I’ve learned a lot about carp behavior during the past nine weeks fishing in Hungary; and have come to the conclusion that it is not specifically the BAIT that catches carp, but the method in which the bait is presented to the fish. The fish must see and recognize the bait as food. This is done by ‘PRE BAITING’ every day; in one spot; for weeks on end. The fish become aware that there is a REGULAR source of good food available to them. Believe me ‘word soon gets around’ and after a few weeks of work you will be ‘Hauling’. The longer you feed the better. The BAITING PYRAMID takes over, and the big fish bully the smaller fish off, making for great sport. The only thing you MUST have is PATIENCE.
The local fishermen in Hungary have been using Maize as a bait, both for use ‘on the hook’; and as ‘loose feed’, for over 100 years. “Modern” carp ‘specimen hunters’ have been visiting Hungary for around 10 years, but the methods they use, and the techniques they employ, have given them a ‘mixed’ welcome, from local anglers, wherever they fish. You see the problem lies in the fact that European anglers return the fish they catch to the water. This is almost ‘Alien’ behavior to your average Hungarian angler. He, or she, would be off home with the fish to help feed his family, and find the site of his quarry returning to the water ALIVE, too much to bear. But to each his, or her own.
I think we have made up for this however, by telling locals of this method. I returned this year to the same lake I have been fishing in Hungary for 3 years. I was surprised by the reception I got from some anglers, they were ‘glad to see me’. Apparently the method WORKS. It worked for us this year. We caught 3 carp. 23 Kgs, 19.6 Kgs, and 17.5 Kgs. It took a long time though, but what the hell, it was worth it!
As far as other baits go, PARTICLES are by far the most versatile. By particles I mean things like: Black eyed beans, Haricot beans, Californian walnuts, peanuts, etc. They MUST first be cooked until soft BEFORE use, as some beans can be toxic to carp if not cooked.