Many people have seen a fish test a bait by taking it into its mouth and then blowing it back out.

This intelligent fish has a memory of what’s good and what’s not. It can also determine if the food it’s eating has gone off by sensing its nutritional content or taste.

It may reject the bait because it’s remembering that a certain smell or substance caused the carp to be caught by an angler.

How Big Can Carp Grow?

In areas where the water is warm and full of food, the fish will grow at an accelerated rate. They can gain weight of about 0.9 kg in a year.

On the other hand, grass carp will eat their body weight in weeds daily. In Britain, certain waters are too cold to encourage fish to grow.

Throughout history, there have been many record-breaking catches of large freshwater fish. At the time of writing, the UK’s biggest recorded catch of a large freshwater fish was a Common carp weighing 64 pounds.

In the right environment, where there is a good source of protein, large freshwater fish such as the Common carp can grow to over 100 pounds in mainland Europe and over 50 pounds in the UK.

In Asia, they can reach up to 190 pounds.

The main reason why large freshwater fish such as the Common carp grow to large sizes in Asia and mainland Europe is due to the hotter and longer summers.

This causes the fish to feed longer, which helps them gain more weight quickly.

What Attracts Carp the Most?

Like other creatures, the food that a carp eats is very important to its development.

It requires nutrients such as amino acids, vitamins, minerals, fibre, and oil. It can also smell the amino acids produced by aquatic plants and bloodworms.

Some of the fish’s favorite food sources are seaweed, green-lipped mussels, and liver powder. However, peanuts, which are commonly used by fishermen, don’t mimic the nutrients found in natural foods.

The food that a fish eats is very important to its development. It can smell the amino acids produced by aquatic plants and bloodworms.

It loves various items, such as bread crust, boilies, meat bait, and maize. The best food items that a fish can eat are those that contain ingredients that mimic the smell or taste of natural food.

When boilies won’t work, artificial corn is usually used.

Best hook bait for winter carp fishing

How Do Fish Feed and Digest Their Food?

The best food items that a fish can eat are those that contain ingredients that mimic the smell or taste of natural food.

The digestive system of carp is very important to its development. Its buccal cavity is lined with a membrane that’s made of hard ridges. It features a variety of microscopic projections known as papillae.

The top portion of the fish’s mouth is known as the palatal taste organ, which is designed to trap food particles against the bottom of the mouth.

Non-food items are then expelled through the gills. About 97% of the food that the fish consumes is thrown out.

At the back of the mouth is a pharyngeal tooth that’s aligned with three rows. Three of these teeth are in the inner row and one is in the outer row.

The teeth are positioned below a hard and calcified pad. The food is ground between the pharyngeal teeth and the food is transported to the receptive sack and intestine through a duct known as the oesophagia.

It’s lined with ridges that allow food particles to pass through. A dense bed of goblets and cilia helps the passage of the food particles.

Unlike other animals, carp do not have a stomach. Its digestive system is located in the intestine, which is two times longer than its body. It produces different enzymes that break down protein.

The system is designed to process the food that it consumes efficiently if it has a steady supply of nutrients.

This is why it’s important that people regularly feed the fish small amounts of food.

Although they can eat sweetcorn and bread, they can’t completely digest them.

They need fibre to keep their intestine moving, and grass and alfalfa meals are important as they allow the fish to grip the food particles and keep it moving.

Some of the food that the fish consumes, such as vegetables and worms, are only partially digested to keep the intestine healthy. It also ingests silt and other indigestible debris to bulk up its diet.

What Bait to Use for Carp?

After learning what kinds of food the fish will eat, we now know what kinds of food they will reject. However, there are some exceptions to this rule.

For instance, certain food items can work well in one season and not in another. During the winter, when the fish are not moving much, it’s important that people use food that’s easily digested.

On the other hand, in the summer, when the fish are more active, it’s important that people use protein in their bait.

The cold weather during the winter months can negatively affect the movement of the fish. During the summer, when the water is warmer, it’s important that people use protein in their bait.

Older fish, on the other hand, need less protein.

Depending on the depth of the water, it’s also important that people use different types of bait to catch a large number of fish.

For instance, in shallow water, an individual should use a small amount of hemp or boilies. They should also fish in the edges.

When the fish sense the bait, they will move back to the shallows to eat it, which decreases their chances of being caught.

The water depth at which the fish are attracted to bait is important during the colder months. A depth of around 6 to 8 feet is ideal for winter fishing.

PVA Mesh Bags

How Can I Increase My Chances of Catching Carp?

When it comes to catching a large number of fish, it’s important to avoid using a lot of bait. In some areas, the fish won’t respond well to the large amount of bait that’s dropped on them.

However, in busy areas, spodding can lure the fish into your swim. If you believe that the fish will be in your area for a couple of days, you can use a marker float or a spod.

If you want to make your hookbait more enticing to the fish, you can use a cork insert or a design that’s made of buoyancy.

This will make the hook when swallowed by the fish, easier to suck up the bait.

One of the reasons why some types of bait won’t work well for you is due to the emergence of a newer, more appealing bait that’s being used by other people.

If you can’t switch to a different type of bait, try adding a liquid enhancer to your lead or hookbait. These can be flavoured and made to look more attractive to the fish.

One of the most important factors that you should consider when it comes to choosing bait is the amount of food that the fish will eat.

If you’re planning on using hemp pellets, make sure that they dissolve quickly. After around 10 minutes, the pieces and particles of the pellet should float away and create a slick of oil.

This will allow the fish to easily locate the food.

Further Reading


I have made a lot of mistakes during my fishing sessions and don’t want you to make the same mistakes. I’ve learned the hard way over 20 years of fishing most weekends, testing, tweaking, and testing again and now want to help you excel with your carp fishing.

If you need any help, you can reach me at Fishing Again’s Facebook page

Last Updated on January 31, 2024 by Shane