Does Corn Attract Fish? Is Corn A Good Bait? The Truths and Myths…

Some anglers like to get creative when it comes to the type of bait they use, while others like to use bait that has been used for ages and proved effective. Using corn as bait combines both of two worlds; it has been going for a long time among anglers but some people are still doubting their effectiveness in attracting different types of fish. So what’s the truth?

Does corn attract fish? Yes, corn attracts fish. They don’t naturally feed on it but lots of fish like to take it when presented the chance. Corn attracts fish like carp, all types of trout, white bass, white perch, bluegill, crappie, and kokanee. Panfish and smaller catfish can be caught using corn as well. 

Keep reading to know more about corn and how you can use it to get more fish on the hook.

How To Fish with Corn?

man holding corn to illustrate why does corn attract fish

Using corn as fish bait is one of the tried and tested options for various types of fish. The most important question is how you can successfully rig it to get satisfying results. There are various ways for rigging corn, but these are the most effective ways you can use:

Simple Corn Rig


  • an appropriate size hook for the type of fish you’re fishing for,  a size 6 or 8 short shank hook is a good choice.
  • a small split shot weight
  • a bobber
  • an appropriate test fishing line


  1. Tie the short shank hook onto your fishing line, using a 4-to-6 lb test monofilament is a good bet for smaller fish.
  2. Add one to three corn kernels directly to your hook sliding them down to the round part of your hook. 
  3. Add your split shot weight 1-to-2 ft (about 30.5-to-70 cm) up the line from the hook.
  4. Loop your bobber onto the line 4-to-6 ft (1.2-to-1.8 meters) up the line. Add or subtract length from your bobber and the hook according to how deep you’re planning to fish.

Advanced Pop Up Corn Rig


  • a threading needle
  • coated hook link line 
  • a hair stop 
  • rig ring 
  • silicone tubing


  1. Slide a couple of floating corn kernels onto your threading needle. 
  2. Thread the hook link line through the two kernels.
  3. Tie the hair stop to hold the kernels in place.
  4. Tie your rig ring onto the line on the opposite side from the hair stop with an overhand knot.
  5. Put the hook tip through the rig ring. 
  6. Thread the eyelet of the hook through the end of the line.
  7. Tie your line to the shank of the hook with a knotless knot.
  8. Slide a small piece of silicone tubing over the eyelet and shank of your hook.
  9. Add your small split-shot weight an inch (2.5 cm) above the hook.
  10. Add your bobber 4-to-6 ft (1.2-to-1.8 meters) up the line. Add or subtract length according to the depth you’re planning to fish.

The presentation and casting depth of corn to catch fish mainly depend on the type of fish you’re trying to catch, but correctly rigging corn is your first guarantee that your fishing is going to be a successful one.

Does Corn Kill Certain Fish? 

Does corn kill certain fish? Yes, corn kills smaller fish that can digest it. If the fish is too small for the corn to pass through their digestive system, corn can cause blockages in the stomach and intestines and the fish could die from internal buildup. Certain types of fish tolerate corn and can pass it through.

Big fish like carp, trout, bluegill, and crappie can peacefully pass corn through their digestive system even if they fail to fully digest it. Trout, for example, have a short digestive system that is designed for proteins, they aren’t capable of fully digesting corn but they can still pass it on through their digestive system. Smaller fish may not be able to do the same.

Note: cook corn until it’s soft enough for fish to digest, or else you can cause harm to it.

Is Fishing with Corn Legal As Bait?

Is fishing with corn legal as bait? Fishing with corn as bait is legal in some states and illegal in others. Because of its relatively tough “shell”, corn tends to break down slower than a lot of other natural baits. Water Bodies with small fish may prevent using corn as bait not to kill them.

Since corn breaks down slowly, it can make for a ton of mess than molds and may break down slowly along the shoreline if anglers decide to dump out the leftover or their half-used cans of corn sitting bankside to attract flies once they’re done with them. 

It’s important to check the regulations of your state regarding using corn. If it’s not mentioned in the official regulation, contact your local officials and ask them before getting on a boat with corn. Fishing with corn where it’s illegal to do so can lead to facing charges.

Warning: using corn as bait can be legal in your state in general but illegal in specific water bodies within the state. So make sure to check the regulations of the exact water body you’re heading to.

What fish will eat corn?

Although corn doesn’t naturally exist underwater for fish to feed on, it can appeal to a variety of fish when presented. Some of the most common types of fish that will bite corn bait are common carp, all types of trout, catfish, white bass, white perch, bluegill, crappie, and kokanee.

For most species of fish in freshwater, corn can be a mediocre to good fishing bait. For panfish and small channel catfish, it is a fine idea to use corn. Some anglers argue whether corn is an effective bait for fish such as bass, pike, pickerel, and walleye. This could be due to how they concentrate on high-on-protein sources of food.

Using corn is indeed effective for lots of fish species, but these are the most caught-on-corn fish:

  • Common Carp can’t resist sweet corn kernels. They can easily see and smell it in the water and get quickly attracted to it. Use soft medium-sized grains for maximum effect, you can use a couple of grains to successfully land a carp but you’ll need at least 4 grains to catch a big one.
  • Catfish, especially the small ones, can be caught using corn and corn pack baits. You can add kernels of corn to natural bait such as bluegill, shad, shiners, carp, or clams.
  • Trout can be caught on corn, especially stocked ones who grew in ponds or tanks where they feed on pellets, grain, and corn. Going Trout Fishing? Check out these Trout fishing tips first. You can also check out my recommended Trout Fishing lines here.
  • Panfish like bluegill and yellow perch are also attracted to corn since it’s small enough to fit in their mouth. Make use of this fact and use just a single corn kernel on a small-sized hook.

Related Questions 

Does Corn Kill Trout? 

No, corn doesn’t kill trout. Trout may not be able to fully digest hard corn but it can pass through their digestive system as snails do when trout eat them. However at lower temperatures, corn takes longer to pass through the digestive system of trout but there are no fatal consequences.

Is Fishing With Corn Illegal in California?

No, Corn is not illegal in California. Using corn is permitted as bait for carp and any other species of fish and in any type of inland waters where bait is allowed. You can use different types of corn to fish for California water bodies without any consequences.

Why is Fishing With Corn Illegal in Some States?

Fishing with corn is illegal in some states where they have small fish in most of their water bodies as corn can kill them if they can’t pass it through their system. Another reason can be because of how corn breaks down slowly and can make a ton of mess. 

Helpful Resources 

Is fishing with corn illegal in the US?

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