What do Carp Eat?
If you are just starting up carp fishing you are probably wondering ‘what do carp eat’?
Carp are a very common fish in many different parts of the world. They are abundant and found in freshwater environments, which means that they can be caught by fishermen in lakes, rivers, or ponds. Carp fishing is an old tradition that has been practiced for hundreds of years and will continue to be a popular pastime for generations to come. In this blog post, I am going to discuss what carp eat (they have some strange eating habits!), as well as what would make the perfect bait for catching them!
Boilies are a type of carp fishing bait that is often used by fishermen. The boilies can be made with a number of different ingredients, but the most common recipe is flour, sugar, cornflour, and bicarbonate of soda mixed together. This mixture will form a dough-like consistency which can then be shaped into balls or other shapes perfect for a hair rig.
Boilies are a great bait for carp fishing because they stay on the hook better than other baits. They don’t shrink or harden in water, so you can fish them for as long as you want without worrying about losing your bait to the bottom of the lake. Boilies also come in a rainbow of colors and flavors, which makes it easy to find one that matches your preference!
Sweetcorn is a great bait for carp. Its sweet flavor and high starch content making it an ideal food source for fish. Even though shop shelf sweetcorn is spot on for fishing, in any local tackle shop you will find several different flavours of corn. Including my favourite flavour which is strawberry. If you’re planning on fishing for carp, be sure to include some corn in your bait box! A good cheap, easy to obtain bait.
There’s a few different types of bait that you can use such as boilies, but one of the other popular baits is pellets.
The main reason why people like using them is because they’re easy to use and can be very effective. It doesn’t take much work to get your hook baited with these and they have been proven time and time again to be more than enough for catching carp.
You’ll find that there are many things you can do with the leftover bait after you’ve caught all of your fish too such as feed it to other animals or even use it as compost in your garden!
Although carp absolutely love hemp, it isn’t exactly a bait you can put on the hook. It does work perfectly in ground bait though or thrown in on its own as a loose feed or mixed with other particles. To use hemp you either have to buy it already cooked or buy it raw and simply boil it up. Hemp gives off an irresistible oil in the water that carp and most other fish find hard to resist.
Carp fishing is a great way to spend the day on the water, but it’s not always easy to find bait that will work. If you’re looking for something more than just bread or corn kernels, then try lobworms. Lobworms are an effective bait for carp because they have a higher protein content than other baits and thus provide better nutrition. Plus, they can be bought in bulk which makes them cost-effective as well! It is no secret that worms are good carp bait. They provide a great alternative to other baits if you don’t have time to mix up your own special concoction of ingredients.
My favourite worms for carp fishing personally are the mighty lobworms. These are quite easy to dig up yourself or purchase from most tackle shops nowadays. You can even get them delivered to your front door from places like willy worms. If you have a cricket pitch near you try having a look on the surface of it a couple of hours after dark. Go armed with a dim torch and a good-sized tub and tread lightly. You will be surprised what you can collect in no time at all.
What is a maggot? A maggot is a larva or immature form of some flies. They are typically used as bait to catch fish and can be found in both fresh water and saltwater environments.
Fishermen have been using maggots as bait for carp since the 1800s. Maggots are a great bait because they can be purchased in bulk, and they will stay alive underwater for hours. The downside to using maggots is that you need to keep them refrigerated until you’re ready to use them, so make sure you plan ahead before your next fishing trip! They really are a very versatile bait for most freshwater fish.
7. Tiger Nuts
Carp love tiger nuts.
Why do carp love tiger nuts, you ask?
Maybe it’s the taste that they’re attracted to or maybe they just like how crunchy and easy to eat they are. Whatever the reason, one thing is for sure: carp LOVE them!
Tiger nuts come from a plant called ‘Cyperus esculentus’. They can be eaten raw or cooked and typically have an earthy flavor profile with a nutty undertone. Some people also describe them as tasting similar to peanut butter but with a bit of an onion-like aftertaste.
8. Luncheon Meat
Luncheon meat is a good carp bait because it’s cheap and can be found at many grocery stores. The smell of the luncheon meat attracts the fish to bite on your hook, which makes fishing easier for you in the long run.
The problem with using luncheon meat as bait is that once it gets wet from being thrown into the water or while fishing, it becomes very soft and can fall apart easily.
Some fishermen will use cheese instead of luncheon meat as their bait because cheese doesn’t get destroyed when wet like luncheon meat does so they are able to catch more fish than before.
9. Artificial Flies
If I’m totally honest I am no expert on fly fishing. I’ve tried it a few times on my local reservoir but that is literally as far as my experience goes.
Carp like most species of fish are quite partial to taking the odd fly or bug off the surface of the water. For this reason, having a go fly fishing for carp would be well worth a go.
You would certainly need some hefty gear when tackling carp on the fly but the rewards would certainly be worth the effort. I can imagine the takes would be quite intense.
So what do carp eat then? The answer is just about anything you can get on a hook and present nicely to them. These 9 baits are what I believe to be the favourite and most productive baits for catching carp.
Some other baits worth mentioning are prawns, bread, and cheese. All these baits can and will catch carp on the right day at the right venue. So get out on the bank and start experimenting. Tight lines and enjoy your fishing.
Top tip: Try different things until you find what the carp want on the day. and just enjoy the experience.