistic surprised me.

3 Individuals stated that this was the best time to catch carp and specifically mentioned, that this is the only time they will go. They didn’t, however, cite any specific examples of why or if other times happened to be less desirable.

Results on this?

Then let’s add my experience back into the mix. I also agree that early morning tends to yield more of the larger carp catches.

I agree that 12-5 PM is the most ideal time for heavy activity as well based on my overall experiences thus far in my carp fishing career (I wish it was a career).

What other experts say about ideal times for carp fishing

Most other voicing opinions about the best times for carp fishing seem to be torn on the subject.

Side note before diving deeper. I don’t put any research on this topic out to offend any other bloggers or site owners. If I could have my way, our websites would just all merge together to make the ultimate fishing resource for all of us to catch more fish.

More specifically carp!

An example of this post here explaining times to fish for carp but not clearly stating which time frames are the best.

I’d assume is vote would be to just fish for 24 hours and you will have some luck.

I’m a pretty busy individual so unfortunately, I need the answer narrowed down a bit more.

Caperlan’s article specifically shows a tutorial for night fishing for carp which is extremely cool and useful but doesn’t really specify if it’s because this is the ideal time or just because people may enjoy night fishing.

With all the data in front of us, it appears you can catch carp any time of the day but if you really want to increase results and catch more carp quickly, the evidence points to the large fellas being hungry at sunrise or before and the rest eating throughout the early afternoon up until evening.

Heck, the skill of the angler is a huge consideration as well and the waters they fish.

I think carp can be caught any time of the day in most bodies of water by even beginners anglers, but I also believe what we laid out here proves that more ideal times do exist if all other X-factors are equal.

Conclusion on the best time to catch carp!

What’s the best time to fish for carp is probably a heavily debatable question with more of a gray answer than anything. I do hope however that anyone who is picking up the hobby or anyone who does this often gained some value from reading this.

Maybe you can catch more fish the next time you are embarking on the journey. We all live busy lives so it’s a common and fair question that we would love to pinpoint the times that may yield us greater success at fulfilling that much-needed adrenaline rush that carp fishing can deliver. Man do I love that adrenaline rush.

If you feel I have misrepresented when the best times for carp fishing really is, please comment below so the entire fishing community can benefit it from it! If you have any awesome pictures or stories related to carp fishing, feel free to share them below as well.

We all love waking up to a morning coffee and a good fishing story so never hesitate to share your beliefs or stories with the rest of us.

The Season: Spring Through Fall

This will be an area I may get some heavy disagreements on. In my experience fishing for carp, I’ve had success all the way from mid to late spring up until fall. Surprisingly, summer has always been the best time to catch carp for me.

This is also a key time for bowfishing for carp. It’s spawn time baby!

What I’ve noticed is, spring is fantastic for scouting and getting in the groove. The flip-side to this is spring is also a heavy spawn time for carp.

This is a huge mistake to attempt to catch carp during spawning time.

Unless your bow fishing.

I mean really? Do you blame them?

They have tunnel vision during this time on one task and not your best fly rig or perfectly structured hook using sweet corn. Trust me, I have tried. Very little success.

This is where we get back to me admitting I’m not an expert.

Maybe this is a great time, but I’ve never had amazing luck during early-mid spring outside of bowfishing.

I have however noticed that during this time you can do some heavy scouting and gather lots of useful data.

Let’s assume you are a beginner fisherman and only have 1 or 2 lakes nearby that you fish each time. Get out to that lake and start looking around. Walk the shorelines. Carp are always on the move.

They troll the lakes, rivers, and reservoirs searching for insects, invertebrates and other sources of food.

The point of this scouting adventure is to start finding some areas where the carp are tending to migrate towards so that you are prepared for when they actually are hungry and ready to strike.

You can cruise the shallow areas near the shoreline. You are literally just looking for the carp moving beneath the surface.

You can look for other signals carp tend to give off as well such as mud clouds being kicked up indicating they are feeding on the mud bottom floor where you are scouting.

Carp: A Newer Trophy Fish

Carp fishing has grown into quite the hobby for many North Americans over the last decade or so.

It’s gone from the fish that nobody wanted to target to the desired sport fish that many anglers want to add to the trophy list and photo albums.

If you are just getting into carp fishing or seasoned in the sport, it’s important to understand some of the basics to improve success with catching carp.

Back to the original question at hand, many readers continue to ask, “what’s the best time to fish for carp” or “what’s the best time to catch carp”.

My vote is on early mornings and afternoons but I highly recommend reading the remainder of the blog post to see why I believe this to be true.

I will even show you some real case studies from other bloggers and forums.

Full Disclaimer

I want to make the disclaimer that I’m not an expert in carp fishing. I don’t get paid to land trophy fish, I just enjoy it and love the sport.

Fishing is also a sport where many people can gather together to share tips and tricks to help everyone out and ultimately catch more and more trophy fish.

With that said, it will never offend me if you either challenge the information or share for our readers better tips than mine in the comment section below.

Please just limit the questions and comments to the topic at hand and not other fishing information.

So if you would like to comment on this post, let’s make it enjoyable and answer the question of “what’s the best time to fish for carp”?

Let’s get going on some statistics, “what’s the best time to fish for carp” or “what’s the best time to catch carp”.

Let’s dive into that because it’s not to complicated to increase the odds of catching more of the big fellas.

PRO TIP: On Catching Carp

If you do find good areas and notice the mud clouds, have your rig ready to go because this means you probably have a fair shot at catching these carp if they are already in the high metabolism, eating state of mind.

It’s also critical to get the scouting done in spring.


Well, the deeper into summer the carp begin pulling a little deeper from the surface making them more difficult to spot with ease.

Once you have found a good location to fish for carp where you are confident they are, it comes down to when is the best time to fish to carp.

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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