Carp are easy to find and catch fish. Beginners fishing for carp need a few tips. Rods and reel choice is overhyped by many anglers. What is important is the bait. Along with where you are fishing. Fishing with the wrong bait or in the wrong place is unproductive.
Carp Fishing Tackle Tips
Carp fishing is becoming specialized the same as bass or walleye. Anglers fall into the belief they need the perfect rod and reel. In some cases it is justified but not with carp. A medium or medium-heavy rod with the right size reel is good enough. If you plan on carp as a specialized style of fishing. Then the specific rods will work better for you. The average angler does fine with an all-around rod.
If you have a rod in the right power use that rod. It is not likely an ideal set-up but will work to catch carp. Carp rods tend to be longer, often 8-12 feet in length. This allows longer casting to reach areas away from shore. Carp fish is usually a shore fishing activity. If you can reach suitable waters with carp present with your current rod it is fine. As for beginners, these tips for carp fishing. Let you know to try the sport for a while before investing in a specific type of tackle.
The reels used are spinning reels but a casting reel is fine. The spinning reel is easy to cast and enough weight will go far. A size 3000 is common for medium power rods. A reel from 2500 to 4000 size is in the range many anglers use for carp. Spool on an 8-10 lbs test line and the set-up is ready. A line too heavy will result in fewer bites. Carp have sensitive mouths and can feel the line. This line size handles fish over fifteen pounds. You have to fight the fish longer.
Choosing a Bait
The carp is a vegetarian of the fish world. They do eat insects but prefer grains and plants. The commercial baits are doughball and boilies. Anglers prefer to make their own bait. Packbait is made using corn, grains, and flavoring. This is a simple bait that is most effective. Also, doughball is another option in simple to make baits. I recommend either for beginners since they are easy to make and work. Both baits are common for carp fishing.
Doughball is flour, cornmeal, water, and flavoring. I can be made in fifteen to twenty minutes.
- 1 cup of flour
- 1 cup of cornmeal
- 1-2 Tbsp of sugar
- A dash of salt
- 1 cup of water
Bring the water to a boil with the salt and sugar added. The sugar helps it stay together. Once it boils add the flavoring then the cornmeal and flour and mix. After it cools some. You will need to knead the dough for thorough mixing. Refrigerate until ready to use. It can be frozen for longer keeping.
Pack bait is easy also. It does use a different method.
- 16 ounces of Panko breadcrumbs
- 7 ounces of creamed corn
- 2 tsp salt
- 2 Tbsp of flavoring or jello packet
Mix all the ingredients together and let sit a few hours. If it is too dry add some water. Use only a little at a time. If it is too wet add more bread crumbs to stiffen the mix. This bait can be tricky to get the right consistency at first but after 2-3 times it is easy.
A few kernels of corn also work. Many anglers place it on the hook inside the packed bait.
Caution: The corn must be cooked. Use canned or cook the corn before use. Uncooked corn will kill fish.
Tips for Beginners Fishing to Catch a Carp
Step one is finding a place with carp. Talk to other anglers in your region. A lot of waters do have carp but not all waters do have carp. In many instances, carp will be in certain places in the waterways. Carp prefer calmer waters but will go into some current. Having weeds present is a plus also. They use weeds as the primary cover. Plus the state’s regulations need checking.
Some states allow chumming or pre-baiting an area. You throw corn or the bait you are using in the area a few days prior. Go for 3 days in a row and throw in some bait. It will have the fish become accustomed to the bait. Plus it keeps the carp in the area. Carp roam in search of food. They will take advantage of easy meals so chumming does help a lot. Check the state’s laws prior to chumming since it is illegal in certain states.
Hooks and Rigs
The doughball rig is easiest. The hook and sinker are tied however you feel comfortable. There are specific rigs. The slip rig is used by many anglers. Although the typical sinker at the end with hooks hanging above works also. Using a size 6 hook place a grape size piece on the hook. Then cast the bait to where the carp are feeding. Try not to make a loud thump with sinker and bait. Carp are easily spooked. It is time to wait for a bite.
Anglers choosing to go with packed bait need a different rig. The packed bait is a chum to draw in the fish. It is common to use this method if allowed in states forbidding chumming before fishing the spot. A hair rig with a piece of corn is placed in the packed clump of bait. A method feeder can be used but is always needed. But it does work better for holding the bait on the line for casting. Look up hair rig on youtube on how to tie a hair rig.
Carp fishing does not need specific tackle but it will help. Finding a place where carp are present is the first step. Choose and make a good bait for carp fishing. Each bait uses a different rig to work best. If you enjoy carp fishing as a beginner then buy specialized tackle. These tips are for getting started and try carp fishing.