You’ll find that fishing for carp in the warmer months is very different to fishing for carp throughout the winter. It’s fair to say that it requires a completely different approach in tactics and bait. That’s why when the warmer weather arrives, we’re regularly asked ‘what bait to use for carp in summer?’.
There are plenty of baits to try and in all honesty, the summer months are when carp are least fussy, so they can be caught on almost anything edible that will stay on the hook!
However, at this time of year, there are certain baits that come onto their own. So let’s take a look at what they are:
Sloppy Spod Mix
In the summer months, carp love to spend their time in the upper layers of the water. By this time, we’ve had our fair share of hot days and that sun will have been warming up the upper layers for months.
Carp cruising under the surface is a common sight, but how to you stop them in their tracks?
You could try and have a go at surface fishing, but another solution would be to try zig rigs with a sloppy spod mix over the top.
A sloppy spod mix (or cloudy as some people call it) is essentially a mix of fine particles, ground baits and carp fishing liquids that provide a slop-like consistency when mixed together.
The key benefit here is that a sloppy spod mix will cloud up the water, with various particles slowly fluttering through water column. It’s a sure-fire way of stopping cruising carp in their tracks or even attracting carp into the upper layers.
Position a zig rig in amongst your cloudy spod mix and you’ll be in with a great chance of a bite.
Sloppy Spod Mix Ingredients
To try this method, you can go to your local tackle shop and pick up a ‘ready-made’ bag, but in our experience they are quite expensive, especially if you want to top up your swim on a regular basis.
Instead you can opt to create your own using a few household ingredients and a food processor. Just mix the whole lot together and spod it over your zig rigs. Here’s your list of sloppy spod mix ingredients:
- Porridge Oats
- White Bread
- Micro Pellets
- Evaporated Milk
An all year round great, boilies are excellent when it comes to what bait to use for carp in summer.
Whilst people tend to use them sparingly in the winter, due to being quit a dense food source, carp are much more active in summer and for that reason their daily food requirement increases.
Providing plenty of nutrients, carp will often single out boilies as a key food source throughout the summer months. For that reason, it’s always worth having them as part of your free offerings and hookbaits.
There are plenty of boilies to choose from on the market, with hundreds of ingredients and base mixes.
As a general rule of thumb, oily fishmeal based boilies are better in the warmer months, whereas milky, nut-based boilies are better for winter.
This is because as water temperatures warm, oily fishmeal based boilies become much more soluble, breaking down faster and becoming much easier for carp to digest.
They also give off plenty of attraction too, as the oils leaks out into the water. This is often seen as a slick on the surface of the water; a sure sign that there are feeding fish on your spot!
Consider ‘Active’ Boilies
A rarely new phenomenon in the world of carp bait is ‘Active’ Boilies. They are essentially boilies with a soft outer-coating. Designed to break down in the water faster than a traditional boilie, the outer coating provides added attraction to any carp passing by.
It’s essentially the same way that anglers used to wrap their boilies in paste, albeit packaged up and marketed better by the carp bait companies.
Now there’s one thing for sure with most baiting strategies; you’re not just feeding the carp.
On most carp lakes in the UK, you’ve got birdlife and nuisance species to deter, never mind having to avoid crayfish when carp fishing!
Fishing over a bed of boilies for 48 hours can soon hammer your bank balance. As an alternative, add particle to your mix.
Particles are cheap depending on which mixes you go for, and carp absolutely love them.
Packed full of all sorts of natural seeds, particles keep carp grubbing around on the lakebed for hours, in comparison to a kilo of boilies which can be inhaled in minutes!
Particles are an excellent way to bulk out your carp bait for cheap, adding plenty of attraction to yours swim.
Typically, particles are sold in various mixes, and you’ll find that the ones including hemp seed or tiger nuts tend to be the most expensive.
Bags can be bought pre-cooked or dry which you can then cook yourself. A word of note here is be sure to cook your particles thoroughly. Failure to do so can be devastating for carp.
Needing little introduction, bread in synonymous with carp fishing in summer!
An ultra-versatile bait, carp have been caught on bread for hundreds of years.
Use it on the bottom, or for surface fishing, a piece of bread is rarely resisted by a passing carp.
Typically used for close-quarter fishing, using bread is an exhilarating way to fish, especially if you can see a carp approach your hookbait.
Standing out against a murky lakebed, a large chunk of bread is great for stalking situations where you can see the bottom. Alternatively, use it in a surface fishing scenario amongst some floating bread flake.
Either way, it’s well worth carrying a cheap loaf of thick white bread when carp fishing in the summer.
The only downside to bread is it’s reliability as a hook bait, which is why we only tend to use it for more visual fishing scenarios.
The use of bread has really come on in recent years though with the invention of the Bread Bomb by Nash. Designed to keep bread on the hook for longer, the Bread Bomb is essentially an elasticated band that can be slid down the shank of the hook.
Known for their high buoyancy, dog biscuits are certainly on the list of best carp baits for summer.
Predominantly used for surface fishing, dog biscuits have been the downfall of some of the UK’s biggest and trickiest to catch carp in the last 30 years.
We’re not quite sure who first thought it would be good to try a dog biscuit on the hook, but fair play to them!
There really is nothing more exciting that catching a carp off the surface. However, you do need the right bait, and that’s where dog biscuits come in.
Dog biscuits offer the perfect balance between being buoyant for long periods and being able to easily attach them to a hook. They’re fairly aerodynamic too, so ideal for putting out with a catapult.
One thing to note though is that there are many variants of dog biscuits, and some just won’t make the cut.
Typically, you’re going to want to find the square ‘mixer’ style or Pedigree Chum Mixer to be precise. Possibly not as popular as they used to be, I have struggled to find them in local super markets in recent years.
Fear not though, as your local pets at home have huge buckets full which you can dip in to.
Improving Your Dog Biscuits
Something I like to do when fishing with dog biscuits is to boost them.
What I mean by boosting is essentially adding more oils and flavours to give off more attraction.
I do this by adding a light coating of salmon oil to my free offerings.
I also like to mix in some smaller pellets for variation, such as the Nash Riser Pellets.
Fishing for carp in the summer is definitely easier than the colder months. The beauty of it is with the fish being more active, you have more scope for trying new things.
Hopefully these tips have opened your eyes to a few new baiting methods to try when things start to heat up. Tight lines!
About the writer
I’m Rob, Carp Squad’s main contributor. I’ve been carp fishing on and off for 15 years, but the bug is well and truly back at the moment. Hopefully the articles I write on here help you put more carp on the bank!