What is the best bait for carp in winter?
CORN. The best winter bait ever – fish can see it easily and it seems to catch bigger carp. Despite its hard skin, corn is an incredibly soft bait.
In order to catch carp during the winter, the best tactic is either to fish smaller single baits on or just off the bottom, or a zig bait higher up in the water.
Maggots are a great baiting choice in the winter months and can perform better than other choices like boilies, for some reason carp really love maggots this time of the year. Other great baits for winter carp fishing will include worms, hemp, and high visibility popups.
Use baits with fruity or nutty flavors and soak them well before your session, so that they can release even more scent into the cold water. Continue reading this article for specific tips on which baits to use and how to prepare your swim for winter carp.
Any substantial snags above or below the water will hold carp through the winter months. Areas amongst snags or beneath tree canopies without leaf litter on the bottom suggest carp are present and have kept the bottom clean.
Snails, bloodworm and the huge range of other tiny invertebrates that the carp may feed upon will all release free amino acids and smells into the water column as they go about their lives. These amino acids and smells will then act like huge flashing signs to the carp drawing them in towards the grub!
Carp fisheries are quieter in winter because the carp feed less and so fewer anglers venture out. However, on big fish waters, with low pressure and if milder weather is forecast, keen carpers will still hit the banks. The carp can turn on the feed in these conditions and they're catchable.
Canned corn or dough balls are two of the best baits to use for carp, but always check your state fishing regulations to make sure that these baits and methods are permitted. Once you have your tackle and bait, you just need to find the right spots to catch carp.
Weather conditions play a huge part in the winter and even a brief switch to a mild spell will often quickly change the carp's behaviour. On the real cold days of winter, where temperatures have been consistently low for at least a few days, chances are the fish will be shoaled up over the deeper water.
They can be up in the surface layers or right in the shallow margins. I've seen fish sit just underneath ice and 3ft of water seems to be a favourite on a few lakes I've fished recently.
Do carp like deep water in winter?
So no, carp don't prefer deeper water in winter but will sometimes congregate in these deep areas if the conditions make sense. For some reason, many anglers discount the features of the lakes and shallow water during the winter; you should now see that this is not wise.
As above, Sweet corn and bread are two of the best baits to use for carp but nightcrawlers (earthworms) are excellent as well. For bigger fish and longer fishing sessions hard boiled baits or 'boilies' as they are known are excellent to use on a hair rig. They really do tend to catch the bigger fish.
Carp eat a variety of foods. They favor insects, aquatic worms, crustaceans, and mollusks, but also consume algae and other plant matter. Due to this diverse diet, a variety of carp baits trip their triggers, from natural offerings to homemade doughbaits and mass-produced softbaits, dips, boilies, and such.
“Carp as a species are classed as diurnal feeders in that daylight hours trigger them to feed, mainly dawn and dusk. However, if you apply some angling pressure to them this goes all over the place and they will feed at any time, even in the night.
In fact, carp actually show slight preferences when feeding for the very colours terrestrial animals use to warn predators – red and yellow.
Sweetcorn has long been heralded as one of the best baits to catch carp, in fact, it can be used to catch most freshwater species. It ticks so many boxes; the bright colour, texture, smell – and it can be placed onto your hook without falling off very easily, like bread. Carp absolutely love sweetcorn!
Garlic is quickly becoming recognised as a proven fish attractor and flavour – carp simply love it. Our premium garlic CSL compliments a huge variety of baits and is perfect for use all year round and seems to have extra pulling power in cold or coloured water.
Yes, the fishing can be much more difficult than in the warmer months but, providing you set yourself realistic targets, you can have a rewarding few months.
Of course it's difficult to define what "moderate" temperatures are, but from experience, water temperatures ranging from 47 to 57 degrees Fahrenheit (8 to 14 degrees Celsius) during the Autumn/Winter, and 60 to 72 degrees Fahrenheit (15 to 22 degrees Celsius) during the Spring/Summer are ideal for catching carp.
Others say it covers the human scent (it might, but this seems unlikely to make a big difference). WD-40 addresses the myth on its website, saying: “While WD-40 can be used to help protect fishing equipment from rust and corrosion, WD-40 Company does not recommend using it to attract fish.”
What is the best natural bait for carp?
Also, natural items are visually attractive and visually indicate food for fish; maggots, casters, bloodworm, snails; they are much more readily accepted by carp of course and this no doubt shows by anglers who incorporate naturals into their approach.
2 Clear runny honey
Also try Fructose – a perfect hookbait soak which carp just love.
Still as effective as ever, the worm is as natural as they come, the carp are used to eating these and they absolutely love them. Worms work well at any time of year, but again, are easier to use through the winter when other species slow down.
Early spring is a pretty good time to fish for carp. Their activity is relatively high because they're just waking up from a long period of reduced metabolism in the depth of the waters and are hungry for some food.
The best time of year to catch big carp is during spring. Like many other fish species, carp move to warmer water during early spring.