Beginner’s Guide to Using Pellets for Carp Fishing
If you’ve been catching carp on baits such as corn or bread, be ready to substantially increase your catch rate by implementing pellets for carp fishing into your arsenal. Pellets are a very versatile bait that pack a ton of attraction for many different species of fish. This guide will explain the ins and outs of successfully using Pellets for Carp Fishing.
I’ve used Carp Fishing Pellets for quite a few years, and they are now a go-to bait in my daily carp fishing routine. Whether pre-baiting a large area or just offering small PVA offerings of pellets, there are many ways to use this versatile carp fishing bait.
What are Pellets for Carp Fishing?
Carp fishing pellets come in a variety of different forms. They have varying characteristics that can be adapted to suit any fishing situation. An angler’s hardest choice is to find out which pellet will match the conditions they are faced with; hopefully, your choice will be made easier by learning the different characteristics of pellets below.
Carp Fishing Pellet Characteristics
Different forms of pellets suit different situations when carp fishing. There isn’t one type of pellet that suits every situation. To narrow down your choice, look for the pellets that apply to where or when you target carp. There is a pellet tailored for every situation; on the surface, mid-water column or the bottom.
Carp Fishing Pellet Size
Pellets come in various sizes, from tiny morsels to large hook bait sizes. Some companies offer a mix of pellets sizes in a single bag. This is an excellent option as it offers more flexibility in your baiting campaigns.
Carp Fishing Pellet Texture
Textures of Carp Fishing Pellets can vary between hard and soft, each with its uses. Hard pellets take longer to break down and will remain in the swim longer, while softer pellets break down quickly once introduced to the water and also make great pack baits.
Carp Fishing Pellet Flavour
Flavour is often the main reason an angler chooses a specific pellet to use. Popular flavours are fish flavoured, such as Marine Halibut and Trout Pellets. Like many other anglers, I match the pellet flavour to the hook baits I use.
Although not as regularly used, carrying a small tub of floating pellets can be beneficial. Especially when scouting for carp. Once they’re spotted, introducing a little PVA or Catapult offering of floating pellets can quickly stimulate a feeding frenzy.
Carp Fishing Pellet Colour
Carp Fishing Pellets come in basically two different colours; light or dark. Some brands make other colours, such as red and yellow, but most pellets are white or black.
Carp Fishing Pellet Consistency
Pellet consistency is important because it greatly affects the breakdown time. In colder water, you should opt for a lighter pellet; in warmer water, a dense pellet will last much longer. Consistency mainly involves optimizing the bait for the conditions you’re fishing.
Sinking pellets are the most readily available and most used pellets for carp fishing. Carp normally feed on the bottom, and mixing pellets with other baits, such as boilies and other particles fed on the bottom, is best.
Slow Sinking Pellets
Rarely used for actually fishing but mainly for feeding fish are slow-sinking pellets. Normally used by trout farmers and stocked lakes, slow-sinking pellets can work quite well for carp actively feeding or cruising certain areas.
As you can see, the characteristics of pellets are quite beneficial for any carp fishing session. There are different types, and when used properly, they will significantly increase your success on the bank.
How to Use Pellets for Carp Fishing?
Due to the size of pellets for carp fishing, it can be difficult to think of ways to use them in your day-to-day fishing. Most pellets are too small to be used as hook baits, so are often overlooked by many anglers. Often only thought of as a food source for commercially grown fish, pellets can be used in many ways to attract and catch more carp.
Tips and Tricks for Using Pellets Effectively for Carp Fishing
There are many ways to use pellets for carp fishing. Although there are countless ways to use them, outlined below are the most popular tactics that I’ve had success with over the years.
Pre-Baiting with Pellets
Boilies and corn can sometimes stand out on the bottom and be easy pickings for waterfowl such as ducks and coots. Pellets tend to blend in and take carp much longer to clean up.
Glug Pellets with Liquid Attractants
Pellets pair perfectly with liquid attractants made specifically for carp fishing. Pellets readily absorb oils and liquids. Instead of just washing off, pellets hold the flavour and slowly release it over time.
Use Pellets in PVA Mesh
A small offering of Pellets in a PVA Mesh Bag or Stick is a great way to attract a quick bite. A popular tactic used in early spring or late fall when heavy baiting campaigns are not in use.
Using Pellets as Hook Baits
Larger Pellets normally come pre-drilled with a hole in the middle. This allows anglers to use them as hook baits. Pellets tend to break down quickly, so it is encouraged to use an additional rubber band to hold them in place longer.
Mix Pellets with other Baits
Mixing pellets with baits such as corn or tiger nuts will allow the flavour of the pellet to soak into all the bait once prepared and combined. This will create a more attractive mix overall.
