Carp is one of the most popular freshwater fish species targeted by anglers. It can be very easy to catch them as long as you’re prepared with the right kind of gear including rods, reels, lines, and most importantly lures.
There are many lures available on the market with various designs and sizes, that’s why it’s important to choose the kind of lure that’s best for the fish you’re targeting as well as the environment you’re fishing in.
So, what are the best lures for carp? The best lures for carp are designed to imitate the look and action of what carp naturally feed on. You can use artificial lures such as PowerBait dough, soft plastic worms, floating baits, spinners, and topwater lures. Make sure the color is suitable for the environment you’re fishing in and the size is not too big for the carp to bite.
Continue reading to learn more about carp’s diet and what kind of lures and baits are the most effective for carp fishing.
What Do Carp Feed On?
Carp are considered omnivorous species which means they have a very diverse diet.
They feed on planktons, fish eggs, mollusks, worms, some small crustaceans such as shrimps, and some small insects such as mayfly larvae and caddis fly larvae. They also feed on some aquatic plants such as algae, tender plant stems, and river weeds.
Because of their diverse diet, it’s very easy for anglers to choose suitable lures and baits, natural or artificial, that will grab the carp’s attention and get them to bite.
Can You Fish for Carp Using Artificial Lures?
You can fish for carp using artificial lures as long as these lures can effectively mimic the natural look and action of what carp normally feed on.
There are some plastic lures that are designed to look like live worms or fish eggs and some even produce natural scents that will attract carp to bite.
Other artificial lures, such as topwater lures or spinners, do not necessarily look like anything that carp will feed on, however, they produce a natural action in the water that’s highly effective in grabbing the carp’s attention.
How to Choose the Best Lure for Carp Fishing?
There are many factors that you need to consider when choosing a lure for carp fishing. Let’s break these factors down in more detail:
Carp have an excellent vision which allows them to detect lures underwater and even distinguish their colors, so it’s important to consider the water conditions you’re fishing in when choosing the color of your lure.
When fishing in clear water or on sunny days, it’s best to use brightly colored lures While, when fishing in murkier water or on overcast days, it’s best to go for darker colored lures, so they will stand out better.
You can also experiment with different colors in different conditions to see which one is going to work the best for you.
Knowing about the colors carp can see also help you with choosing the fishing line. You can check here how to choose the right color for your fishing line when fishing Carp.
Carp, like all fish species, are most attracted to natural baits, so the best lure design is typically the one that provides the most natural appearance, scent, and action to appeal to the carp fish.
You can learn more about using scent for fishing here.
The size of your lure depends mainly on the size of the carp you’re targeting. It’s generally believed that the bigger your lure is, the bigger the fish you can catch with it.
However, you need to make sure your lure is not too big as carp might not be able to bite on it or they might get scared away.
You need to determine the depth at which you’re going to be targeting carp before choosing your lure. That is because some lure types are more suitable for fishing in shallow water such as topwater lures while other lures are more suitable for deep waters such as spinners.
There are some lures that are suitable for fishing both shallow and deep water depending on how they’re rigged such as PowerBait dough and soft plastic worms.
What Lures Are Best for Carp Fishing?
Let’s take a closer look at some of the best lures that will effectively attract carp fish in various conditions:
Top Water Lures
Topwater lures are the most ideal when fishing for carp as they get close to the surface of the water to feed.
One of the best topwater lures on the market is the River2Sea Whopper Plopper.
This lure produces a strong action that imitates the movement of dying baitfish on the surface of the water.
It’s designed with a flashy tail that will grab the carp’s attention and two treble hooks that are strong enough to withstand the carp’s weight.
It turned perfectly to allow accurate casting at different speeds and it is available in a variety of sizes and colors.
Powerbait has been known to outperform most kinds of artificial carp baits. It has floating properties so it can be rigged to fish for carp in shallow water.
There are different kinds of PowerBait, but the most effective for carp fishing is dough bait. It’s made from natural ingredients and it comes in multiple colors, scents, and flavors that will attract trout in various water conditions.
The best PowerBaits on the market are Berkley’s Corn Flavored PowerBait which comes in a bright yellow color that will stand out in the water and Berkley’s Garlic Scented PowerBait which disperses a strong scent that will attract carp and mask any other scents that might turn carp them away from biting.
Another advantage of PowerBait is that it’s very easy to use as it can be molded and shaped to your liking.
To rig PowerBait dough, you need to take a small amount of the dough from the jar then roll it into a ball shape using the palms of your hands.
Slide the Powerbait dough ball down onto your hook. Make sure you have enough dough to cover the whole hook.
Once the PowerBait is completely covering the hook, press on it gently with your fingers to smooth over any seams or cracks.
Floating baits have great buoyancy, so they are ideal for carp fishing in shallow waters.
