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Random Venues
Trent Country Park
Lake - EN4, Cockfosters Road,

Wimbledon Common
Lake - SW19

Finchley Lido
Lake - Finchley, North London


Stop-press. Carp, are fish. And like all other fish, they will take a variety of baits, natural, man made and artificial. While fishing with sweetcorn for a decent roach or bream, you could be just as likely to hit into a decent carp, at least on waters where they are present in any great numbers. So why then are there particular baits dedicated purely to the catching of carp? Much of the development of specific carp baits it to do with keeping the smaller fish away. Carp baits tend to be bigger and more solid than other baits, so small fish cant get them down or pick away at them like the could for example with bread or luncheon meat. They are also often highly flavoured, with sweet, fruity flavours often proving successful, appealing to the carps distinctly sweet tooth.


First developed in the 1970s, boilies are round firm balls of paste that
Boilies - a Carp Killer
have been boiled, hence the name. They are generally made up of a mixture of fishmeal, dried milk, soya & rice flour, mixed with eggs to bind them and then flavoured and coloured into almost as many varieties as it is possible to imagine. Trends change from year to year, with white chocolate, whisky and hawaiian pineapple all having been the must have bait for any given year. Boilies tend not to be an instant hit bait, and if a particular flavour has not been seen on a water before, the chances are you will not catch with it straight away. Carp seem to take time to get used to a new flavour, so find out what boilies catch well on your local lake if you are looking to have short term success. Of course, for the more patient angler, feeding up a new flavour bait over a number of weeks on your local water before you start actually fishing it, can result in some spectacular catches as the carp
Pellets - a fantastic strong smelling bait
will have developed a flavour for the bait by the time you come to use it on the hook. This of course will no doubt eventually attract the attention of fellow anglers, particularly if you are catching when they are not. No magic bait remains a secret on any water long, but until everyone else catches on, expect to be the top catcher on your water.

Like every other bait, carp can of course get wary of boilies, and there can be some little tricks you can use, to try and get a bite from a bait that the fish have become switched on to. Try changing the shape or presentation of your boilies, cutting them in half and switching them round, putting 2 boilies on a hair-rig in a snowman style, or shaving the sides off the boilie to give it a less uniform shape are all tricks that can be employed to get carp which have become used to standard baits on the feed again.

Boilies are by
no means a beginners bait. They can take a little more time and effort to become adept with than some other baits, however once you have mastered the use of the boilie, few other baits can match them for sheer variety and potential for landing that fish of a life time.


There are a number of different pellet types available out there, which are essentially fished in the same way as boilies. They tend to be hair-rigged and come in similar sizes to boilies, although tend to be cylindrical rather than round. The two main types of pellets you can use are high oil, such as trout, salmon and halibut pellets, and lower oil varieties which can often be fruit flavoured and are not that different from boilies, except when it comes to price! High oil pellets work best when water is warmer as the oils can break down and bring fish in from a long way away, however they are a highly dense food-stuff and fish can quickly fill up on a bed of high oil pellets. Lower oil pellets are more versatile in that they can be fished all year round and can also be pre-soaked overnight producing what are known as exploded pellets, which on your hook look more like pellets that have sat on the lake bed for a while and can make wary fish more likely to take a bite.

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