Increase Your Catch Rate with these Tops Carp Fishing Tips

by bencarper

19 Sep 18 16:32


Why do carp anglers go fishing?

There are a plethora of reasons why carp anglers spend so much time on the bank, but ultimately you want to catch carp!

Carp fishing is ever increasing in popularity and with this come greater pressure on the carp resulting in the increase in difficulty to catch carp. 

For you to get the most out of your carp fishing, I suggest you follow these top tips which I have personally used to catch more carp and there is no reason they cannot help you catch more carp, so here we go.

Tip 1: Choose the best mainline

best carp fishing line

To increase the number of carp you hook this season, you’ll need to ensure you are fishing with the correct tackle, more specifically in this case, the mainline you are using. We all know that the classic monofilament mainline is easy to use and is the choice of many anglers, however, there are other types of mainline that are known to be highly effective in certain situations. 

The braided mainline, for instance, is fantastic for close range fishing due to its lack of stretch which is exactly what you need when fishing in snags. As soon as you hook a carp you can be on it and stop the fish getting into those snags giving yourself a better chance of landing the fish. This lack of stretch also provides great feedback and is the reason why many anglers use it for their marker & spod rod setups.

Braided mainline is also an excellent choice when fishing at long distances due to its breaking strain to thickness ratio, allowing the angler to cast great distances. When you get a bite you will get an instant response from braid which is a wonderful characteristic of this type of mainline allowing you to get the fish under control and in your net sooner. 

Fluorocarbon is a great choice when you are fishing in clear lakes as this type of mainline is virtually invisible in the lake water meaning you will not spook the carp and allowing for the best presentation of your carp rig.  

Knowing more about your mainline options will allow you to choose the best tactic for the scenario you are fishing, so do as much research as you can and make a decision based on the factors you are working with.

Tip 2: Choose the perfect rod

There are many different carp rods used for fishing. It can be tricky choosing the right rod, especially if you are starting out. Do you choose a fast-action rod, through-action or perhaps a middle-to-tip-actioned rod? 

Fast-action rods allow you to cast long distances with ease, but remember, though the rod might be fast, hook-pulls are more likely to occur. 

Through-action rods make casting longer distances much more difficult but are more forgiving when playing fish due to the softer nature of the rod so you might use them depending on your fishing strategy.

Middle-to-tip-actioned rods are a great all-rounder that have the ability to cast a decent distance whilst being soft enough to decrease the chances of hook pulls and would be a great contender for best carp rods for beginners.

Tip 3: Mix up your boilies

There are many different flavours & sizes of boilies. However, the 14 and 16mm sized boilies are the most popular and the type of bait carp seem more often, possibly associating these sizes with danger.

To get more success at luring carp change your approach to other anglers, a 10mm bait would be less obvious and will attract carp since they rely on smell most of the time. You could also try to re-shape your boilies or fish multiple baits on your hair, all of these tactics are tried and tested and have caught me more carp.

The key point to take away is do something the carp is not expecting, something they don't see on a regular basis and perhaps even more important, employ tactics other anglers on the lake are not using. I will often do the exact opposite of other anglers for this reason alone.

Tip 4: Use fake baits

plastic carp bait

Fake plastics baits must be something you carry in the tackle bag and will enhance your fishing. You can buy a number of different type of fake baits including maggots, sweetcorn and bread all of which can be enhanced further by adding flavours using glugs and dips.

I have several pots of plastic baits soaking in various flavours, pineapple has given me a lot of success over the years, find out which flavour works best for you. 

You could try a combination of boilies tipped with plastic baits to make you hook bait standout and attract a greedy carp. These plastic baits will never spoil and cost very little, so make sure you pick some up next time you visit your local tackle shop.

Tip 5: Use coloured liquids and glugs

mainline baits

Using liquids can play a huge role in improving your fishing experience especially in murky waters when the carp may struggle to see your bait. It is a known fact that coloured liquids are like beacons for carp and will attract them.

Pick up a couple of different flavours and start using them in your fishing, it is a very simple thing to incorporate and can only add more attractors to your bait.

Tip 6: Consider your hooklink length

Korda best carp rigs

Another tip to consider is the hooklink length. Hooklink length is a crucial factor when fishing for carp. For some anglers, a 3-inch hooklink catches more carp than a 6-inch hooklink.

You may find success using a 3-inch hooklink than a 6-inch hooklink while someone else might have more success using a 6-inch hooklink length. Use what works for you.

Try varying lengths and get a trend of the best length to use, you will be surprised how a small change in hooklink length can dramatically increase the number of carp you hook.

Tip 7: It all depends on your timing 

Your timing is critical in carp fishing. Watch your clock; always! Rely on trends. When do takes occur? When do you catch more carp? What time does the action happen? Morning, afternoon or after dark? Leverage on these trends to catch more carp.

If a trend hasn't been set yet, keep fishing till a pattern forms. Wait till after dark to see if the carp are more active than during the day. Enjoy the mornings watching out for carp movement and in no time, you will be an expert in timing and spotting trends at a particular venue.

Make sure you log these activities for each venue and over time you will build up some invaluable knowledge that can be used time and time again.


There you have it. Viable tips to make you a better carp fisherman. Use this information to your advantage, and you will catch more carp.

Images from

Gardner -

Enterprise Tackle -

Mainline baits -

Korda rigs -