One of the best floating baits on the market is Y&C Fishing Beads. They’re designed to look like pills and this unusual shape makes them highly appealing to carps.
They come in various colors and flavors and can even be soaked in scent attractants to enhance their efficiency in attracting carp fish.
They’re also easy to rig on a hook and can be reused several times. It’s usually more effective to have multiple beads covering the hook while leaving only the point of the hook exposed
Soft Plastic Worms
There are soft plastic lures that are designed with a life-like appearance to imitate worms and larvae that carps often feed on.
They come in different colors to suit fishing for carp in different conditions and some even have added scents and flavors to enhance their appeal to carp fish.
One of the best plastic worms on the market is Culprit Original Worms. They’re designed with a tail that moves smoothly in the water which creates a natural action that will attract Carp. They come in a pack of 18 and they’re available in multiple colors and patterns.
Other excellent options for plastic worms are Berkley Gulp! Earthworms and Berkley Gulp! Extruded Nightcrawlers. These worms are made from stretchy plastic material that gives them a life-like appearance and they have a distinctive scent that will leave a strong trail in the water to attract more carps.
Plastic worms can be rigged in different ways to suit fishing at different water depths. If you’re fishing in shallow water, you can use the Texas rig and if you’re fishing in deep water, you can you the Carolina rig.
When rigging plastic worms, you need to thread them onto the hook point from the back. Make sure that the hook point exits the worm halfway down its body so that it would be presented in a way that creates a stronger action in the water.
Spinner lures are ideal for attracting carp in deeper water. These lures create a strong vibrating action in the water which will grab the carp’s attention and get them to bite.
One of the best spinners on the market is the Blue Fox Vibrax which is designed with a strong treble hook, stamped blades with silver or copper plating, and a built-in turning brass gear that helps prevent any line twists. It’s also available in several different colors and sizes.
What Natural Baits Are Best for Carp Fishing?
There are many kinds of natural baits you can use along with artificial lures to fish for carp.
Let’s take a closer look at some of these baits:
- Boilies – Boilies are basically a kind of paste made out of different ingredients including bird food, flour, eggs, and some scent attractants. They’re considered the most popular and effective natural carp bait of all time. They can be purchased from tackle stores but some anglers prefer to make them at home.
- Canned Corn – You can use regular corn or sweet corn to attract carp. You can also add garlic to the corn to enhance its scent by mixing some powdered garlic in a can of corn and leave it to soak overnight.
- Fresh Fruit and Vegetables – You can use some fruits like strawberries, mangos, or grapes to catch carps because they like natural unprocessed sugar flavors. You can also use vegetables like cherry tomatoes.
- Pet Foods – Some types of cat food or dog food are made of ingredients that produce strong scents which can be very attractive to carps.
- Hot Dogs – Cheap brands of hot dogs are meaty and they produce a strong scent on the water which will attract carp to bite. You can learn how to use hot dogs for carp fishing here.
- Coffee – Leftover coffee grounds can be used along with other baits and lures to enhance their scent. You can mix your bait or lure with some coffee ground in a container then leave them to soak for about 12 hours. You can learn how to fish Carp with Coffee here.
What Gear Set-Up is Best for Carp Fishing?
To increase your chance of catching carps, you need to choose your gear set up carefully.
For the fishing rod, it’s advised to use a 4 to 6-foot rod with medium to medium-heavy power and fast action.
For the fishing reel, it’s recommended to use a spinning reel and as for the fishing line, you can use a 10-pound braided line or a 20-pound monofilament line. You can find the best budget spinning reels here.
It’s also advised to attach a leader that’s about 1 or 2 feet to your mainline to protect from breaking. You can use a 20-pound fluorocarbon line.
Where to Fish for Carp?
You can fish for carps in most freshwater bodies in the US. They tend to prefer shallow waters with high oxygen levels. It’s recommended to target them near the shore and close to areas with structures such as around weed edges, large rock piles, sunken tree branches, and logs.
Can You Make Dough Bait at Home?
You can make dough bait at home using flour, water, and eggs. You can add other ingredients to enhance the bait’s scent such as garlic or liver oil. You can also add some ingredients to make the bait more visually appealing for the fish such as food coloring or glitter. Make sure to mix all ingredients sufficiently until you get the right consistency.
Can You Eat Carp Fish?
You can eat carp fish as long as it’s properly cleaned before it’s cooked to get rid of any unpleasant flavors. There are many different ways you can cook carp and they have several health benefits such as being low in calories and rich in proteins, vitamins, and omega-3 fatty acids.
You can learn how to cook Carp in my post on why don’t more Americans eat Carp here.
When Do Carps Spawn?
Carp often spawn twice a year. They spawn early in the year around April and sometimes later in the year around August. The development of carp eggs and sperm is mainly affected by water temperature as well as the levels of oxygen in the water. The ideal temperature for them to spawn is between 15 and 25 degrees.
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