Bivvies, bite alarms, hooks, lines—the amount of gear needed for carp fishing can seem endless. However, while most of these tools have their place, any carp angler worth their salt knows that the bait used plays an enormous role when you’re trying to catch carp.
From shelf-life boilies to winter-specific baits to pop-ups, carp bait comes in different shapes and flavours.
This article reveals some of the best carp baits currently taking the carp-fishing industry by storm, with Sticky Baits Bloodworm taking the number one spot. So keep reading to improve your chances of catching carp on your next trip.
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|Nash Citruz Pop-Ups||Check Today's Price|
|CC Moore Live System Pellet||Check Today's Price|
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The Top 8 Best Carp Baits in 2023
All the baits below are among the best for catching fish and carp. Without further adieu, they are:
1. Sticky Bloodworm – Best Overall (4/5 Stars)
- Uses actual bloodworms in the mix
- Contains slow and fast-release energy sources
- Packed with vitamins and minerals
If you want to catch massive carp, it’s a good idea to use baits that mimic the fish’s natural food sources. That idea seems to be behind the Sticky Baits Bloodworm boilies, which incorporate actual bloodworms into the mix for an authentic hook bait many anglers will find impressive.
Another factor that makes these Bloodworm boilies the ultimate carp bait on this list is the slow and fast-release energy sources mixed with vitamins and minerals. Unfortunately, they’re so good that even nuisance fish might try to get a bite, so expect to catch fish that aren’t carp.
2. Mainline High Impact – Runner Up (4/5 Stars)
- Excellent winter bait
- A resealable bag keeps contents fresh for longer
- Excellent for fishing year-round
With an assortment of flavours to choose from, the Mainline High Impact boilies take the silver medal on our list. These boilies have a flavour for every season, making them excellent for fishing all year round (they’re among the best winter carp baits on the market).
From sweet-smelling banoffee to fruitella to squid, you’ll find something that many fish species will love. Additionally, these boilies come in a resealable bag to keep them from going stale when stored for extended periods. You can get the Mainline High Impact Boilies in different sizes, including 15 mm.
3. Nash Scopex Squid Stabilised – Best for Pressured Venues (4/5 Stars)
- Excellent for use in pressured venues
- Its strong scent and flavour are attractive to carp
- The brown colour makes them look natural on the lakebed
If you fish in pressured venues and haven’t used the Nash Scopex Squid Stabilised boilies, now would be a good time to rethink your strategy. Thanks to a strong scent and flavour, they’re excellent for fish that have been on the receiving end of angling pressure.
Moreover, these small baits are brown, making them look like natural carp baits on lake beds, and fish love their taste. Anglers have caught loads of carp with these boilies, and they’re great for whipping carp up into a feeding frenzy.
4. Sticky Manilla – Most Attractive Scent (4/5 Stars)
- Attractive peanut protein blend
- Fantastic hook baits
- Excellent for carp anglers who swear by method feeders
Attracting carp is a simple task when using Sticky Baits Manilla shelflife boilies. Many carp love the scent of this bait, which is an expert blend of peanuts and protein that carp find irresistible, and you can tell from the smell when you crush the bait in a PVA bag that your fishing trip will be an eventful one.
These highly attractive baits are excellent for use when fishing method feeder style, and their small 16 mm size is ironic, considering you can catch some of the biggest fish in the lake with them. Moreover, the aged look of these boilies is excellent for carp anglers who wash out their baits to give them the appearance of something edible that’s been on the lake bed for ages.
5. Nash Citruz Pop-Ups – Best for Cold Waters (4/5 Stars)
- Excellent for use in cold waters
- Its strong citrus flavouring is irresistible to carp
- Also sold as boilies and wafters
Many factors lure carp to the Nash Citruz Pop-Ups like moths to a flame, but the most prominent is its citrus flavour. These cereal and protein pop-ups work great in cold waters and can be crushed in PVA bags or used with snowman rigs.
The Citruz Pop-Ups’ distinct, if unnatural, pink colour makes them easy to spot on the river bed, so you can expect to catch one when using this unique bait after everything else has failed. Additionally, they’re one of the best pop ups for carp in the winter when carp are feeding heavily.
6. CC Moore Live System Pellet – Strongest Appetite Stimulant (4/5 Stars)
- A fast breakdown of pellets (under two hours)
- Excellent for fishing in cold water
- Potent appetite stimulant for luring carp
Formulated with a combination of yeast, milk, seed, and other palatability products, the CC More Live System Pellet is an excellent bait for fishing all year round. Each of the 6 mm carp pellets break down in under two hours, transmitting strong food signals during the release of powerful appetite stimulants.
Therefore, hungry carp will pick up the scent from miles away. Moreover, the dispersion of the appetite stimulants clouds your bait in a nice area of attraction, increasing your chances of a bite.
