What is the best bait for carp fishing?


Click image to buy these Dynamite Crave Shelf Life boilies off Amazon

Most carp anglers have differing views when it comes to what they think is the best bait for carp fishing; although you would probably have to say that boilies have caught the most number of carp, certainly over the last 20 years.

But does this make it the best carp bait out there!? Not necessarily, but you can’t ignore the fact that boilies have evolved dramatically over the years. Probably more so than any other carp bait. I’m not just talking about size, colour or even the smell, although these have changed and evolved as well, but I’m talking about the main ingredients that make up boilies.

What makes the best carp bait?

Without doubt the main reason why boilies in my opinion is still the best carp bait and continues to be so successful, is the fact that boilies continue to evolve. Different carp bait recipes are continually being tried and tested to hopefully find that magical mix! And to try and stay one step ahead of them crafty carp! 🙂


Click image if you are interested in buying these Cell Wafters

That said there are many other reasons why boilies is still a fantastic carp bait – so keep reading…

You can buy either freezer or shelf-life boilies, but a lot of carp anglers are split on which they prefer. Both have their Pro’s and Con’s, but the fact of the matter is that both freezer and shelf life boilies will catch you a load of carp. It just boils down to personal preference and confidence in a particular bait. I’ve caught on both but if I had to decide between the two then I would probably go with self life boilies because that’s what I’ve had the most success with.

Why not make your own boilies…


Click image to buy this cheap Boilies Rolling Table from Amazon


If you are on a bit of a tight budget then why not try making your own boilies. You can buy a boilie base mix (900g – 25kg), then simply add some eggs and a few other ingredients and you’re away! Then simply buy a boilie roller and before you know it you’re got your own little production line going! Wicked!

To be honest I haven’t got the patience or the time to make my own boilies but I’m sure with a little bit of practice it can’t be too hard to master. Below is a short recipe list with instructions on how to make your own boilies. If you buy a Mainline boilie base mix there should be step by step instructions on making your own boilies on the packet itself but it’s pretty straight forward stuff

To make your life easier, one important piece of equipment that you might consider using is a boilie rolling machine. Once you have prepared and rolled the paste then the boilie rolling machine will produce the desired boilie size consistently and with ease. Also if you don’t want to roll out the paste yourself then using a sausage gun will give you a perfect length of paste, ideal for cutting and producing perfectly round boilies (15mm, 19mm & 22mm diameter sausages.

Boilie making – step by step.


500g Base Mix Instructions:


Click image to buy this great Boilie Rolling Gun from Amazon

  1. Crack 4 medium sized eggs into a bowl.
  2. Any any liquid ingredients you might have including additives, colouring, flavours, sweetner and mix thoroughly.
  3. Then gradually add the dry base mix (900g – 25kg) to the liquid, stirring at all times (see below video).
  4. Keep adding the powder mix until a soft but firm paste is formed (try and make the paste as dense as possible to avoid splitting or cracking when boiling).
  5. Then roll the paste into thin sausages either by hand or using a sausage gun.
  6. Cut and roll the balls by hand or use a rolling table.
  7. Then put the baits in boiling water for approximately 2-3 minutes, depending on how hard you want the boilies. The longer you boil them for the harder the boilies will be.
  8. Then simply remove the boilies and leave them on a piece of kitchen towel to dry out and harden.
  9. Your boilies are now ready to use! Store them in a cool dry place or freeze them to use for a later date.

What makes boilies such a great carp bait?

The vast majority of boilies have base ingredients which are either fishmeal, bird food or rich protein – stuff the carp love!

Standard sizes are 10mm, 15mm, 18mm and 20mm. Even the shape of boilies have evolved to try and fool the carp – dumbell baits are now very popular with a lot of carp anglers. These are an excellent alternative bait as they will keep the carp guessing because at the end of the day you don’t want the fish to get used to one particular size and shape of boilie.


Click image to find out more about these Hi-Visual Pop-ups by Mainline

They come in pretty much any colour you can think of and now there are Fluro Pop-up boilies which are designed to be highly visual and have proved to be very successful – Check out the full range of Mainline’s Hi-Visual Pop-ups here.