Match Other Flavours
I like to match my pellet flavours to other popular baits I use, such as boilies and stick mixes. Once carp get used to a certain flavour, they will return to it over and over.
Using Floating Pellets for Carp
On warm sunny days when large schools of carp can be seen basking or cruising just below the surface. A small offering of Floating Pellets can quickly create a feeding frenzy.
Pellets as Pack Bait
Some pellets, such as expanders, readily accept liquids and quickly expand into almost a paste form. Anglers can soak their pellets in a pail of water, add some other particles and make a soft mix that can be used as a Pack Bait when required.
For more information on how to get pellets accurately into the swim, check out our Beginner’s Guide to Baiting for Carp Fishing.
Why are Pellets so Effective for Carp Fishing?
Carp Fishing Pellets are designed to slowly release attractants into the water column to provide a large area of attraction and easily attract passing carp to your swim. Overall, Carp Fishing Pellets can be classified into two different categories.
Water-Based Flavoured Pellets
Water-Based Flavouring will sink to the bottom and create a carpet of attraction around the area you’re fishing. Great for low-pressure overcast days when fish are glued to the bottom.
Oil-Based Flavoured Pellets
Oil-Based Flavouring is more apt to rise through the water column and pull fish down to your hook baits. Great for high-pressure sunny days when fish cruise higher in the water column.
As you can see, depending on your situation, you can easily decide which type of carp fishing pellet is the most effective.
What are Carp Fishing Pellets Made Out Of?
Many different ingredients go into the making of Pellets for Carp Fishing. Fish Meal, Soya, Wheat, Vitamins, Amino Acids, Protein, Nutrients and Fish Oils are common ingredients in most pellets. Flavours and Dyes are how most brands differentiate their pellet offerings.
Different Types of Pellets for Carp Fishing
Different types of pellets will contain different ingredients, the pellets listed below aren’t all specifically tailored to carp but will work in any fishing situation. Pellets are packed with flavour and nutrition normally used for feeding fish in stocked lakes, thus making them a great option to stimulate a feeding response and catch more fish.
Slow sinking and normally used on trout ponds, trout pellets attract carp and entice them to feed.
We all know hemp is irresistible to carp, and hemp pellets are a great way to stimulate a feeding response.
Soft Feed Pellets
Normally used for match fishing, soft feed pellets ooze attraction for enticing that quick bite. Optimally used with a method feeder, soft feed pellets compress and form nicely around hook baits.
Halibut Pellets are fish-flavoured pellets that are irresistible to carp. Every brand has this flavour.
One of the most readily available and cost-effective pellets are corn pellets. They break down quickly and are great when used with oils.
Purchased dry, these pellets require a bit of prep to use correctly. Adding a bit of water with cause these pellets to expand and be usable as a hook bait or feed.
Specifically designed with carp in mind, these are optimized to sink fast and offer lots of nutrition.
Carp anglers are lucky to have so much variety in the bait that is available, popular boilie flavours are also available in pellets.
As mentioned above, floating pellets are best for warm, calm days. If used in windy conditions or rivers, these pellets can quickly move away and hinder your fishing.
As you can see, there are many types of pellets for many carp fishing situations. Most of these pellets are optimized for match fishing but can be tailored to use in any carp fishing situation.
Best Brands of Pellets for Carp Fishing
There are many different brands of carp fishing pellets, all of which work great for carp fishing. It can be difficult to get ahold of most brands here in North America, but I prefer the pellets listed below from the brands I’ve tried.
DT Baits Pellets
With a full range of flavours to choose from, I enjoy the convenience of easily matching pellets with boilies from DT Baits. DT also sells packs with multiple-sized pellets that offer a more well-rounded baiting option.
Dynamite Baits Pellets
One of the go-to brands for carp fishing pellets. Dynamite Baits have been around for ages and are one of the most popular pellets producers in carp fishing. Their Marine Halibut or Swim Stim Range of Pellets are very popular.
Munch Baits Pellets
Munch Baits now offers various pellets for carp fishing. It’s nice to see they come in a resealable tub for quick and easy use. Although not available in as many forms as the previous brands, keep an eye out for future offerings.
If you live in the UK or Europe, there will be a greater selection of brands that offer pellets for carp fishing. These are the top three if you’re located in North America. They can be found at the retailers listed below.
Where to Buy Pellets for Carp Fishing?
Although it can be difficult to find most brands due to strict importing laws, it’s nice to see some manufacturers taking the added steps to provide quality pellets and carp bait through North American retailers.
The leading three retailers of carp fishing pellets in Canada and the USA are Carpkit, Big Carp Tackle and Monster Carp Tackle. Depending on your location, you can research and choose the most cost-effective solution for shipping and price.
We hope this article has helped educate you on the uses and benefits of using Pellets for Carp Fishing. Check out our Carp Fishing Bait Section for further information and other helpful articles.