8 Best Bait for Carp Fishing (Complete Guide in 2021)

Kenneth ReavesEdited by: Kenneth Reaves
Michael DarmontReviewed by: Michael Darmont

Last Update:

The Rundown

Best Overall: Xhope TPR Simulation Fake Soft Baits Corn (Click here to view)
“Sweet corn is a tried-and-true bait for carp. These soft baits give you all the advantages of corn kernels while being reusable and lasting longer in the water.”

Best Budget Option: Phecda Sport Carp Fishing Bait Boilies (Click here to view)
“Boilies are one of the best baits for carp, and a fantastic attractant. Choose the color/flavor that works best for you and watch the carp come to the surface to suck down your bait.”

Best Premium Option: Carp Ninja Floating Carp Fishing Bait (Click here to view)
“These baits are handmade from corn kernels and foam balls. The design lets the kernels float under the water to give a more natural look and make them less likely to scare off carp.”

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Carp, just like bass, can be picky eaters and hard to catch even for experienced anglers. To maximize your chances of landing a fish, you need to use the right bait.

Carp feed on plankton, plants, and insects. Many of the best baits combine multiple scents and attractors to help carp find your bait and entice them into striking.

With a ton of carp baits available, it’s hard to narrow down which ones you should buy. We’ve made this list to help you pick the right bait and get carp to take your hook.

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Our Ranking
Ranked #1
Ranked #2
Ranked #3
Thumbnail
Xhope 30 pcs TPR Simulation Fake Corn,Soft Baits Corn Carp Fishing Lures Floating Baits with Nice Scent (30pcs)
Phecda Sport 30pcs 12mm Smell Carp Fishing Bait Boilies Eggs / 4 Flavors Floating Ball Beads Feeder Artificial Carp Baits Lure/Hair Rig (Red Strawberry(12mm))
Carp Ninja Floating Carp Bait Handmade in Europe with Real Corn 12 pc - Classic
Our Grade
Our Rating 92/100
Our Rating 88/100
Our Rating 86/100
Feature 1
Eco-friendly and reusable baits
Can be enhanced with attractants at home
Real corn with a foam ball to help it float
Feature 2
Mimics real corn in smell and appearance
Floats on the surface for a more exciting bite
Strawberry enhanced or classic corn flavor
Best Overall
Our Ranking
Ranked #1
Thumbnail
Xhope 30 pcs TPR Simulation Fake Corn,Soft Baits Corn Carp Fishing Lures Floating Baits with Nice Scent (30pcs)
Our Grade
Our Rating 92/100
Feature 1
Eco-friendly and reusable baits
Feature 2
Mimics real corn in smell and appearance
Best Budget Option
Our Ranking
Ranked #2
Thumbnail
Phecda Sport 30pcs 12mm Smell Carp Fishing Bait Boilies Eggs / 4 Flavors Floating Ball Beads Feeder Artificial Carp Baits Lure/Hair Rig (Red Strawberry(12mm))
Our Grade
Our Rating 88/100
Feature 1
Can be enhanced with attractants at home
Feature 2
Floats on the surface for a more exciting bite
Best Premium Option
Our Ranking
Ranked #3
Thumbnail
Carp Ninja Floating Carp Bait Handmade in Europe with Real Corn 12 pc - Classic
Our Grade
Our Rating 86/100
Feature 1
Real corn with a foam ball to help it float
Feature 2
Strawberry enhanced or classic corn flavor

8 Best Baits for Carp Fishing in 2021

Here’s our shortlist of the top carp baits in 2021 :

Xhope TPR Simulation Fake Soft Baits Corn

Best Overall: Sweet corn is a tried-and-true bait for carp. These soft baits give you all the advantages of corn kernels, while being reusable and lasting longer in the water. 

Xhope 30 pcs TPR Simulation Fake Corn,Soft Baits Corn Carp Fishing Lures Floating Baits with Nice Scent (30pcs)
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KEY FEATURES

  • Eco-friendly and reusable baits
  • Scent infused soft bait
  • Mimics real corn in smell and appearance

Carp gobble of sweet corn. Xhope TPR Simulation Fake Soft Baits Corn (Click here to view) is made to look and feel like real corn kernels and infused with scent to help attract fish. They’re a great bait for any fishermen looking to catch a few carp.

