In this article we will go into detail about carp fishing and give you tips on how to get the best results and capital carp. Because many people write to us again and again by e-mail: “How can you actually fish for carp successfully?”. This is a question we get asked again and again by beginners and professionals.
To fish successfully for carp you should first know your “opponent” better. That’s why we will start with the carp and its typical characteristics and eating habits. This way you know best what to expect.
Learn also different tips to be successful in carp fishing. If you want to know more about this topic, then take a look at our other articles. In the past we have reported several times about carp and possible accessories for carp fishing. For example in the report about the best carp fittings, very good carp loungers and excellent carp rods.
But if you want to learn the important basics of carp fishing, then read on now. You can still specialize later.
We will also give you fishing tips for the best times of the year, the different rivers and lakes and the best fishing spots in Germany and abroad.
And now have fun with this article:
Carp (carp, lat. Cyprinus Carpio)
Carp (carp. or Cyprinus Carpio) usually reaches a weight of up to 40 kg. They live predominantly in very extensive waters. Most of the time these waters are rather current-poor, as they prefer to live in natural as well as artificial fishing lakes with soft bottom.
Most carp can be found in Europe, Asia, North America and Australia. Below you can see a drawing of the basic structure of a carp so that you can better recognize it later.
Striking features on this picture are the striking scale dress, its rather high back, the scaleless head and its beards:
They are mainly fished with natural bait. But more about this later. In waters where the carp feel comfortable, i.e. in food-rich and rather warm areas, a carp can gain up to 1 kg weight per year.
Carps are peaceful fish. This means that they usually eat plants, insects, dew worms and small crustaceans. They suck these up with their trunk, which often resembles a vacuum cleaner.
Carps spawn in Europe usually between May and June. Only then do the waters have a spawning temperature of 18 degrees.
Therefore they are subject to different minimum sizes and sometimes also to closed seasons depending on the federal state in Germany. These you will find below and should be observed in any case:
Sometimes carp can live up to 40 years. Anglers usually distinguish between 3 types of carp. These are:
- Scaled Carps
- Mirror Carps
- Leather Carps
Scaled Carps are descended from the wild carp, which originated in Central Asia. Unfortunately there are only very few wild carps left which is due to the decreasing population. Wild carps usually reach a maximum weight of 7 kg.
The mirror carp on the other hand, is descended from the scaled carp. It has few but large scales.
Leather carp or naked carp are without scales. The skin is usually somewhat thicker (hence the term leather). This protects it from the unwanted entry of pathogens that are transmitted through the skin
In nature, carp are usually found with scales. These are usually found on the back. Single scales along the body can also be noticed.
Carp fishing tips for beginners & pros
Now that we have learned the basics about carp we will start with the fishing tips. Targeted fishing for carp is felt, from summer to summer more and more popular. If you are lucky enough to catch a big carp, then in most cases it will be put back into the water.
This way other anglers can enjoy it the next time they catch it. Usually big carp can handle this procedure quite well. Most carp have had good experience with anglers over the years. They then let themselves be photographed without much resistance and then go back into the water.
By the way, the old carp are also less edible. The meat is much tougher and it is a bit more “musty”.
1. finding the right waters for carp fishing
Carps like to hide. So when choosing your fishing spot, make sure that you fish near reeds, smaller islands, sharks or sunken branches. This increases your chances of success enormously. Furthermore, once you have chosen the right waters, you should keep a close eye on the water.
Often you can see rolling carp already at the surface. As in the picture below:
Also, swirling sediment clouds in the water can be an indication of the carp. Here you should first “settle down” and prepare the fishing spot.
2. prepare the fishing spot
Carp anglers usually spend a lot of time on the water. That is why a reasonable preparation is essential. As carp fishing often takes place at night, a fishing tent (big test) is indispensable. This protects you from sudden showers and ensures that you don’t get wet.
But also a typical carp lounger (big test) can quickly increase the comfort. This is because the mostly hard ground on the dry banks is not necessarily the most comfortable. You can sleep much better on such a carp lounger. And with a suitable bite indicator you will also be informed immediately when there is a first “bite”.
For example, we can warmly recommend this DAM Carp Indicator Carp Table: Display
This model is not so expensive and has everything that is important for a carp lounger (space, comfort etc.)
