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 Best Fishing Baits for Carp, Bream, Chub, Perch & Roach

Article written by Luke Rudd Ė Have a look at Lukeís Carp Fishing Tackle Website

© This article is copyrighted

Bait can be the decisive factor in whether you are on your way to a successful or a disappointing days fishing. Even the most advanced fishing tackle and equipment wonít be able to help you if you turn up at a venue with the wrong bait. Itís not just fish rejecting the bait that determines whether itís a poor choice, there are other factors such as the presentation to consider, which influence the ultimate success of bait choice.

There is an endless array of options with baits constantly being improved, and new ones being developed, some of which have revolutionised fishing such as boilies, and more recently fake baits such as plastic corn. With such an expanding range of variety and flavours available, narrowing bait choice is becoming increasingly difficult, however there are some classic baits that have already stood the test of time and should always be considered, when bait packing for a session. This article looks at these baits and which fish species they are suited too, along with examining a few other baits which are not often sold in tackle shops and that might bring you that elusive bite on a hard venue where your usual methods are failing.


 Carp Fishing Baits

Carp baits have probably seen the most development in recent years and the popularity of carp fishing means this is not look likely to change. There is now a huge range of carp baits on the market, and although the most popular have changed over time, for the last few years the revolutionary boilie has become widely reputable and used. This is due to the success and versatility of the boilie, particularly in terms of presentation as it can be shaped, popped up, critically balanced and fished in many ways that work well in conjunction with anti-eject rigs. However there are a huge number of less commercialised carp baits that have been catching for some time, and in many cases where the boilie struggles, these options might encourage that much needed bite.

Lobworms Ė My favourite fishing bait
One of the most common and widespread baits are maggots, capable of catching most species including carp, however they have a tendency to invoke bites from fish which are not the target species. Worms can be a great alternative often cutting out the small fry and unwanted species, allowing anglers to concentrate their efforts on the target fish. There are a variety of different worms many easily accessible and free, but for carp fishing lobworms often give the best response. Hooking a lob worm tail or several whole worms on a large hook provides a visually exciting hook bait for carp and this combines with the worms releasing a high concentration of amino acids into the water creating an irresistible carp bait. Gathering your own worms for fishing is a great alternative to purchasing them from the tackle shop where they can be very expensive. Iíve always found the best quality lobworms come from the back garden so for information on how to gather them visit Collecting worms for Fishing.

The humble potato has lost popularity over the last decades as more commercialised baits have become available, however this is still a classic bait favoured by many anglers such as Bob Nudd, and was no doubt in the armoury of legends such as Walton and Walker along with many other famous anglers. Par-boilied potatoes can be very effective. They can be cut to a good size to emulate pellets and other baits, allowing them to be fished on the hook or on a hair rig, and further variation can be achieved by soaking them in rich flavours such as gravy granules like Bisto, coffee granules and other flavours.

Luncheon Meats
In my experience, hair-rigged luncheon meat, often topped with a piece of real or fake corn has provided superb results, particularly on smaller venues with small to medium size carp. There is a variety of specially formed luncheon meat for fishing available, with various flavours from brands such as Dynamite Baits, but they are expensive and can be less effective then some supermarket options. The best type Iíve found for fishing is ĎBacon Grillí luncheon meat from Lidl which is cheap, pungent and highly effective. This bait can be fished on the hook but I find it more effective on a hair in a cube or pear/tear drop shape.


Bream Fishing Baits

The Breams infamous reputation for stealing carp baits qualifies all the above as valid bream baits. There are other baits however that are perhaps more suited to Bream, and if you get the bait right for bream fishing you could be in for a non-stop session. Bream love groundbait, breadcrumb and liquidised pellets so these are great to use in conjunction with your hookbaits;

Sweetcorn doesnít need much of an introduction, it has been and will no doubt continue to be one of the most successful fishing baits around. The price, availability and storage makes it a superb option for most occasions, and bream love the stuff. You can purchase flavoured and coloured corn from tackle shops but purchasing from supermarkets and doing this yourself is a much cheaper option, plus there are many flavours and colourings you can easily add yourself. You will catch bream fishing corn on the hook as well as on a hair rig.