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Bait Details

These baits are one of the best you can find, and the materials used in the bait are biodegradable. They’re shaped and sized like real corn kernels and are soft to give it a realistic mouth feel. The baits are infused with a strong scent of corn and fishmeal to help attract fish. The best part is you can reuse the baits and store them for later use.

Rigging 

Just like real corn, you can thread one or a few of these onto your hook. Try to cover up any shiny spots on your hook, and make sure to not move the bait around much.

Phecda Sport Carp Fishing Bait Boilies

Best Budget Option: Boilies are one of the best baits for carp, and a fantastic attractant. Choose the color/flavor that works best for you and watch the carp come to the surface to suck down your bait.

Phecda Sport 30pcs 12mm Smell Carp Fishing Bait Boilies Eggs / 4 Flavors Floating Ball Beads Feeder Artificial Carp Baits Lure/Hair Rig (Red Strawberry(12mm))
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KEY FEATURES

  • Variety of color and flavors
  • Can be enhanced with attractants at home
  • Floats on the surface for a more exciting bite

Boilies themselves can range in smells from fishmeal to corn and everything in between. They’re designed to attract carp, and these Phecda Sport Carp Fishing Bait Boilies are a great budget option for fishermen in lakes and ponds.

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Bait Details

These smell balls don’t need to be refrigerated and can be reused or enhanced with DIY flavors at home. The foam balls float on the surface releasing scent and carp love to come up and suck on them. You can get them in a variety of flavors. So you should try a few till you find out which one the carp likes the most.

Rigging 

You’ll want to rig these onto a hair rig, but if you need to you won’t have a problem throwing it on a hook. Use a lighter line than normal since you want it to float on the surface. Make sure to give them time to release scent before you give up and move spots.

Carp Ninja Floating Carp Fishing Bait

Best Premium Option: These baits are handmade from corn kernels and foam balls. The design lets the kernels float under the water to give a more natural look and make them less likely to scare off carp.

Carp Ninja Floating Carp Bait Handmade in Europe with Real Corn 12 pc - Classic
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KEY FEATURES

  • Real corn with a foam ball to help it float
  • Strawberry enhanced or classic corn flavor
  • Attracts fish and easy for them to find

Handmade baits may cost more, but they generally work well. Carp Ninja Floating Carp Fishing Bait are made in a patented design that lets them float up off the bottom and makes them easy for fish to find. They’re a great option for fishermen in calm shallow water like ponds.

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ReBait Details

Each bait is made from a real corn kernel that has a small foam float inserted into it. The float makes them come up off the bottom, to let carp find them easier without rooting around. They come in a normal corn flavor or one that is enhanced with strawberries to help attract the carp.

Rigging 

You should rig these baits just like you would with any other corn. Take a piece or two and thread it onto your hook through the middle. Cast it out and allow it to sit as still as possible and wait on a carp to take the bait.


Vbestlife Soft Boilies

Best for DIY flavors: One great thing about boilies is their reusability and the fact that you can apply whatever flavor attractant you choose. If you want to try out a few flavors at a time, these are the best choice for you since they can come with no flavor.

30Pcs/Box Smell Soft Fishing Lure Soft Boilies Fishing Bait Boilies Floating Smell Ball Beads Feeder Artificial Carp Baits Lure (Yellow 10mm)
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KEY FEATURES

  • Comes in strawberry, sweet potato, or no flavor, and two different sizes.
  • High density with great buoyancy
  • Holds a lot of flavor very well

Boilies do incredibly well with carp, and these are no exception. Unlike some other companies, Vbestlife Soft Boilies can come in flavorless varieties so you can use your favorite home or store-bought flavors. These are better for experienced carp anglers who have some home recipes to try out.

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Bait Details

These high-density boilies come in either red or yellow colors and can be flavored with strawberry, sweet potato, or nothing. They’ve got great buoyancy so they can float in muddy water and will be easy for fish to find.

Rigging 

Like the other boilies on this list, you want to either throw them on a hook or use a hair rig and let them swallow it. Try to let it float above vegetation that the carp hide in and wait for strikes.

Wicked Carp Company Catalpa Worm Boilies & Dumbells

Best Hard Bait: If you’re looking for the most durable boilies with the strongest scent then these are a great choice. They’re triple soaked in flavorings and air dried to be hard and have a long shelf life.