We usually also use a fishing sleeping bag. So you are additionally protected and have it a little warmer at night. During the day a comfortable carp chair (big test) helps us to sit comfortably.
So you always have maximum comfort when you spend many hours at the fishing lake.
3. feed the carp with suitable food
Once you have found a suitable spot, it helps additionally to feed the carp at this spot. So you will of course increase your chances of success considerably. In addition, they are lured from the beginning to the vicinity of the hook bait that follows later.
We recommend you to feed the carp at the right place a few days before (best 3 days before) with indicator Magic Baits. This way they slowly get used to the fact that there is actually something to eat at this place.
However you should not use too much. After all, we do not want the carp to get “full” by feeding them.
And, when the time comes, the “bite” usually comes much earlier. This also shortens your waiting time.
4. the right carp bait for fishing
We can recommend the following baits for carp fishing. These have already proved themselves in practice and have brought really capital carp ashore.
- Carp baits
- Dog food (Frolic)
In the following we will go into more detail about the respective carp baits.
Carp boilies for fishing
Carp boilies are available in different sizes and in many different flavours. They are so successful as carp baits because they have a particularly high nutrient content.
They shine especially with the following nutrients:
Boilies are especially rich in protein. Because for every 1 kg of boilies there are usually 8 to 10 eggs.
The nice thing is that the carp don’t get full of them so quickly. Because they are digested relatively quickly. However, carps gain weight from this. In waters where boilies are regularly used, the carp sometimes gain several kilos per year.
Another advantage of carp boilies is that they cannot be eaten by smaller fish. They are simply too big. This has the advantage that the carp boilies can only be eaten by the carp.
Every now and then it can happen that bream tamper with the carp boilie. So make sure that you use the largest possible carp boilie.
By the way, we can recommend the adAngel Berger Magic Baits Boilies to you. These have proved to be particularly catchy in the past.
Dog food (Frolic) as bait
An alternative to carp boilies is the dog food from Frolic. This is much cheaper than conventional carp boilies. But they can fall off faster when “throwing” them. They also have the disadvantage that they usually dissolve faster in water.
So it is recommended to check your bait from time to time. But every 2 hours should be enough. In the following you will see typical dog food which is suitable for fishing.
We recommend that you read the advertisement Frolic dog food Complete. Because this has holes in it. They can be easily and without any problems pulled on the hair or attached to the carp hook.
Tigernuts as bait
Tigernuts are considered by some carp anglers to be a real insider tip. They are usually suitable as hook bait and basic feed. They are also known for their good catch and high durability on the carp hook.
Similar to the carp boilie, tigernuts have a particularly high nutrient content. Especially the following nutrients are found in tigernuts:
- Dietary fibre
You can even try them yourself if you want. But just like humans, of course, carp also likes them. Therefore you can use the tigernut for carp fishing without any problems.
We recommend the DisplayTigernuts by Karpfenhans.
Potatoes are often dismissed by many carp anglers as “spinning”. Nevertheless it is quite possible to land capital carp with the potato.
This should be cooked best. The secrets of the potato are usually the nutrients. Because they consist of numerous sugar molecules, which carp are very fond of.
Once they have “acquired a taste” for it, they quickly become greedy and rummage through the entire ground with their trunk.
As a rule, even carp cannot get enough of the potato. Therefore the danger of overfeeding is not very high.
Another advantage is that potatoes, similar to corn, can be bought relatively cheaply in the supermarket.
Corn as bait
Corn is also very popular with carp anglers. You can use it for carp fishing as main bait as well as for feeding.
Corn is relatively cheap and you can buy it in almost every supermarket. It also lasts relatively long on the carp hook or hair.
The nutritional content is not as high as for example in carp boilies. Therefore the probability is high that the carp is attracted by the good taste of the corn.
If you don’t want to spend so much money, corn is the right carp bait for everyone.
5. the right equipment for carp fishing – what do you need?
Once hooked with the right carp bait, they often try to flee the scene. This means they usually swim behind a cover such as reeds, branches or the like.
Carp rod for fishing
Therefore a relatively strong rod is crucial for success. Carp fishing is usually done with 2 to 4 carp rods.
