Guide to Carp Fishing with Bread

Guide to Using Bread as Carp Fishing Bait

One of the most underrated methods of targeting carp is using Bread as Carp Fishing Bait. It is cheap, readily available and very effective for fishing. When people think of carp fishing bait they usually first think of boilies and corn. Boilies due to the amount of money spent on marketing them and corn due to its overwhelming versatility as a great carp bait.

Is Bread the Best Carp Fishing Bait?

Bread can be used in many different situations when carp fishing. It can be just as effective as corn or boilies and is definitely ranked among the top three baits I use for carp fishing. It can be used alone to target carp on the surface, it can be mixed with pack baits and particle baits to attract carp on the bottom and it also makes an excellent hook bait when presented by itself as outlined in the article below.

Bread as Carp Bait
Bread as Carp Fishing Bait

Although mainstream carp fishing baits such as boilies and pellets produce a lot of successful carp sessions, many anglers often overlook the tried and true simple methods. One such method is using a plain old loaf of bread for carp fishing. This article will cover the tips and tricks employed to successfully land carp on this tried and true simple carp bait.

Tips for Using Bread as Carp Fishing Bait:

Why Use Bread as Carp Fishing Bait?

Bread can be a very effective carp fishing bait, before the invention of boilies and hair rigs it was one of the most used baits for carp fishing.

Bread is Readily Available

Found at any grocery store this type of carp bait is available to anyone. On the way to any fishing hole, anglers can simply stop at their local supermarket and pick up a fresh loaf.

Bread is Cheap

Let’s face it carp angling can be quite an expensive hobby, especially if you fish with premium store-bought baits on every session. Luckily there are cheaper alternatives to anglers on a budget. (Such as myself.) Although food prices increase every year, anglers can always check out the discount section of their local bakery to reduce the cost even more.

Fish Love Bread

Almost any type of fish will be attracted to bread. Some species more so than others. I remember trapping minnows with my dad when I was growing up. I was skeptical at first when he just tossed a single piece of bread into the minnow trap and left it overnight. I was amazed at the number of different species of minnows that we found in the trap as we hoisted it the next morning. Just remember that carp, although very large, are still classified as a minnow!

Bread Absorbs and Holds Attractants

If you’re using any sort of attractant for carp fishing, bread is a perfect way to deploy them. Once bread crumbs are soaked in the scent or liquid attractant they will hold onto it and disperse it slowly over time which is ideal when carp fishing.

Bread is a Bright Colour

If you use white bread it can be a highly visible carp bait. The white bread will stand out against the dark vegetation and substrate found in most waters. Especially in murky waters where carp are actively feeding. When the sun hits the white bread it will almost give off a whitish glow in the surrounding water.

Bread Has a Soft Texture

One of the main advantages over other baits is the soft texture of bread. Once a carp inhales the bread portion of your hook bait it is less likely to spit it out as it is a soft edible texture. Carp will mouth the bait for longer and increase the chances of having the perfect hook set as they swim off tasting the bait.

There are many aspects of Bread that make it the Ideal Carp Fishing Bait.

When is it Best to Use Bread for Carp Fishing?

It is almost always a good idea to use bread every time you go carp fishing. Most anglers today use boilies or corn as their main carp fishing baits. Adding bread to your list of tactics can change things up on high pressured waters and give your setup an edge over other anglers.

Even though I mainly use corn and boilies to target carp, I always bring bread crumbs along. I find bread adds a certain scent to the water that fish easily hone in on. Whether adding it to pack bait or using small PVA bags, you will always find me targeting carp with bread sprinkled around my choice hook baits.

Where to Use Bread as Carp Fishing Bait?

Bread can be used as carp bait in almost any situation but some areas are better than others.

Calm Water

Small ponds, lakes and bays are ideal for targeting carp with bread. The bread will stay in the area you’re fishing as there is minimal current or water flow to move it around.

When Carp are Showing Near the Surface

If I see a lot of carp cruising in the shallows, I can’t pass up the opportunity to cast out a single piece of bread on an intercept course. One of the most exciting aspects of carp fishing is watching a big fish inhale your bait.

