How to catch carp

Carp are easy to catch, even from the shore! No need for a boat when it comes to these fish at Lake Eildon.

The simplest way to catch carp is with a bunch of worms or several corn kernels threaded on to a small hook. Tinned corn kernels from the supermarket are cheap and convenient.

Carp love foraging in shallow water close the shore so catching them does not require special rods, reels or line. A handline will catch carp from the shore if that’s all you have.

Any sized hook capable of holding a few worms or corn kernels will do. A small running sinker, about the size of a pea, is sufficient to cast 10 metres. The bait does need to be on the bottom, which is where carp feed. Their vacuum-like mouth is perfectly designed to pick up prey items off the bottom, so that’s ideally where you want your worms or corn.

Carp also feed on the surface at times and float fishing for them is a fun way to involve the kids because it is so visual. Worms and corn are fine again as baits.

Whatever method you choose, ensure your rod is firmly placed into a rod holder. Metal ones that are pushed into soft lake-side soil are ideal. Carp are strong and when they take a bait they tend to swim fast and take off. Many fishers have lost rods to carp as they’ve eaten the bait and dragged a poorly secured rod and reel into the water.

Carp are occasionally taken on trolled and cast lures, but more as a by-catch than anything.

A simple spinning outfit is perfect for carp. A 6 foot rod and 2500 size reel spooled with 8-20lb line is fine. No need for fancy braided lines with carp, but if that’s what your reels are carrying already then they’re fine too.

Click here for catch limits on carp.