We have published a product report with 6 different carp rods to make your choice a little easier. When choosing a carp rod make sure that they have a continuous action.
These have often proven to be very good for taming the fish. In the picture below you see a carp angler with 4 fishing rods.
The rod he holds in his hand has the typical continuous action of a carp rod.
Fishing tips for the carp reel
Also a big stationary reel is important for this. We can recommend for example the Penn Slammer 560L Liveliner. This reel is sufficiently large and has already proven to be an excellent carp reel for many anglers. Here is a picture of it: Display
Which (braided) carp line for carp fishing is the best?
We can recommend the AnzeigeFox Torque carp line. The monofilament line has low elongation and is available in different sizes:
- 0,30mm with 5,00kg load
- 0,33m with 5,91kg load
- 0,35mm with 7,27kg load
If you want to catch very large specimen you should use the 0,35mm carp line.
DisplayBraided carp lines have the advantage that they sink faster and are usually particularly resistant to abrasion. For braided carp lines the palomar knot is recommended.
This is much more resistant than conventional fishing knots. If you want to learn more fishing knots, we recommend our book “the best fishing knots”.
6. the carp mounting – on the ground or pose?
Carps are not stupid animals. If the fishing pressure increases over time, they learn quickly. That is why “precaution” must be taken when mounting the carp.
Many young anglers, beginners or novices in carp fishing ask themselves whether they prefer to fish on the bottom or with a pose. In our experience the most common and frequently used carp mounting is the basic mounting.
In the following we will discuss both carp mounts.
In order to always have the right assembly with you, we also recommend our book “the best angling assemblies”.
Pose mounting with lead for carp fishing
If you decide to use a pose you should use a 5 gram pose. This is so much that the lead is just about on the bottom. Here a little “tact” is essential. The nice thing about this method is that you can recognize almost every “plucker”. This is especially important when the carp is approaching the carp bait.
Of course you can decide yourself if you prefer to use boilies, nuts or dog food (frolic) as bait for the carp.
Then you should use a ground rod. Alternatively you can also use a match rod (4.20 m) (especially for smaller distances). Here a Waggler pose with 5 to 7 g on a 0.18 main line is sufficient.
If you use a pose, you should not use any additional buoyancy bodies. Because this would only replace the actual pose when fishing with poses and therefore makes little sense.
A waggler is also advisable.
Here’s a tip for fitting the pose: Sound out the basic depth exactly. When you have found the right depth (just above the bottom) you should use the line clip on the carp reel. This way you always have the exact depth and you can “test” different lures.
It is also important that you release the reel brake. Otherwise it can happen that smaller specimens bite when you put the rod down and if necessary the line can break off with a strong bite.
Carp mounting on the ground – the best river mounting
Below we also describe a simple mounting on the ground.
Because the most common way of carp fishing is to use a basic assembly. For this purpose the carp bait is connected to the carp hook by a “hair” (that is why it is often called a hair assembly).
The leader line (carp line) lies on the bottom. We take care that the additional weight, the line and the leader are reproduced in natural colours (as with the AnzeigeFox Submerge).
This way the carp is less suspicious. If the carp then sucks in the carp bait, it will also suck in the hook in most cases.
The following picture illustrates the basic principle of this rig:
Make sure that your stationary reel has enough line capacity. Carp baits, mostly boilies or corn, are often offered at a great distance.
Therefore the reel should have enough line capacity. An advantage of high spools is that the friction is lower, so the casting distance is greater.
And here are two extra tips: Attach, a little basic lining to the hooks. You can do this with a small water-soluble PVA stocking. This releases the basic lining as soon as the stocking has dissolved.
The carp will then usually come by themselves. We have achieved the best results with the AnzeigeQuantum natural baits. Here you can also find a video by Gregor Bradler on how to achieve success without feeding:
In the article about carp fittings we present you by the way more detailed further carp fittings like the lead fitting. Or you can get directly our book “the best fishing mounts” with numerous rigs like the running lead mount etc.
When casting, make sure that you hit the feeding point as accurately as possible. An overhead throw is especially suitable here.
If you have chosen a rod with continuous action, this will also protect the carp bait when casting.