Waters with High Fishing Pressure

On lakes where carp are regularly targeted the fish can start to shy away from common baits such as corn or boilies. This is where bread can turn a quiet day into a flurry of activity on the bank.

Slow Streams with Back Eddys

If you can target a slow-moving part of a river or stream with bread, it can turn out to be quite productive. The bread or bread crumbs will often circle around on the edges of the current seams, thus drawing in curious fish to the movement.

Where “NOT” to Use Bread as Carp Bait?

There are a few situations in which I will avoid using bread as carp bait.

Areas with a Combination of Waterfowl and Shallow Water

Under these circumstances, I will not use bread. The amount of waterfowl you will attract will cause more issues than the amount of fish you will catch. If there is deeper water I will still use bread as some people tend to feed ducks and geese thus making carp in the area accustomed to eating free offerings that sink out of the reach of birds.

Areas with Fast Flowing Water

Such as the main channels in rivers. It can be quite difficult to bait accurately with bread in fast-flowing water. The current will most likely sweep away all the free offerings you put in. In these areas, it is better to stick with boilies and particles that are larger in size. The larger particle baits will descend to the bottom quicker and your bait pile will be more compact.

How to Use Bread as Carp Fishing Bait?

Bread makes quite the versatile carp fishing bait. As stated above it can be fished in many different ways to suit the different situations that carp anglers face.

Surface Fishing with Bread

A single piece of bread can be very effective at targeting carp in shallow water on the surface. Bread makes the perfect presentation when casting out gently in front of showing fish. Where some baits and leads crash into the water spooking fish, the bread will set down gently on the surface and slowly move as it absorbs water. In my experience, any carp that notices the soft plop of a piece of bread almost always comes in to investigate the morsel.

Bread Mixed in Pack Bait

Bread it one of the main ingredients of all my pack baits. It creates the perfect fluffy base for my mixes. I find if things are too wet I add more bread crumbs, if it is too dry I simply add a little bit of water or other liquid until it all binds together.

Bread as a Bottom Bait

Another very effective tactic is to make small bread balls and fish them just as you would a bottom bait such as a boilie or pop-up. At first, the bread will float but as it absorbs water over time it will sink and rest gently on the bottom or on any weed below it. Carp tend to waft the bottom as they feed and the bread will float easily and attract the fish’s attention when they investigate the area.

Bread is the Simplest of Particle Baits

Breadcrumbs used in conjunction with PVA Mesh or PVA Bags can create a very attractive bait for carp fishing. Once the PVA dissolves, the bread will be presented perfectly around your hook bait. It clouds up nicely and creates a little bit of movement which will attract more fish to your bait.

How to Prepare Bread for Carp Fishing?

As stated above there are many different ways to use bread for carp fishing. Each method requires different preparation.

Preparing Bread for Use as a Surface Bait

This is the most straightforward method and not much preparation is required. A simple tip I follow is to always ensure part of the crust is left on the bread when surface fishing. The crust will be more durable once it becomes wet and will be more efficient for a surface presentation. The crust will also absorb water more slowly thus floating for a longer duration.

Nash Tackle Bread Bomb

If you’re having difficulty keeping bread on your hook when surface fishing, check out the Bread Bomb from Nash Tackle. A simple and easy method to ensure the bread stays on your hook every cast. Nash Bread Bomb. Or simply use a rubber band.

Preparing Bread for Use as a Hook Bait

It can be tricky at times to get a dense consistency when packing bread to use as a hook bait. The best method that I’ve come across is to use a syringe to compress the bread into a cylindrical form.

  • I simply cut off the tip end of the syringe.
  • Remove the plunger and place the tip end against your hand or flat surface.
  • Fill the tube partially with fresh bread crumbs.
  • I then add in a boilie as a hook bait. This is because the bread will break down over time once underwater. It is beneficial to have a boilie threaded onto the hair of your rig in the middle of the bread ball.
  • Fill the rest of the tube with the desired amount of bread crumbs.
  • Insert the plunger and press firmly down onto the hard surface or palm of your hand.
  • Pop the perfectly formed hook bait out and thread it onto your hair rig, ensuring the needle passes through the boilie in the middle.

Preparing Bread for Use in a Pack Bait Mix

When I mix my pack baits I tend to use four main ingredients; corn, flavouring, water and bread.

