A very effective bait to target common carp is boilies. Although it may seem like a foreign concept to fisherman from North America, many anglers from Europe know how to use boilies to catch carp. They are a very unique bait choice. Many of us are used to using corn but it is banned in many places. The boilie is the essential carp bait no angler should forget about.

They are cheap to buy or you can make them yourself. The best part about using boilies is their effectiveness. They make up more common carp catches than every other carp bait put together. Not only that, you can catch carp of the biggest size on them too. They just work excellently.

There are a few ways to rig them for success and they all work. Even so, there is a particular method that we suggest you try out first because it it simple and easy to put together. You can make sure to learn about everything you can do in the sport after you try a hair rig. We think it is the best boilie fishing rig for carp because its an effective, easy, and cheap method to catch fish.

What Are Boilies And What Are They Designed To Catch?

Boilies are boiled balls of dough that are used for carp fishing. They are made out of flour and eggs as well as other additives and attractants to give them more appeal. As odd as it may sound, these boiled balls of dough come in many different sizes, shapes, colors, and flavors. This can make it very hard to decide which ones will work best for the area where you fish.

Generally speaking, they are the best carp fishing bait in the world. Their success was first discovered by European carp anglers that would use them to catch carp regularly. Boilies generally comes in colors such as blue, yellow, white, pink. brown, and pretty much every other color in the rainbow. The market is absolutely flooded with thousands of different products.

As far as flavors go, popular flavors include exotic sweets like berry and banana to more traditional and natural offerings like squid, crab, crayfish. They also come as small as an inch all the way up to huge four inch models and bigger which can be used to target the biggest females that swim. The boilie is not the best carp bait choice in the world on accident.

Boileis on a wooden surface with a hair rig and corn.

What Flavor Is The Most Effective? Is There Just One?

There are so many different flavors on the market. For the fish with a sweet tooth, there is banana, pineapple, mango, plum, and other fruity flavors as well as chocolate and even peppermint. For those who want to keep bait selection more natural, consider choices like crab, crayfish, squid, fish oil, tuna, and halibut. Common carp as well as grass carp have a sweet tooth.

Since they are foragers by nature, they are used to eating berries and other things that fall out of trees. Generally, the sweeter it is the better. One of the most popular flavors is called tutti frutti. This particular one has accounted for a ton of catches. How do you select the right flavor though? The simple answer? You don’t. I would love to mention how one flavor works so much better than another that I can recommend it first but this is just not how it works.

A flavor that may work for me may not work for you or where you live. Realistically, there is no simple answer. The simplest way to put it is to use a flavor that you are confident in. You have to try a few different ones first and then decide which one is your favorite. They all catch carp but fish have different preferences based on where they live, the conditions of their water, their human interaction and if humans feed them, the list goes on and on. Fish attractants do work.

What Size Is Best? Does The Size Of The Boilies Matter?

There is a certain factor that I believe is not talked about near enough in carp fishing. I cannot stress the importance of having the right size boilie on your hook. For those who want to say it does not make a difference one way or the other, I would love for them to come on a fishing trip with me so I can show them what a difference it is. Enormous sizes do not always catch enormous fish and very small ones do not always catch the smallest in the lake.

You will likely have a mixed bag leaning more towards the smaller or bigger end with one being more than the other. A thing you need to remember about sizes is visibility. Almost always, a bigger bait means it’s easier to see and a smaller bait means it’s harder to see. A very popular technique is to make a snowman rig which consists of a few different sizes all being different colors. If a fish does not grab one, it’ll try to grab one of the others and grab them all at once.

This can get a fish to notice the taste and texture of food it can’t see. It is helpful for when you are chumming up in area and the fish just aren’t committing to eating at the moment. Making them take a bite can get them in a feeding mood. In the wild, survival is the name of the game and its very hard to find any animal that will pass up a meal on purpose just because they can.

Shelf Life Boilies Vs Frozen Or Perishables? Which One?

