Carp bait list

  • Boilies
  • Tigernuts
  • Hemp
  • Sweetcorn
  • Maize
  • Pellets
  • Maggots
  • Casters
  • Partiblend (bird food)
  • Peanuts
  • Plastic imitation baits
  • Chum mixers
  • Worms
  • Luncheon meat
  • Sausage meat
  • Bread
  • Bread crust
  • Pepparami
  • Cheese
  • Tares
  • Prawns
  • Mussels
  • Slugs
  • Floater cake
  • Maples
  • Red deri beans
  • Almonds
  • Hazel nuts
  • Cockles
  • Banana
  • Potatoes
  • Cat food
  • Wasp grubs
  • Butter beans
  • Chick peas
  • Maple peas
  • Tares
  • Barley
  • Milo
  • Linseed
  • Wheat
  • Groats
  • Buckwheat
  • Millet
  • Sweet Lupins
  • Insects
  • Black eyed peas
  • Go Cat biscuits




The progression and development of carp fishing baits has moved on a long way. During carp fishing infancy carp baits included potatoes, bread crust, luncheon meat and natural baits such as wasp grubs worms and maggots. Some of these baits are still used today. Maggots, bread and worms for instance will catch you plenty of carp. A good bait always has, and always will be a good bait. In the late 1960's and early 1970's, a group of anglers lead by Fred Wilton began using their version of a high protein bait. Fishing mainly in the south of England they caught many fish from many waters using the first version of the boilie carp bait. Fred Wilton's theory that carp could instinctively recognise the food value of baits after they had eaten and digested them was excepted "eventually" and so the High Nutritional value boilie was born. When I began using boilies 25 years ago I made my own from mixing high protein ingredients such as fish-meal, soya protein, wheat gluten and even semolina with eggs and various flavours. Today anglers can buy these baits ready made for them. We have never had it so good! Although most of these ready made boilies are of a good standard it has to be said that the frozen variety are superior to the shelf life ready made. Freezer baits are rolled and frozen. Shelf life boilies are made using preservatives which the carp may be able to sense and reject. One of the best suppliers of quality frozen baits are The Bait and Feed Company. I can recommend them from personal experience having ordered a lot of bait from them and I have always been impressed with the quality.

How to make your own boilies

Firstly you need to decide which ingredients you are going to use. Look for a good quality base mix, there are plenty available. Quality boilie base mixes include: Mainline Baits Cell, Premier Baits Amino's, Rod Hutchinson Monster Crab and many others.

Ingredient's and instructions..

To 1 egg one
Add liquid flavourings (levels will be indicated on the bottle)
Add a liquid colour if required
Mix thoroughly
Add dry boilie base mix slowly
Form paste into shapes (squares, balls the choice is yours)
Boil boilies (30 seconds for soft baits, 2 minutes for hard)
Leave to cool on a dry, clean tea towel, when cool and dry pop in the freezer or in a cool dry place to air dry for a couple of days.



Particles is a generic term which is used to describe small or tiny baits usually seeds, peas, pulses, beans could also include and small items introduced in mass for instance; rolled boilie baits of 2 to 4mm and used as loose feed could also be termed particles, the same could be said of similar size pellet.

How to cook and prepare particles for fishing guide - click here




Maggots for fishing


The larvae of Calliphorid flies commonly known as the blow fly, carrion flies, bluebottles, green bottles, or cluster flies are used to breed the maggots for fishing bait. Maggots are bred for anglers on maggot farms using waste meat products and are available from most fishing tackle shops and in a variety of colours, red, bronze, pink and of course, natural white. Many anglers attach more the one maggot to the hook, if more than one is used then the size of the hook must be adjusted to ensure the presentation does not look unbalanced and unnatural. Maggots need to be kept ventilated or they will die. Don't remove the dust after buying as that stops them sweating. You can tell how fresh a maggot is by the size of the dark feed spot in its body, the larger it is the fresher the maggot. As well as the standard maggot there are a couple of smaller varieties available for anglers. The Squat maggot is a very small maggot that can be used in several interesting ways, a favourite of match anglers who use squats when the fish are feeding in a delicate, careful manner. The Pinkie is slightly bigger than Squat and is often used in conjunction with the Squats general used for loose feed or groundbait. I have found that the dyed red colour is best we like to think that's because they resemble the bloodworm larvae. Which is a natural food source of most course fish. All fish eat maggots and it is hard to think of a better universal bait.


