Top Winter Carp Fishing Baits Tips

06 Jan 19


Winter carp fishing is very different than other seasons and you must adjust your baiting approach if you want to catch carp.

During these much colder month's the carp are more lethargic and do not feed as much as say in the summer months. Use the following bait ideas for winter carp fishing to catch more carp. 

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Bright baits

During the winter the carp are not feeding as much and so you need to ensure you add maximum attraction to your hook bait. I will always carry a pot of white and pink bright fluoro pop-up boilies which seem to be the colours that anglers just keep catching carp with including myself and what I would class as the best winter boilie.

Mainline baits actually sell these two colours in a single pot which just emphasises my point. The pop-up nature of these carp baits will allow for the hook bait to sit up in the water adding more attraction to temp a big carp into taking.

winter carp fishing tips


Maggots are one of the best carp fishing baits and you must carry a few pints of these when winter carp fishing. 

I like to attach a few maggots along with some plastic imitation maggots to a clip as my main hook bait on a simple hair rig. This will be accompanied with a PVA bag stuffed with maggots that will get the carp feeding. You can pretty much cast this PVA bag anywhere which I like in the colder weather. 

I find that I have landed some very big carp using this maggot approach which I believe is caused by the smaller carp feeding over an area of maggots and the big carp wanting to see what is going on. You will find bigger carp sit back from a baited area and are warier. As a side tip, I will always place a rod off my baited area to try and land one of these big carp sitting back but this tip is better for the warmer months where you will be fishing over a heavily baited area, I would avoid doing this in winter due to the carp not feeding as much.

This maggot method can also attract nuisance fish which is the downside of using maggots and so I tend to use them at venues that have less silver fish. 


Sweetcorn is another fantastic, cheap and versatile bait to use all year round but especially when winter carp fishing. I like to fish with a combination of larger pieces of corn and imitation sweetcorn on my hair rig which keeps the bait in place much longer. The bright yellow colour of sweetcorn is something that stands out and will attract carp.

I have found that this cheap bait does more often than not land me big carp and so you should always carry a tin of sweetcorn in your tackle bag.


When winter carp fishing the water temperatures obviously drop and the carp can be found in the upper layers of water, these layers tend to be a more consistent temperature that carp will look for. Based on this, bread is a simple, cheap and effective bait that can be fished zig rig style and popped up in these layers.

An adjustable zig rig using bread can be a devastating method to catch carp in winter. Simply take some thick-sliced white bread and compact this into balls to attach to a hair.

I would start just under the surface of the water and as you reel in line this will lower where the bait sits in the water. Keep track of where in the water you are fishing i.e. two turns of the reel and this will allow you to get back to the same layer of water when you find the carp and start getting bites.

the best winter boilie

Glugs and Attractors

I like to enhance my baits during winter and tend to dip my hook bait in Mainline bait enhancers to add that extra attraction to temp a big carp. If I am using plastic imitation bait I have them soaking in these bait glugs well before my winter carp fishing session to allow the plastic to really absorbed the flavours. I usually have a pineapple flavour but you should experiment with any flavour you like and see what works at your venue.

In the colder water, you will find the flavours solubility is lower, meaning the flavour is not as potent. Based on this I tend to over flavour my baits to compensate which allows the flavours to be pungent enough when in the water.


Using these tried and tested winter carp fishing baits will ensure you have the best chance at catching carp in cold weather of winter.

Try to make your hook bait stand out as much as possible by making it bright and full of flavour that the carp cannot resist. Try natural baits such as maggots, bread and sweetcorn which will exude lots of smells that the carp love.

Remember to try adjustable zig rigs and fish in different layers of water, you'll be surprised by this method during winter carp fishing sessions.

See you next time

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