There are two main types. One is perishable and the other is not. If you want to keep perishable ones available  before your next fishing trip, you are going to need  to freeze them to keep them from going bad. The other variety can last on the shelf for a very long time. This is why they call them shelf life boilies. The shelf life varieties are loaded with preservatives and other agents.

They help preserve and keep them fresh over long periods of time. Generally speaking, the shelf life variety is firmer and harder than frozen and they dissolve slower. A downside is that they are also harder for the carp to digest and they do not leave as much scent in the water. Personally, I believe that the shelf life versions are better and more efficient. They do not go bad, it takes no freezing, and they still work extremely well. I think it should be the standard that all carp anglers use shelf life baits exclusively. They are just more versatile and more efficient to you.

What Color Of Boilie Should I be Using To Catch Carp?

The very first thing you need to understand is that color does matter. Color absolutely effects your success. Even so, it seems that there are over 100,000 different colors for you to choose from. While it is true that boilies come in absolutely every color of the rainbow, there are a few that tend to work regardless of where they swim. These colors are standard for the bait.

Those colors are yellow, pink, white, and red. Yellow colored ones are usually my first pick because they are the same color as sweet corn which is the second best carp bait. It looks like a very huge corn kernel. This is especially true when the boilie is corn flavored and scented. Pink is also a very nice color because it is very easy to see. It sticks out and this intrigues the fish.

A lot of different colored carp boilies on a wooden table.

Pink ones look more like a berry or a piece of bubblegum. Anglers don’t use them as often so it shows them something new. White is certainly the absence of a color but the nice thing about white is its ability to match any terrain. White ones tend to stain easily and soak up color quickly. This can mean very natural-looking presentations. It is also highly visible in the water.

Red is a more exotic color although still effective. Red may resemble blood, earthworm, crayfish, or cherries and strawberries. It is also very effective but make sure to use it in clear water.
Your color selection should be pretty easy. Choose the right color depending on the water clarity. You can have yellow in all water, white is effective in clear and slightly dingy water, pink will work in the dirtiest water, and red can be used whenever you feel like it.

If you are nit picky about color selection, I believe carrying these four colors will cover everything that you could come across on the water. Give all of them a try to see what works best for you at your location. Baits with multiple colors work even better.

What Shape Is Best? Does Shape Even Matter At All?

There are a few different shapes to choose from. Your most common and traditional carp shop shelf life bait is generally spherical and represents a ball or circle almost perfectly. Of course nothing is completely round but for the most part, they have the same basic round shape.

The round ones are the most popular and are the ones that catch the most fish because people use them much more. They are not the only shapes on the market though. Next, there are pellets. They look more like a short cylinder with a hole on each end. These are also called dumbbells by many. These can be effective when everyone else is using a standard round one.

Just a slight difference in shape can get you the bite. Next, there are pillows. When you mix up dough, extract it out of the gun, then you can slice them without any shaping at all. This results in a pillow that can also be very effective. Lastly, there are custom shapes. These are the ones that are not commercially produced. They are made by the angler. Cubes, pyramids, disks, and many other shapes like stars are easy to produce with a cookie cutter and are just plain fun.

Pop Ups And Sinking Boilies – How They Are Different

There is a difference between pop-ups and bottom boilies. A pop-up floats. A bottom boilie sinks Like a rock straight to the bottom. Pop-ups are equally as diverse as their sinking counterparts. Really, this is the only difference. Pop-ups are helpful because they are easier to find as they hover over the bottom. A very common practice is to use a pop-up as the hook bait.

Then, you can chum with the more traditional sinking versions. As the fish move in to forage, they see one floating and can’t help but to pick it up. The entire subject of sinking versus pop-ups are a whole different debate that can be talked about for weeks. In the manufacturing process, bottom baits are made with the same exact dough but they are cooked another way.

Do Brand Names Actually Matter For Commercial Boilies?