Wicked Carp Company 8oz (~40/tub) 15mm Catalpa Worm Boilies & Dumbells | Hard Dough Carp Bait & Catfish Bait
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KEY FEATURES

  • Proprietary recipe attracts bigger fish
  • Only use with hair rigs, no hooks needed
  • Super durable hard bait

Wicked Carp Company Catalpa Worm Boilies & Dumbells are ready-to-go out of the jar. They are made to be used with hair rigs and bait needles, and are not to be used with hooks. This makes them a great choice for fishermen who are familiar with those rigs but want a ready-to-use bait.

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Bait Details

Each boilie is soaked in flavor three times and then air-dried to give it a long shelf life and really soak up the scent. Their design is not to be used with hooks. 

Rigging 

Rig these on a hair rig or a bait needle and be let them float out. They’ll release a nutrient-rich scent that is great for big fish.

Strawberry Prepared Tiger Nuts Carp Bait

Great Reusable: Tiger nuts have gotten a bad rap over the years as poorly made ones can end up killing the carp and being bad for fish in general due to their preservatives. These though are fish-friendly and a great bait with a ton of scent that can be recharged in the tub.

7oz (~100/tub) Strawberry Prepared Tiger Nuts in Liquid | PVA Friendly Carp Bait & Catfish Bait
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KEY FEATURES

  • Use with a natural bait like corn for maximum attraction
  • Only for use with hair rigs
  • Jar has liquid to recharge baits in scent when needed

Tiger nuts aren’t allowed everywhere due to their history of poor product quality. Strawberry Prepared Tiger Nuts Carp Bait though are environmentally friendly and safe for fish. If you want a rechargeable carp bait then this is one of the best products for you.

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Bait Details

Ready-to-use straight out of the tub, these baits are flavored and then stored in a flavor liquid that gives you the most scent possible. They’re a fish friendly material that is okay for the carp to eat, so no need to worry about the bait harming the fish. 

Rigging 

You’ll want to use these on the same hook as a piece of bait like corn or a chickpea to get maximum value. They’re an amazing attractant meant to be used on a hair rig or bait needle, and will let carp find your bait incredibly easily. 

Wicked Carp Company Strawberry & Banana Glug

Best Scent Enhancer: This mixture from Wicked Carp is a fantastic mix of fruit that will draw in fish from a long distance. Any freshwater fish that feed on plants are sure to be drawn to your bait.

Wicked Carp Company 8 fl oz Strawberry & Banana Glug | Carp & Catfish Bait Enhancement | PVA Friendly Liquid Dip Bait & Attractant
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KEY FEATURES

  • Soak your favorite bait
  • Works on any bait, flavored or not
  • Strong scent enhances fish attraction

Boilies don’t hold smell forever. Whether you want to recharge a bait on the go or just add some more scent, it’s hard to go wrong with good oil. Wicked Carp Company Strawberry & Banana Glug is best for fishermen who want to attract a variety of freshwater fish.

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Bait Details

This isn’t technically a bait, it’s an oil enhancer to get a great attracting scent onto your bait. The banana and strawberry added flavor is a sweet scent that attracts a few different freshwater fish, including carp.

Rigging 

Whether you’re using a boilie, pop-up, or any other bait, you can incorporate this scent oil into it. It has a wide opening to allow you to soak baits of your choice in the attractant, and increases your chances of a fish finding your bait.

Pro Cure Sweet Corn Scent Bait Oil

Best Scent Oil for Carp: Carp love the smell of corn, and corn scented oil is a great choice for carp fishing. This thicker oil is a perfect choice for soaking boilies or added onto your dough balls to target big carp.

Pro Cure Sweet Corn Scent Bait Oil, 2 Ounce (BO-CRN)
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KEY FEATURES

  • Corn scent attractant
  • Marinate or inject into your baits
  • Trout, kokanee, and carp are all targeted fish

For a less fruity smell, corn is your next best bet. Pro Cure Sweet Corn Scent Bait Oil is great for areas where corn isn’t allowed to be used as bait. Enhance your natural and artificial baits with this oil.

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Bait Details

The oil is made to smell like sweet corn. It’s a great attractant, and has a UV flash added in. This makes it easier for fish to spot your bait in the water due to the flash.