  • In a bucket mix corn, flavouring and bread crumbs.
  • Add water slowly until the right consistency is reached.
  • You don’t want the mix to be too wet or it will be sloppy and messy.
  • You also don’t want a mix that is too dry or it won’t hold together and crumble when cast.
Bread Hook Bait
Making Bread Hookbaits

If your mix ends up too wet and you no longer have any more bread crumbs to add to the mix. Simply make some balls of bait and let them sit in the sun for a bit. They will dry and harden somewhat making them hold together better.

Tips for Preparing Bread for Use as a Particle Bait

The main key to using bread in particle bait mixes is to keep it dry. I find breadcrumbs work the best. Dryness is important so that the moisture doesn’t break down PVA materials. If your bread is really fresh and quite moist you can soak it in PVA-friendly liquids or simply tie bags as you need them.

The majority of the bread I use requires a bit of preparation. Unless I’m surface fishing I will blend all of my bread into a nice fluffy consistency. You don’t want to over blend it or you end up with a powder and you don’t want large chunks or they will float on the surface and attract nuisance birds such as ducks and geese.

What Bread is Best to Use for Carp Fishing?

Any bread will be quite effective at catching carp but there are a few things to consider when choosing the right loaf.


In my experience, I find white bread to be the most effective. The colour stands out better than any other thus attracting more carp.


I find Panko bread crumbs to be very effective in particle bait mixes. The Panko brand of bread crumbs are toasted and dried before being packaged. This removes all the moisture and allows them to present perfectly on the bottom, almost giving them a neutral buoyancy.

Fresh vs Old Bread

Fresh bread is best for use as carp bait but don’t rule out stale bread. If you have a stale loaf don’t hesitate to blend it up into fine particles and freeze it for later use.

Moisture Content

Any type of bread crumbs will work well as pack baits. It is better to start off with a moist bread crumb when mixing pack baits. The moisture will help bind the mix together. I blend old leftover bread that is about to spoil. I store it in my freezer so it has a lot of moisture when I use it. Sometimes I don’t even need to add water to my mixes for them to stick together nicely.


Bread with the crust still on it will be more durable and float for longer periods when fishing on the surface. The ends or crusts of the loaf can be better for this purpose. As my family tends not to eat the crust on loaves of bread, I freeze and save them for carp fishing. You can’t beat free carp fishing bait!

Simple Carp Fishing Pack Bait Recipe Using Bread

Corn and Breadcrumb Packbait

This is one of the easiest and most cost-effective ways to target carp. It is a simple recipe any angler can use effectively.

Ingredients: Sweet Corn, Jello Powder, Bread Crumbs and Water.

  • Add Bread Crumbs to a Pail.
  • Add Two Cans of Sweet Corn.
  • Add Two Packets of Strawberry Jello Powder.
  • Add water to the mix to reach the desired consistency.

This base mix will work well in any location. You can also add any other attractants you like. Experimenting with different baits and creating your own mixes can be one of the most rewarding aspects of carp angling.

Simple changes to this mix can include:

  • Substituting Cream Corn instead of Sweet Corn.
  • Using Panko Bread Crumbs instead of Regular Bread Crumbs.
  • Changing the Flavour. Molasses is another ingredient I sometimes add to this mix. It has quite an effect on consistency, flavour and colour.
  • Add other ingredients such as shredded wheat, oats or chickpeas to enhance the mix.

Corn is another one of the most used carp fishing baits aside from bread. Be sure to read this other guide on Using Corn for Carp Fishing for more information.

Imitation Bread as Carp Bait

Although in my experience it’s not quite as attractive as real bread, imitation bread for carp fishing does have its uses. It looks exactly the same so it can fool carp just as easily as real bread, one big pro is that it will never come off the hook.

Some of my most memorable fishing experiences have been targeting carp in shallow water with a simple piece of bread. To me, nothing is more exciting than quietly stalking an unsuspecting fish in the shallows. The moment it engulfs your bait off the surface and bends your rod is like none other.

Carp Fishing Bait

If you’re searching for more information on bait, be sure to check out Improved Carp Angling’s Guide to Carp Fishing Bait.

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