And here’s another tip: If you look up at about 45 degrees at the moment you release the line, you’ll be able to hit the fish most accurately.
Stop the line at the end of the ejection with your index finger to keep the line under tension. This way the fishing line lies stretched out on the water. This also has advantages when biting, but more about this later.
After the carp bait has been placed, you can place the carp rods on a bite indicator, for example.
Electronic models are especially suitable here. As soon as a fish bites, you will be informed acoustically.
This way you can easily do other things while sitting in the hide without having to keep an eye on the carp rod all the time. From now on you have to wait until the first bite comes.
8. the stop
When a carp has bitten you should also set a stop. How to do this is explained in the following. The problem with carp fishing is that carp often feel the hook in their mouth.
If they feel it, they may spit it out again. Therefore, as soon as the bite is taken, you should set a stop.
A stop is achieved by moving the string jerkily shortly after the bite.
Because of its size the hook will get caught in the mouth of the carp. Sliding out is almost impossible. Only then has the hook really bored itself into the mouth of the carp.
Make sure that the line is slightly taut just before the stop.
If the line is too slack it can quickly happen that the carp bait slips away from you. Also make sure that you do not set the stroke too hard. Otherwise you might tear the lower lip of the carp and the carp might escape injured.
A healthy mediocrity is decisive here.
9. the fight during carp fishing
When the fight comes, the carp can twist and turn quickly to escape. Carps also like to escape when they are hooked.
On the following picture this is clearly visible:
To avoid sudden changes of direction and jerky movements you should pay attention to a few things when fishing for carp.
For example, keep the rod at a suitable angle to the water. 45 to 90 degrees are completely ok here. This usually makes it easier to pull the carp ashore with slight pumping movements.
The following picture illustrates this process:
This saves the carp and you can pull it safely ashore.
10. fishing tips landing net of the carp
After the drill of the carp usually follows the landing net. This is often a difficult task, especially for beginners.
Especially when you are fishing alone, you have to operate the rod and the landing net at the same time. So make sure that when the carp is near the shore, carefully place the landing net under the carp.
Then you can lift it. With very cheap landing nets it can happen that the landing net breaks depending on the weight.
Therefore we recommend to pull the carp with the whole net to the shore. Preferably on a hook-off mat if the ground is sandy or stony. And this is what the carp looks like on land in the landing net:
Now you should act quickly to prevent the carp from suffering too long.
11. after the catch
After the fishing you must of course check the gauge (you can find it in the table at the top).
In Bavaria and NRW, for example, the minimum size is 35 cm. Here you just have to make sure that the carp is above the minimum size if you want to use it for other purposes. It should also be checked off accordingly.
Take care that you are as gentle as possible with the animal and do not pull the hook out of the carp’s mouth with brute force. The following picture illustrates the unhooking in a gentle way:
Many anglers do not kill the animal, but release the carp afterwards. Most anglers are interested in fishing and less in having something to eat.
Particularly capital carp are often put back into the water to allow other anglers to have the same experience. In the following picture it is not a capital carp, but the photo illustrates how the carp is put back into the water.
So it can be put back into its natural habitat.
In most cases the carp then disappear again quickly in the respective water.
12. carp fishing from a boat
If you want to fish for carp from a boat, you have the advantage of being able to get to places where few other anglers go. Sometimes you can find places where the carp hide and usually come to rest. So you can find real “secret spots”.
In addition, many places on the shore are not “walkable” or difficult to reach on foot.
At exactly these places there are often very big carp because they are usually very calm. They serve them as a shelter and as a place to take their food.
Therefore it is essential (if you have a suitable carp boat) that the bait is offered here. Usually a simple rowing boat is enough to reach these places.
What should you pay attention to with a boat?
It is important that you only take the bare essentials with you, as there is usually not much room in a rowing boat.
To ensure that the anchor sits well, you should also look for places with soft ground. This makes it easier to place the anchor, especially with anchor rods.
Due to the movements of the boat, it can of course happen that the mountings “move” with it. In this case you should make sure that this is avoided.
A tip is to place the carp rods on the respective bank (usually there is more space there than you think). Nevertheless you should make sure that they can be reached quickly. Waders are indispensable for this.
