How to catch carp can have many different answers depending on a few key factors.
Geographical location, climate and water temperatures as well as when the carp are spawning all make a significant difference on what approach is needed to catch carp effectively.
Many people would be confused by this peeked interest you have to catch carp. Mainly because they are not the most popular fish anglers target in today’s fishing world.
People tend to think they don’t clean well and don’t make for the best fish fry compared to other tasty fish you can target on your fishing adventures.
Definitely not true. I blogged about this not long ago on How to Cook Carp and Can you Eat Carp?
They are however growing in popularity as a sport fish or a fish anglers target for a fun, thrilling packed day of fighting these larger fish.
Bowfishing for carp and flyfishing for carp are major areas of interest. Especially here in the Midwest.
Luckily for you, I also love carp fishing. Big disclaimer, I’m by no means an expert on this topic so if you are looking for a carp fisherman that knows it 100% in and out, I may not be your best resource.
What I can tell you is that I’ve caught my fair share of carp and absolutely love the thrill of the fight.
Tip #1: be Patient And Have Fun
Don’t lose sight of why you went fishing in the first place. It’s the ultimate escape from reality.
A chance to forget about the problems in our everyday lives. Pull up a chair, grab yourself a beverage and get comfortable and relax.
Bottom fishing never happens instantly, and it doesn’t have the active feel that you would get from bass fishing or fly-fishing.
Pick your bait and let it rest. Don’t reel in to check bait purely out of boredom.
Your bait it most likely giving off sound vibrations and leaving a scent. A common mistake people make is constantly reeling in out of boredom to re-cast or check the bait.
Give it time.
My son does this non-stop because he just doesn’t have the patience to bottom fish.
He’s more of a watch a bobber sit atop the water and continue to fidget with everything.
Keep in mind…
Carp also like to strike like a bluegill. You probably won’t even know the difference at first strike.
Give it a minute to truly win the battle. Wait till the carp really takes the line to jerk the pole and set the hook for the best chance at catching more carp.
Tip #2: Hit em When It’s Hot in The Summertime
Many species of fish are extremely active in the summer.
People tend to confuse this and think the best fishing for all species is during the spring and fall.
Go after these bottom feeders during the summer months but try the mornings and evenings as well.
Carp are finished spawning during this time of the year and are ready for some grub and a nice big hook in the cheek.
In addition, metabolisms are at peeks for carp in the summer which it makes it that much easier to catch the big fellas.
Tip #3: Feed Them Cheap Canned Corn
Carp love corn. I don’t have any proof of this except I’ve caught plenty of them with canned corn.
Carp are bottom feeders and eat a variety of insects, plants and other bottom of the water related garbage.
Corn doesn’t strike them as something to off base from the natural diet.
The sodium used to preserve the canned corn also gives off a sweeter dense smell that will bringing them back for more.
SIDE NOTE: I’ve also had great luck catching carp with bread floating about 6 inches-2 feet from the water floor using sinkers. Bread and corn have by far been my highest success baits for catching carp.
Tip #4: Use The Correct Carp Fishing Gear
People tend to rush to the big rigs and the heavy-duty equipment. Theoretically, this isn’t a bad plan.
You would be surprised how well a light line will work to catch carp.
You don’t need the heavy-duty equipment to effectively catch carp. Light line will help you feel the carp bites with more ease than a super duper heavy duty test line.
Remember (they bite originally like bluegill)
Carp range from 5-80lbs but for the sake of this blog and what I’ve commonly caught, you are looking at 5-20lbs for the regular catch.
Use lighter line to have more sensitivity to feeling the carp bite and keep in mind, just because they weigh 20lbs, doesn’t mean they have 20lbs mouths.
It’s a tiny vacuum.
Small enough hooks, line and bait is the way to squeeze your rig straight into the mouth of nice size carp.
Don’t go big or go home!
Tip #5: Search For Other Fish Activity
Tailing fish or other heavy signs of activity in the area can dramatically increase your chances of catching more carp.
You’re looking for anything indicating carp may be closely behind feeding on the tiny fella’s or little critters not far from where your fishing.
Tip #6: Stay Away From The Carp!
Carp get spooked just about as easily as the deer in your sights.
Even at the slightest sound or sight. Use a bait casting reel or sharpen your casting skills to have the ability to “go deep”.
What we mean “go deep” is if you want to know how to catch more carp. Cast it long and far. Stay away from the direct area you are trying to fish.
The bonus to this tip is that once you catch the carp, you get that much better of a fight all the way back to shore or to the boat.
Nothing can beat that short adrenaline rush of the fight all the way back!