The beauty of using boilies is that they don’t break down in water so they will happily stay on the end of your line until they have been eaten, hopefully by a big carp and not a small fish or worst still a crayfish! A lot of the time you can use larger boilies to combat nuisance fish.

Boilies are great for casting with as you always have confidence that the bait will stay on the hook or hair rig during the cast. Better still they are excellent for use in throwing sticks and catapults as you can usually achieve a range of up to a 100 yards or more.

What is the best time of year to use boilies?

The great thing about boilies is that they will catch you fish all year round. I’ve caught carp in all climates but in the Winter I would definitely recommend using smaller boilies as the fish have a much slower metabolism and larger baits have less appeal.


Click image to find out more about Korda Goo!

The one thing I love about boilies over any other bait is the fact that they can be chopped up and used as part of a groundbait, spod or stick mix. Plus you can use bait dips and glugs to enhance the flavour of your hook baits and stick mixes. I use the Korda range of Goo’s and have had some brilliant results. It’s PVA friendly and the stuff smells beautiful 🙂 I can only imagine how the stuff travels through the water layers like a gravy trail!

What other factors make boilies the best bait for carp fishing?

One thing that some anglers forget is that boilies are good for carp. Bait companies have put a lot of time, effort and money into producing a carp bait that gives the carp everything they need to help them grow stronger and hopefully live a lot longer; but probably just as important, a bait that the carp will find irresistible.

Great Boilie Offers on ebay

There are lots of different boilies on the market but I’ve listed below all of the main brands of frozen and shelf life boilies. Most of the cheap boilie deals can be found on eBay and are distributed directly by tackle dealers which I’ve sourced for you. Just click on each link below to be redirected to the relevant buying page, all of which have Free P&P.

If you’re not a member of eBay then you’re definitely missing out, it’s FREE and easy to use, so JOIN HERE to find out more….and to get involved!!

Dynamite Baits Cartptec 15mm Boilies 1kg (Flavours: Strawberry, Pineapple & Banana, Tutti Frutti, Crab & Crayfish, Plum, Spicy Quid, Bloodworm) – Click here £8.25 each.

Nash Bait NEW Instant Action Boilies 200g *10mm, 15mm or 20mm* (Flavours: Coconut Cream, Crab & Krill, Tandoori Spice, Tangerine Dream) – Click here £3.99 each.

Mainline High impact Boilies 1kg *15mm or 20mm* (Flavours: Aromatic Fish, Banoffee, Essential IB, Spicy Crab, Salty Squid, Peaches & Cream) – Click here £9.99 each.

Mainline Baits Frozen Boilies 1kg *All Flavours 10mm, 15mm or 18mm* (Flavours: Cell, New Grange, Activ 8, Proactive Pineapple, Fusion, Hybrid) – Click here £15.99 each.

Mainline Baits Response Boilies 200g handy pack or 450g standard pack *15mm or 18mm* (Flavours: Tutti Frutti, Strawberry Zest, Salmon & Shrimp, Pineapple & Banana, Squid) – Click here £3.50 or £7.95 each.

10kg Bag Of 15mm Boilies. 5 Flavours Krill Halibut Tutti Frutti Sausage & Scopex – Click here £39.99 each.

Mainline CELL Boilies, 1kg Freezer Boilies *10mm, 15mm & 18mm* – Click here £13.10 each.

NOTE: All prices are correct at the time of publishing this page.


2 Responses to What is the Best Bait for Carp Fishing?

  1. Peggy Menke says:

    Hi, Adrian. Love your website. I used to fish a lot for bass in Florida, but since I became disabled and live in Pennsylvania, I don’t fish anymore. I haven’t fished for carp, but you have explained it really well. Great job!

    • admin says:

      Hi Peggy,
      Thank you for your kind comments, I really appreciate it.
      I can imagine fishing for big bass in Florida is very exciting! I did some fishing when I went to Cuba a couple of years ago and caught some Barracuda!! That was great fishing 🙂
      Sorry to hear about your disability, it’s a real shame that it’s stopped you from fishing.
      Hopefully speak soon.

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