There are many different manufacturers that produce this awesome carp bait and realistically speaking, they all work. When it comes to picking and choosing brand names as well as makes and models with product codes included, you need to understand that only you can decide what works best. Does it matter if an identical twin from another country catches all his fish on a certain brand name and model? If this doesn’t work in your area, you need to try something else.

Every store manager in every warehouse is of the opinion that they are better than the competition. Because of many competitors trying to make there’s better all the time, you can always be sure that brand name doesn’t make much of a difference in the end. It is up to you to try all of the flavors and brand names and decide for yourself.

You can always try to stick with the more popular names in the industry who make a really good impact. Brands such as Dynamite baits, Ccmoore, Carptech, Advanta, Sonubaits and others are very popular with carp enthusiasts and this is because they work so well on numbers of fish.

How To Use Boilies To Catch Common Carp Very Easily

Now that we know what boilies are, now it is best to suggest how you are supposed to use them. Using them has a host of criteria to consider first. The most popular method of attaching one to your hook is going to be to use a hair rig. A hair rig is a very popular carp fishing rig where the bait rest on a piece of line beside the hook called the hair.

The bait does now actually touch the hook itself. it is effective because it allows the carp to pick up the bait and mouth it a little bit without detecting anything suspicious. If you cannot use a hair rig, it is no problem. You can always just hook one onto a single hook. The hair rig is recommended because it is more stealthy and could not be simpler to tie. All you really need is a baiting needle and a bait stop. This can create a hugely effective rig that produces year round.

A hair rig inside a hand with a boilie and a hook.

How To Tie A Hair Rig For Common Carp Fishing Success

The hair rig has a few different steps. All of the steps are very straightforward and easy to remember. If you practice enough, you can tie a hair rig from pure muscle memory.

  1. First, cut off a piece of leader material or some of your current fishing line and tie a very small surgeon’s loop on the end. The smaller you can get it, the better. This will be the loop that you hook onto the baiting needle.
  2. Next, pass the baiting needle through the center of the boilie after piercing through it. Make sure to do this gently to avoid breaking or damaging the bait or needle.
  3. Hook the small surgeon’s loop onto the end of the baiting needle until it rests inside the little groove. The little groove should catch the loop and secure it.
  4.  Pull the baiting needle back through the boilie the same way you went in. If you did it right, you should have a length of line with a small surgeon’s loop inside the center of the bait. This is the exact spot where your bait stop will go onto the hair rig to secure the bait.
  5. Insert a bait stop and pull the boilie until it is snug.
  6. After this, tie a carp hook onto the leader using a knotless knot. Once this is done, you can tie a loop on the end to make it easy to take on and off your rod. Attach it to the main line with a snap swivel, a quick clip, or tie another loop and use a cow hitch knot.

Is It Possible To Make These Yourself And Catch Fish?

You actually can make boilies yourself and the recipe to do so is not very difficult at all. The main two components you need to create your own homemade dough is flour and eggs. Everything else is extra. Measurements and ingredients are usually personal and I have seen so may different ways to make them. I have seen people use normal bread flour, shredded wheat, eggs, fish meal, fish oil, corn, attractant, and even fishing scent. I have also seen soda and beer.

I have even seen fresh fruit and fruit juice used in preparation. To answer the question, yes you can make these yourself instead of buying. The mass produced ones had to be made somehow. The only thing about making them at home is shaping them. If you want a nice round form, you need to do it by hand until all the dough is used up which takes a long time. The only other alternative is to purchase a boilie roller and use it. Making them is more work but it can be done.

Conclusion – Using Boilies To Catch Carp Is Pretty Easy

To sum it all up, there is nothing very difficult about using boilies for carp fishing. All you really have to do is consider the right size, color, and flavor. Everything else should just fall into place. All that is left to do is put it on a hair rig and give it a cast. Another helpful tip is to throw some handfuls around your hook so that it gets the fish feeding. It may not be complicated but it certainly does work well. Now you have a chance to get out and catch some GREAT carp!

What is your favorite way of boilie fishing? Drop us a comment down below so we can keep the conversation going and to be a part of our community! We would love to hear from you!

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