Tip #7: Don’t Let Them See What You’re up To!
This should be a pro-tip for anyone fishing for any species. We already mentioned how timid and easily scared these fish can be.
Keep the line invisible or use clear line to avoid allowing them to see your line or revealing your sneaky plan to reel them for a selfie shot for all your friends to see you can fish or have at least a little skill fishing.
No offense intended.
Tip #8: Don’t Ignore The Other Food Groups!
Try other baits. Bread and corn are not the only winners when it comes to catching more carp.
Remember, I don’t have a PHD in catching carp. I’ve just had some success at it. Other baits are always a good idea.
Never give up on trying other options to catch a nice 40lb carp.
Other popular baits for catching carp could include.
- Dough Baits
Give them all a try till you catch that trophy carp. Only rule I have, if one works great, be sure to let me know in the comment section below.
It helps me catch more carp in my free time and gives me the valuable information to provide to the readers in the future.
Tip #9: Document, Learn And Get Better
When I was really in a groove and fishing non-stop during my free time, I began getting interested in tracking certain items.
This is a good practice with about anything in life.
If you go out trying to catch carp, document success and failure to improve your odds.
If you are always having success at certain lakes, ponds or rivers, keep track of that. If it’s always the same time of the day that you are reeling in them in. Write it down.
This saves time and effort. Anytime you can take the guess work out of fishing, it can become extremely fun knowing you are heading towards a day full of fighting 10lb carp into shore or the boat.
Good Items to Document When Fishing or Take Mental Note of.
- Time of day they are active and biting
- Time of day they are not active and biting
- Baits that work most frequently
- Spots on the lake or which ever body of water you are having great success
- The average weight of the fish you are catching in certain areas
Some More Info About Carp Fishing
Carp fishing for me is a peaceful waiting game followed by a major adrenaline rush when that fishing pole finally bends and heads toward the ground.
Due to the lack of information on the internet about better methods of how to catch carp, I wanted to use my own carp fishing experience on top of researching other popular blogs to compile these 9 tips to help you real in those large carp on your next fishing trip.
Before we get started, let’s cover some of the basics in case some of you aren’t familiar with all the fishy terminology or the carp species in general.
The Carp- The exciting neglected fish
The carp is an oily freshwater fish.
They come from the family Cyprinidae.
The carp is a large group of fish native to Europe and Asia. A unique trait that carp or at least some species of carp is that they are capable of surviving with virtually no oxygen.
An example would be your well stocked backyard pond that’s frozen over with ice.
Many fish may possibly not survive the freeze over.
Most Carp will remain standing (or swimming so to speak) and survive through the cold weather conditions.
You have a total of 9 species of Carp.
These are not listed in any order.
- Silver Carp
- Grass Carp
- Common Carp
- Bighead Carp
- Crucian Carp
- Catla Carp
- Mrigal Carp
- Black Carp
- Mud Carp
Another fun fact about carp. Those beautiful coy ponds you are used to seeing at individual’s home or certain business establishments is filled with yours truly, a species of carp.
Why do Carp have such bad street credit in fishing?
The first and biggest complaint you often hear about carp is one of the biggest factors people care about.
I have a personal problem with this notion because I’ve personally had carp for dinner before and although it wasn’t at the top of my list, it wasn’t as bad as people make it out to be.
Carp are beloved in other countries such as China and Asia for a main meal or a desired entrée or appetizer. I think we are just getting to picky these days.
Carp Can Be Damaging to Aquatic Life
They can also be very damaging to certain bodies of water which hurts the street credit some as well. This is mainly due the diet that Carp’s consume in your neighborhood lakes and ponds.
The way the body of a carp digest its food, leaves harmful discharge and waste that can damage other aquatic life.
I can understand why this makes them less desirable to stock in the backyard pond.
My solution would be a bit different than using electroshock’s to kill them off however, I’d vote we all grab our poles and go fishing!
Alright enough discussion about the carp and why we hate them, let’s jump into why we love them and how to catch them.
Wrapping Things Up
Again, I’m not an expert on this by any means and make zero dollars fishing per year. I just really enjoy it and want others to enjoy it as well.
The goal of this blog wasn’t to make you an expert overnight in catching carp but to emphasis to have fun with the hobby and use a few of the tricks that have worked for me in the past to catch more of your own carp.
To sum things up. Grab a pole and some bait. Be patient, relax, unwind and use the tips in this blog to help you catch more carp.
Any success catching carp tips that I missed?
Any how to guide tips and tricks you think should be added to the list? Any giant carp you have caught lately?
Comment below or send in a picture of your most recent catch. I’d love to hear from all of you.