How to Fish for Carp

Carp fishing can be both awesome and frustrating. Carp will suck in all kinds of bait, even if it’s suspicious. But if they don’t like a bait, they’ll just blow it right back out without becoming hooked. Yet it’s awesome, too, because all the action can happen in a split-second as you hang onto a loudly trembling reel.

Carp are known for being bottom-feeders, but they will gladly feed near the surface if you keep the food coming. Put out lots of bait: pellets, biscuits, bread, corn…pretty much any kind of Southern food humans will eat, they’ll take it. Keep putting out bait, without hooks, until the carp start feeding.

Let the carp get comfortable around the bait. Then they won’t be so picky. This can be used effectively with zig rigs.

As soon as they start actively feeding, that’s when you add your hooked bait to the mix. Cast the baited hooks, but make sure not to drop them right onto the carp. Instead, cast away from the feeding area, and slowly pull the bait into position. While the bait is still hanging, keep throwing un-hooked food into the feeding area so the carp stay around. They won’t know what has hooks and what doesn’t until it’s too late. If the carp start managing to steal your bait, you can up the ante by super-gluing it onto the hooks!

Here are some ideas for your carp-fishing setup:

Use a hair rig to improve your chances. Carp taste food first instead of just gulping it down. If they don’t like it, they won’t come around it again.

A 50-lb test spider line, with appropriate leader material, is another good bet.

Thread the bait with a baiting needle and hook the hair loop. You can also dip some foam into flavoring to make the bait seem tastier.

You can make a baiting needle out off a long shank hook. Straighten out the hook, slide the bait up the shank, then slide it up onto the hair.

It helps to use a float so you can get better distancing as well as spot the location easier.

A controller float rig is good too. A 3-foot long mainline of 10lbs Drennan double-strength can be attached to the swivel, with the leader on the other side. A low-diameter mono-filament line can do the job if it floats well enough to see it.

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