There are many different methods anglers use to attract carp to their swim. The most popular and widely used method is the little and often method.
Slowly building up your swim with little and often loose feed allowing the carp to gain feeding confidence.
It can be very tempting to start fishing as soon as your arrive. However it would be wise to take your time building up your swim before you start fishing.
Starting fishing straight away has the potential to scare carp away, rather than attracting them to your swim.
In this article we take a look at the best methods for attracting carp to your swim.
Know Your Depths
Once you have located and identified your swim, the next step is working out what tactics you plan to use.
Knowing the depths of your swim and how deep, or shallow you will be fishing is vital to knowing how to best bait your swim to attract carp to you.
If you are planning on fishing very shallow, there is no point laying lots of bait on the lake bed.
If you are planning on fishing on or near the bottom, then try to find a shelf on the lake bed where the floor drops off. Carp, and other fish in general will often patrol along the bottom of the shelf as lots of food and bait ends up there.
Fishing in the margins where the lake bed drops away is often a great location to intercept fish.
Lay The Groundwork
If you are fishing on the bottom, then a layer of particles and/or groundbait is a great way to do this. Don’t go over the top and feed too much however.
Start slowly and build up the swim rather than throwing loads in all at once. Slowly building up your swim is really important when attracting carp to your swim. Too much bait too soon will fill the carp up and they will move on.
Feeding small amounts regularly will keep the carp in your swim, looking for food. Keeping the carp there will attract other fish to your swim, seeing that other fishing are feeding safely will give confidence to other fish.
When carp fishing it can sometimes be difficult to get through the smaller fish. A good way of doing this is by feeding a combination of small baits and large baits, or just feeding larger baits that are too big for the smaller fish.
Getting small fish feeding confidently in your swim is a great way to attract bigger fish. If there are carp in the swim, they will bully the smaller fish to get to the bait.
Make Some Noise
A good way to alert fish of your bait is to create some disturbance in your swim. This does not mean that you should be noisy – let your bait create the commotion.
A good way of creating some disturbance with your bait is to throw in lumps of groundbait or throw your bait into the air so it creates a bigger impact with the water.
Another alternative for this is using a catapult to fire the bait into the water, or firing the bait up into the air to create a big ripple on the surface when it lands.
This noise and commotion alerts the fish to something happening in your swim and they will associate the noise to food.
Not only will the carp come and investigate, when you are casting regularly they will associate your tackle landing on the water with free food. Instead of being spooked by your float landing, they will come looking for food.
The Best Groundbait For Attracting Carp
Dynamite Baits Swim Stim Carp Groundbait is most top match anglers groundbait of choice for carp.
This groundbait contains lots of proven fish holding stimulants such as krill and betaine.
We recommend adding some hempseed, small pellets and sweetcorn to the mix as a fantastic way to attract carp to your swim.
The Best Carp Attractants
NGT Carp Attractant Liquid is a fantastic option for covering your bait or adding to your groundbait.
This glug is very strong and is widely used by specimen carp anglers as a boilie dip.
It’s not just for boilies, you can add it to meat, sweetcorn, pellets, dog biscuits, marshmallows and your groundbait and particle mix.
It’s a very versatile attractant and works very well for attracting carp to your swim.
What Flavours Attract Carp
There are lots of different flavours that attract carp ranging from sweet to salty to spicy.
Oily baits are very good for attracting carp as the oil spreads through the water, allowing the carp to sense the bait and go searching for it. Hempseed is great for this as it holds a lot of oil.
Oily fish such as tuna is a great carp attractant and is great to add to your particle mix.
Strong fruity flavours such as strawberry and tutti fruity are excellent for attracting carp. Krill is also an excellent carp attractor.
Adding flavoured power or liquid to your groundbait, spod or particle mix is a great way of attracting carp to your swim.
There are some flavours that carp go crazy for and we particularly like these attractor liquids from NGT. These are great options for adding to just about any bait.
What Colours Are Best For Attracting Carp?
The best colours for attracting carp are bright colours such as bright red, yellow, green, blue, purple and orange. Surprisingly, white is also an excellent colour and it stands out well at the bottom of the lake,
Dark colours but strong flavours are also very good at attracting carp to your swim. If your bait blends into the bottom of the lake, this forces the fish to search around on the bottom looking for your bait.
How To Attract Carp When Surface Fishing
The good thing about surface fishing is that you can actually watch the carp feeding on the bait to help you gage how many carp there are, and also how often and confidently they are taking the bait.
The key here is to slowly build the carp up into a frenzy and you want to create lots of competition and commotion on the surface.
Feeding dog biscuits are great to get the fish feeding confidently on the surface. Start off by feeding one biscuit and watching it to see what happens. If that gets taken, or nothing happens after a few minutes then fire another one or two in and repeat.
Adding different flavours and colours to your floating bait can really speed up the process. Great options for floating baits and often underused by anglers are marshmallows.
Marshmallows are very absorbent so will be able to take on a lot of flavour. Once the marshmallow hits the water the flavour and oils will leak out into the water.
Once the carp start feeding confidently, it is important to keep them there by continually offering loose feed to keep them interested. Don’t offer too much as this will lower the competition and the carp will get full.
Check out our floater rods buyers guide.
How To Attract Carp When Fishing The Pellet Waggler
Fishing the pellet waggler is quite similar to surface fishing, however you are fishing shallow, rather than on the surface.
Feeding small amounts of particle baits to begin with is a good way to start. It is important to ensure that you have a good mixture of particles. Bird Seed mix, together with small floating pellets is a great way to introduce feed to your swim.
The idea with bird seed mix is that it is very small and light. Some parts of the mix will slowly sink and other will float. This is a great tactic for bringing fish up in the water.
Once the fish are feeding confidently you will probably notice fish taking the food as soon as it hits the water.
Continue to frequently feed small amounts of pellets. Again it is important to get the fish into a feeding frenzy and feeding confidently. When fishing the pellet waggler you will often catch carp on the drop because they are so used to bait coming into the water and competing for the food.