Redworms are capable of catching most species and are a well-proportioned bait for bream being smaller than the lobworms. They are very lively and their wriggling once again provides that extra bit of attraction as a hook bait. Like lobworms they can be purchased but its better to gather your own in my opinion to save money and get the best baits. Although they are easy to find they donít hide in particularly pleasant places; manure heaps, compost dumps and under leaf mould are their favourite hideaways. They are best fished with one or several worms straight on the hook.
The combination of redworms and sweetcorn is a particularly effective one not just for bream but for many other species and is often worth switching to if the baits by themselves are not producing.

Chub Fishing Baits

Chub are prepared to take a huge variety of offerings, often waiting in a downstream position for any bits of food to float by. They are very opportunistic leading them to take many baits other fish would not. Iíve got chub on spinners, even on dead bait while fishing for pike!

Bread Ė Cheese & Dough Balls
Chub love bread, and like carp, will attack a floating piece of bread aggressively. They will also readily accept bread fished under water, and many other forms of bread and dough balls. By blending bread with water simple bread paste and dough balls can be created, but often blending the bread with stinky cheeses such as blue cheese, stilton and other cheese pastes can produce the best results.

Slugs are a useful bait to bear in mind when chub fishing. It might not be worth collecting them in the same way as worms, but if you are fishing and you spot a slug on the bank, itís a sure fire sign in my opinion that itís worth a go especially if you are struggling with your other baits. Iíve had chub take slugs within an instance of it hitting the water and often it is the bigger specimen chub. The larger black slugs are very effective and should be fished on a large sized hook.

Bacon Lardons

Head down to your local supermarket and you can pick up a pack of bacon lardons for just a couple of pounds. The non-smoked versions work best and they are an extremely attractive bait for chub. Lardons handily come in bait-size pieces and can be trimmed to fit the style of fishing. They are suitable for use straight on the hook and can be used hair rig style also.


Perch Fishing Baits

Perch are a predatory species and similar to chub they are prepared to take a variety of baits, often attacking offerings very aggressively and often this ferocity acts as a tell-tale sign that perch have moved into the swim.

If I had to choose a single bait for Perch it would be worms. All worms seem to work well and invoke bites from Perch. Worms on the hook used in conjunction with a feeder filled with chopped worms and some crumb can produce an exciting and turbulent perch fishing session, but often it can be difficult to wade through the smaller perch to catch the larger specimens.

Live Baits
Fishing live baits for Perch has been known to produce some monster specimens, and is a good way to hopefully avoid the smaller fish. Minnows are a great bait to use hooked through the lip, but small roach and even small Perch can be used as Perch are not only aggressive but cannibalistic. Fishing the bait high in the water at about half depth is a good position for Perch, and it is important to use live bait as dead baits do not seem to yield the same response. Small spinners and spoons can also catch Perch of varying sizes.

Roach Fishing Baits
Roach maybe the smallest out of the species discussed in this article but they still have a large appetite particularly when you bring them on the feed with groundbait and smaller particle baits. There are many effective hookbaits that can be used in conjunction;

Roach are extremely partial to seeds and pulses such as hemp and tares, and the majority of roach anglers will always have some hemp in their bait selection. It is available from most tackle shops in varying sizes but costs about a pound a pint. You can actually buy and boil your own hemp at home but be warned, this is an extremely pungent process and may not seem like such a good idea with others you live with! Hooking hemp can be awkward, but itís important to always ensure the hook point is showing. Tares are similar to hemp and work very well coupled together.

Dependent on the swim, elderberry can be a great bait particularly in the autumn. Check the surrounding environment and if there is an elderberry bush nearby or overhanging the water, than itís most likely the fish will feed on the berries. It is a super bait that is freely and easily accessible in quantity so always keep an angling eye out for it.

Stewed Wheat / Creed Wheat

This often neglected classic fishing bait is available from various animal feed stores but requires preparation. The wheat must be soaked and then boiled in order to get the grains to work well and stay on the hook (size 16 hook recommended). Itís qualities as a fishing bait cannot be denied and ĎCreed Wheatí was in the Allcocks Trade Catalogue since the early 1960ís! It is extremely cheap and the quantity you can get makes it ideal as loose feed. Pearl barley is a great alternative to creed wheat but also works very well in conjunction.


These are just a few of the many classic baits that are available that have been used to catch some of the best fish to date. Bait companies will continue to put new and improved baits on the market, but it is always worth experimenting with your own ideas to find new baits and tactics.