How to catch Carp (and other freshwater fish)

How to catch Carp (and other freshwater fish)

In this article, I will explain how to catch some Carp (as pictured above – 77cm) and techniques on how to burley them up.

European Carp: Scientific Name: Cyprinus carpo

Description: This freshwater species, inhabits rivers, coastal streams, lakes, dams and ponds. The European Carp was introduced to Australia in the 1870’s, it is originally native to Asia. Although being despised in Australia, it is adored in Eurasia and England. Its roe is a French delicacy. It can grow to about 1200 mm.

Burley up well in a small area












Burley up well in a small area: Patience is the key


Patience is the key














This is the most satisfying and important part of catching these “Mud Puppies”. All you need is a stale loaf of bread and your all set. Find a spot on the river where there is either a clear spot from weed or where the weed bed is not too far out from where you want to cast too. Break up bits of your bread and throw them into the water in a small area (as pictured above). Not too much as to cover the whole area, just half a dozen pieces to start off with. Then once you can see the carp and other freshwater fish feeding either on the top water or just under it, throw your line with a small piece of either bread or dough into the feeding fish and then waiting for the fish to take it and then set the hook.

It is amazing what good burleying can do as it attracts all sorts of Freshwater species, including Carp, Mullet and Herring.

Pink-Eye Mullet


Pink-Eye Mullet


Fantail Mullet


Fantail Mullet

Freshwater Herring
Freshwater Herring

As with catching Mullet, you can use either fresh bread from the bakery and just “squashed” onto the hook or you can make your own “Dough”. This dough consists of flour and water mixed into a quite firm paste and then I like to mix cotton wool, that has been pulled out into fine strands, in so as to hold the mixture onto the hook. Some anglers like to use a small amount of salt in their mixture; however, I have not really seen any difference in either mixture with or without salt. It’s good to mix the dough the night before and put it in the fridge to firm up the dough, however it is not essential.

Corn kernels are another great bait to use on Carp, just put three or four kernels onto your hook. You can also use worms but I have had great success with both the bread and corn.

Handline or Rod and Reel

All you need is a small handline or light spinning outfit with 4-6lb line and a very small hook (No 10-12) with a small float (Piece of polystyrene) around 5 – 10 cm from the hook.

Remember when your out there:

Dream it, See it, Catch it.

Happy Fishing

Words by Rod Cumming. Pictures by Graham Cumming