Rigging 

Like the other oil on this list, use it with any bait you want. You can soak any kind of bait in it to add a great corn scent and attract a variety of freshwater fish. It works especially well on carp, trout, and kokanee, all fish that will take corn baits.


Natural and Homemade Baits for Carp

  • Corn
    • Canned sweet corn is a great bait for carp. They’re both sweet and salty, release a lot of scents, and can easily be threaded onto your hook. Carp love them and will be attracted to the smell they give off.
  • Worms
    • Worms are great bait because basically, any fish in freshwater will take them. They tend to work better in colder months when carp feed more passive. Use worms on one rod when you are using another bait to catch more fish in the area.
  • Cherry tomatoes
    • Nobody is sure why, but cherry tomatoes are a solid carp bait. Make sure to puncture the skin to let out the tomato juice as an attractant. Thread your hook through a whole or half cherry tomato and throw it out and wait. 
  • Mollusks
    • Snails and other crustaceans that are naturally found in the lakes and rivers carp live in can make good bait. Carp feed on them naturally and are less likely to spook at a snail in the water than other bigger baits. 
  • Peanut butter dough balls
    • To make your own, mix peanut butter with water and sugar, then add flour until the dough becomes tougher. You can use the dough with bread and roll it onto your hook as an excellent carp bait. 
  • Cereal balls
    • Similar to peanut butter balls, cereal balls are a doughy mixture made with cereals like Wheaties. The sweet flavor and scent help attract carp, and you can easily make the baits yourself at home. 

Tips for Fishing Carp

Find the Perfect Location

Carp prefer muddy water with a lot of vegetation. They also prefer warmer and shallow water. Look for them along riverbanks and shorelines with a lot of plants and algae. Carp will also break the surface and make the water roll, so you can look for the small wakes they make while swimming to help you locate them. 

Choose the Right Bait and Rig them properly

Carp feed on insects, plants, and plankton. Baits that release a lot of scent are great for them, as well as sweet and salty vegetables and doughs. For the most part all you need to do to rig them properly is to thread the bait onto your hook, covering any parts that can flash or look shiny. Those bright spots can also spook the carp away from your bait. 

Make sure you have the essential carp fishing gear

  •    ROD HOLDERS
    • Carp can spook easily if there is a lot of movement or vibration in the water. You want your line as still as possible to keep down the vibrations, so a rod holder is your best friend. It’ll keep your line still and remove most of the vibrations in it.
  •    BITE ALARMS
    • Passively fishing and waiting on a bite can get boring if the fishing is slow. If you’re distracted or on your phone you can miss a bite. Using an alarm like a bell on your line will immediately alert you to anything that takes your bait.
  •    FISHING NETS
    • Having a good net helps you keep from breaking your line and losing fish. It makes getting the carp out of the water much easier. For catch-and-release fishermen, it also protects the carp from your hands and being drug across the ground and helps them sustain less damage while being caught.
  •    UNHOOKING MATS
    • Carp can get hurt during the unhooking process, and an unhooking mat is a great way to help protect them. The mats are dampened and are soft, allowing you to lay the fish on a surface that won’t damage them while you get your hook out. It increases the survivability of carp for catch and release anglers.  
  •    HEMOSTATS FOR HOOK REMOVAL
    • Hemostats are long locking pliers used for hook removal and reaching deep into fish. They typically have flat grips to flatten hook barbs to make getting the hook out much easier. A good pair of hemostats makes hook removal safer for you and the carp.
  •    CHUM THROWERS
    • Chumming is an effective tool for any kind of fishing. The key is to attract the fish but not overfeed them to the point they are full and won’t take your bait once you start fishing. Having a chum thrower on you and using it can help increase the number of bites you get and attract the carp to you so you don’t have to go searching for them. 

Questions & Answers

What attracts carp the most?

One of the best carp bait is boilies. They’re made of fishmeal and other added products that release scent into the water. It’s a very strong smell, and in most cases will drive carp crazy. In some bottles of water though, the smell can scare off carp, so do some research before using them as an attractant or bait.

When is the best time to fish for carp?

You can fish for carp any time throughout the day. They usually feed when it’s dim out though, so the best time to fish for them is at dawn and dusk. You should expect the most number of bites during these times, and fewer bites during the rest of the day.