Casters, the chrysalis stage of maggots

Chrysalis or Casters

Casters are the maggots at the chrysalis stage. After a certain period (which will depend on temperature) the maggots outer shell will become hard, this is the stage before the fly emerges. As a bait for fishing the caster is very good. Many fish love casters, especially: Roach, Carp, Rudd and Bream. You can buy casters from good fishing tackle shops.


What is a more natural carp fishing bait than worms?

Worms form part of every freshwater fishes natural diet. In flood conditions worms are readily available to fish. The small redworm resembles the Bloodworm. Bloodworm is part of the natural diet of all freshwater fish. Carp in particular will spend long periods pushing their noses through silt layers in an effort to locate this rich food source.

Where to buy or collect worms

You can purchase worms from specialist suppliers. Just google worms for fishing and you will see that there are many quality suppliers who will deliver you your worms all safe and sound in a bucket! Alternatively you could just do it the old fashioned way. On a damp evening go equipped with a torch and bucket to a large grassy area and you will find plenty.

Dendra worms

The European night crawler, Eisenia hortensis or Dendrobaena veneta, are a fisherman's favourite, they grow big, wiggle like mad in cold water, and can survive for a long time on the hook or the hair rig. Dendra worms resemble brandling worms. Dendra worms have a fast reproduction rate and are really easy to breed in the correct environment. The best environment to cultivate these worms is a damp dark but warm area, they should never get too cold. They average around 1.5 grams in weight at the adult stage. They are Pink-grey in colour with a darker rings around their body. You can feed Dendra worms almost anything, from vegetables to old teabags, they will even eat waste paper and cardboard.


Lobworm's are rich in amino acids. These amino acids are very attractive and beneficial to the carp. When your fishing is a little slow then just taking the time to find a few lobby's can bring rich rewards. We prefer to fish the worm on a lift float rig tight to the margins. Lobworms are the large worms with the flat tail we find in our gardens. All worms will fish better when flood conditions are present, using Lobworms in these conditions will catch you fish. Lobworms should be kept refrigerated, particularly in the warmer months. They are the common garden worm we are all used to seeing. The best time to collect these worms is on a damp night or very early on a damp morning.


Also known as brandling, pan fish worm, trout worm, tiger worm, red wiggler worm. This worm doesn't like the common soil that the Lobworm prefers. They prefer thrive in rotting vegetation, compost, and manure.

Plastic Carp Baits

Plastic baits have really gained popularity over the last few years. Crayfish resistant, cheap, and ever lasting. I like to keep mine in a tub of sweetener, they really take on the smell. I have had some plastic corn soaking for over a year!

Best baits for floater fishing

Pedigree chum
Bread crust
Artificial bread flake
Floating pellets
Go Cat biscuits
Fluoro Pop-Ups
Floater cake

My favourite surface fishing bait is the floater cake. Floater cake is simply a boilie mix with baking soda added to make a sponge like cake which floats. By adjusting the consistency you can make it quite hard but will still be buoyant. Adding food dye means that you can customise it to either stand out or blend in.

How to make floater cake for surface fishing

Add eggs, flavours and mix
Add dry base mix and 2 teaspoons baking powder per 6 egg mix
Slowly mix the ingredients aiming for a soup like batter
Pour mixture into a well-greased tin or baking tray
Place into a pre heated oven for 1 to 1.5 hours at gas mark 2/150C
Allow to cool before removing

The outside of the floater cake should have a tough rubbery crust. I tend to make batches, bag them up and store in the freezer. Fishing a small square together with a size 8 super sharp hook is hard to beat.