Use long fishing rods to keep the carp away from the boat as long as possible. In this way you avoid that he gets “tangled up” in the anchor rods and ropes and possibly provokes a line break.
Also always pay attention to the weather conditions. Because in storms and thunderstorms it can be quite dangerous in the boat and you should not use the boat.
The advantage of the boat when fishing for carp is clear: you have much higher chances of catching bigger and, above all, more carp on land than the carp anglers on the shore.
Especially carp that have “their place” can only be outwitted by this fishing method.
13th carp fishing in rain
The chances of catching a carp in rain are considerably higher than in sunshine. The reason is very simple:
Because near the shore and on shore slopes it is mainly dew worms that come to the surface to avoid drowning. If the worm accidentally slips into the water, it is eaten by the carp – an easy prey.
It can also happen that during rain, fruit, nuts or fruit from overhanging trees are washed into the water.
Again the carp usually cannot resist his appetite which can quickly become his undoing if a smart carp angler is nearby.
So the rainy weather is very popular for carp to swim to the banks. So the chances of catching a carp are much better on rainy days if the carp rod is placed close to the shore.
14. carp fishing in haulm
Many anglers avoid the weed because the hook or the complete carp assembly can get caught here particularly quickly. In addition, it is extremely difficult to drill when fishing here.
Nevertheless it is possible. Carps often hide in the weed and avoid the “weed-free” places where fishing is too frequent.
The following tips will tell you what you should pay special attention to when fishing for carp in haulm. This will also help you to increase your chances of catching a carp.
Find places that most anglers tend to avoid. This will increase your chances of catching a fish, even if you have to walk a little to do it.
Also try to always fish behind the haulm belt. If other anglers say that it’s impossible to fish there: perfect!
You should also feed the carp you want to catch with pellets, wheat or corn a few days before. This way they will notice that there is a new feeding place where they feed regularly. Throw some boilies in the water the day you go fishing. This also attracts the carp and increases your chances of catching them.
You should also use a braided line that floats. We have made good experience with the AnzeigeFireline XDS. Make sure that you always offer the bait above the herb.
In addition you should use a display helicopter rig and floating pop-ups. Make sure that it is quiet at the shore. Hitting pegs into the ground for a fishing tent or setting up a complete tent will only scare the carp away. Carps can see what is going on at the shore. Therefore a quiet place is even better.
If allowed, you can also use a haulm rake. However, you should get a permit for this in advance.
15th carp fishing videos
Here are some more carp fishing videos from our longtime partner Fishing King.
The following video is titled “How to catch carp in trout lake” and is just 10 minutes and 47 seconds:
Here is another video from Fishing King with the title “The 7 BEST TIPS for successful sturgeon & carp angling at FORELLENSEE”. The video goes 32 minutes and 44 seconds:
Watch the videos at your leisure!
16th carp fishing book / books
We can especially recommend the hardcover book “AnzeigeKarpfen: Mehr Fisch, weniger Technik” (30th July 2015) by Gregor Bradler. Bradler’s book has become a standard work for many carp anglers:
Another very useful book is “AnzeigeMein Fangbuch – Karpfenangeln” (29 June 2017). In this book you can adjust your fishing techniques which are partly of decisive importance for your catch:
We can recommend both books in any case if you want to get ahead with carp fishing.
Closing words for fishing for carp
If all anglers were to kill the carp they landed, the carp stock in Germany would be drastically reduced. The consequence would be that we would find only a few set carp in our waters in Germany. Therefore pay attention to a respectful treatment of the animal.
This is after all a living creature.
This means in the end that the carp hook should be made of a thick material so that it does not open the carp mouth unnecessarily.
The leader should also be free of points and other sharp objects. The carp can be seriously or fatally injured by the escape of the carp.
Also during the drill you should make sure that there are no branches or stones in the immediate vicinity of the animal.
Because serious injuries can also be caused here. In addition, a not too sharp-edged carp line should be used to protect the animal. There is also a good article on this topic.
We hope you enjoyed our fishing tips for carp fishing. If you can’t wait any longer, then look here for a reasonable display carp rod.
When it comes to fishing there is always a large selection and very reasonable prices.
Your team from handangeln.de