Carp Fishing


Bony freshwater gamefish

Carp Fishing Overview

Carp fishing as a sport originated in the United Kingdom and Europe, but in the past 50 years popularity in the US has been growing. Carp as a species is native to Europe and Asia, but has been introduced to many environments all over the world. Americans used to view the carp as an invasive pest to most natural environments, and while this is the case in some places, their high value as a sport fish has been recognized. Carp are a freshwater fish, and prefer slow moving water and soft sediment, though they can also be found in rivers. They can grow to be quite large, even up to 4 feet, and usually can be found in small schools. Carp fishing tends to be best in waters around 50 degrees fahrenheight.

Carp Fishing Equipment

Bait: Carp are (naturally) attracted to bait that help them meet their nutritional intake requirements. With this basic principle in mind, it is possible to extrapolate lots of different types of bait that could be used for anglers. Perhaps the most common bait used for carp is boilies, or boiled paste fishing bait, which can be found in many varieties. These usually consist of proteins and sugars as well as strong scent/flavoring to attract the fish. Different types of boilies include High Nutritional Value (HNV), High Attract (HA), which usually float and are good for colder temperatures, and soluble boilies that dissolve in the water and attract carp to the area.

In addition to boilies, particle bait, which is usually seeds, nuts, and grains are used as hook bait and groundbait. Groundbaits are made up of things like bread crumbs, hemp, and walnut flower, and using water are rolled into spheres that can be cast. Live bait is also used to catch carp and because carps are omnivores consist of smaller insects such as midges and possibly types of weed or algae.

Reel Setup: the most common reels used for carp are spinning or spin casting that can hold around 120 pounds of 12 pound test line. Size 2-6 hooks and 8-12 pound test are usually best. Be careful if using a bobber, because carp are very sensitive to any resistance and are quick to drop bait if they feel any backwards pull.  

Carp Fishing Getting Started

There are many strategies you can take to catch carp, and a few quick pointers will help you choose the best one. Carp feeding habits are dependent on many things, including the wind conditions, temperature, and phase of the moon. Carp commonly hide under natural and artificial elements for cover, so those are usually a good place to try fishing them. It could be a good idea when you first start fishing them to scatter some bait around an area, allowing them to flock to the feeding before casting a line.