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Baits before boilies

posted on 18 May 2003 | posted in Hints and Tips

baits as bread, meats, cheese, sausage, in fact anything available on the shelves of a supermarket which carp will eat. Bread is of course the old favourite carp bait and can be used in many forms, flake, where the bread is squeezed gently onto the hook at the eye end only leaving a fresh clump of bread around the rest of the hook. Paste, where the bread is dampened and rolled into a ball, and may be flavoured before use. And then of course crust, where just a piece of the crust is attached to the hook and allowed to float on the surface to temp the carp. Cheese is another old favourite carp bait of mine, any type of cheese that will stay on a hook can be used, either cut into cubes or moulded around the hook. Meats such as luncheon meat are popular with many anglers and have accounted for a lot of fish. Again this can be cubed and attached directly to the hook or used on a hair rig. Try experimenting with some of the more unusual flavours such as spiced pork or curried flavour. Or flavour your own. Also the spiced sausages available now are popular with the carp. Fresh meat will also catch, liver can be a great attractor of carp with its high blood content. I have also caught carp close to the edge with tinned meat balls, but don't try casting them, especially if there is someone opposite you on a smaller lake. They also get a bit messy and are a bit too tempting if your lunch has already gone. The key is to experiment and try to use something that the fish haven't seen before.


Pellets are available in the shops in a huge variety of forms, and as well as the old favourite trout pellets, a lot of specially made carp pellets are now becoming popular. The good thing about trout pellets is that they have a high oil content and do pull the carp in. They can either be attached to a hair if they are large enough, or for the smaller types, try making them into a paste by adding hot water for about half an hour, not too much or they will just dissolve. If they wont stay on the hook, an egg added to the mix will do the job.

Pastes can be shop bought or home made. Recipes for home mades will be featured in future articles. Shop bought pastes again come in a huge variety of flavours and I recommend experimenting.


Particles cover a massive spectrum of baits. One of the most popular is hemp. Its rich oily content when cooked attracts the carp, and its small particle size gets them grubbing around on the lake bed and churning it up looking for more. If your bait is amongst it, there is every chance that they will find it. It is of course too small to put on a hook, and is normally used as an attractor with a larger pellet on the hook. Hemp pellets are available and this can be a deadly combination. Other particles include just about any seed, and of course the pulses such as beans, peas and chick peas, sweetcorn, the old favourite, seeds, and nuts make greate carp baits. Most nuts and seeds will need to be cooked before use, and it essential to get this right. If you are not sure, seek advice from your bait dealer or fishery owner. Many waters ban certain particles and I recommend checking this before preparing your bait.

Natural carp baits

Natural carp baits include maggots, casters, worms, insects and anything that occurs naturally in the water or out of it. It also includes one of my personal favourites, cockles, which can be attached directly to a hook or thread one or more onto a hair rig. Also try shrimps and prawns and other sea foods and freshwater mussels are a favourite of carp where they occur naturally.