7. Dynamite Red Robin – Spiciest Scent (4/5 Stars)
- High-protein bait
- Attractive spicy scent
- Highly soluble
The Dynamite Baits Red Robin Boilies are made with birdseed and LT blended flour in a bird food and fish meal mix. They owe their distinctive dark red colour to the manufacturer, Haith, and are sold in 10 mm and 15 mm sizes.
These soluble boilies break down in water within two hours, releasing a scent that lures carp in. Many anglers have had resounding success with these high-protein baits, and we suspect it’s because of their spicy aroma.
8. Urban Nutcracker – Best for Difficult Lakes (4/5 Stars)
- Perfect for difficult swims
- Contains tiger nuts
- Can be used all year round
As the name suggests, the Urban Bait Nutcracker is an excellent bait for waters that prove to be a hard nut to crack. This bait is made from groundnuts and milk proteins and gives off a creamy and sugary scent that carp seem to adore.
Available in various sizes (12 mm, 14 mm, 18 mm, 22 mm), you can use these baits to bolster carp’s confidence to keep them feeding non-stop. They’re also pretty good for different venues and can be used all year round. Moreover, they contain tiger nuts, which carp crave.
Factors to Consider When Buying Carp Baits
When choosing a carp bait, it’s essential to consider the following factors:
There are many types of bait, and not all are a one-size-fits-all affair. For example, bait meant for freshwater might not do the trick when attracting saltwater carp. Therefore, having a species in mind when choosing bait will improve your chances of success.
Carp have very sharp noses. The barbels on the sides of their mouths help for food detection. Some species don’t rely on their sight alone when hunting, which means to attract carp like these, you might need baits that leave a strong scent trail.
Therefore, it’s best to choose bait with rich flavours that disperses well in water occasionally. Zesty, spicy, fruity and other strong, pungent flavours work wonders to get a carp’s attention. Nash Scopex Squid and Citruz Pop-Ups are good examples of strong-scented baits.
Colour plays a huge role in the outcome of a fishing expedition. Baits with dull colours are great for mimicking food found in the wild, whereas brightly-coloured baits will arrest the attention of a fish swimming by.
Additionally, your fishing venue should determine the bait colour used. It’s better to use duller colours in pressurised waters as the fish tend to shy away from bright colours on account of being caught on them.
Carp bait shouldn’t cost the earth, especially when you consider that you can make your own. However, sometimes, an extra quid or two may be the difference between landing a fish and going home empty-handed.
Therefore, when choosing carp bait, it’s best to weigh the cost of the product against your ambitions.
What Baits Can You Use to Catch Carp?
There are lots of bait types that can be used to catch carp. Let’s briefly explore some of them.
It’s no wonder boilies made it to our list various times, being one of the most popular types of baits out there. They’re spherical, flavoured, and have a hard outer layer. Here are some tips on using boilies.
As a rule of thumb, select your boilies according to the size of catch you’re aiming for. Common sense dictates that larger boilies are unlikely to fit into the mouths of smaller fish, even though smaller boilies may successfully attract bigger carp.
Boilies last for about 12 months, but always check the “use by” label on the pack. However, it’s possible to revive boilies that are a little stale by using liquid attractants.
Shelf Life vs. Frozen
In our opinion, it’s best to go with shelf life boilies. Of course, freezer boilies have their place, but their major drawback is they have to be defrosted. Defrosting boilies may cause waste of nutrients, whereas you’ll never face this issue with shelf life boilies.
Also, preserving the flavour of shelf life boilies isn’t challenging. All you have to do is reseal the packaging properly and you’ll lock in the flavour until your next trip.
Sweet corn is a widely used bait that can save you the trip to your local tackle shop. Carp find the sugar in tinned corn irresistible, and it also looks appealing. You can put it on a hair rig or hook, and you’ll get a bite before long.
Carp love hemp, so it’s one of the best baits you can use to lure them in. When they taste the hemp oil in the water, it sends them into a feeding frenzy. You can catch some big carp with this carp ground bait.
Maggots can be the best bait to use when fishing in the winter season when the fish aren’t feeding as much. They’re also a budget-friendly type of bait.
Unlike fishing boilies, micro pellets, and other bait available in tackle shops, carp are very familiar with worms, which is what makes them an effective option. Worms are the most natural bait you could use, being a known food source of fish.
You can get ready-made tiger nuts or buy them raw and then boil them. Either way, carp love the sugary and oily combination of starch and fibre present in tiger nuts. It’s even possible to crush the nuts, releasing the oils more quickly for a bait that’s hard to resist.
The bait you use is one of the strongest determinants of whether you’ll land a carp on your next fishing trip, and the ones in this article are the best carp baits currently available.
The Sticky Baits Bloodworm boilies are our number one pick because they use authentic bloodworms in the mix, which is essential for attracting certain carp species. In our humble opinion, they’re the best boilies on the market.
As an alternative, you could try the Mainline High Impact boilies, as their many flavours give you an arsenal of scents to choose from.
Finally, the Nash Scopex Squid Stabilised boilies are excellent quality baits if fishing for carp that have endured angling pressure.