Place Bait Close to the Hook Bend or Leave a Gap?

Image shows another big double caught with hookbaitsChanging hookbait length from the hair can create some surprises!

This is a question that I have heard come up many times in my 20 years of carp fishing. I really do not know for certain whether it is best to place boilies close to hook bend, I really think it may depend on the way carp are feeding in the swim. 

I have seen Frank Warwick catch numerous big carp with the bait close to the hook bend on his rigs. But, I also know of other successful anglers that never do this. Some believe a boilie too close to the bend of the hook won’t allow the hook to drop and turn effectively so the point can find a hold in the flesh. I believe this is a valid point, especially for the type of carp fishing rigs I use. 

Some anglers believe that when fish are feeding more cautiously it is best to have a short hair rig so the point is closer to the bait. I do sometimes believe that this may be the cause of lost fish when they pull out. The hook may not be able to always set deep enough into the flesh for a secure hook hold. Instead it may be caught lightly in the side of the lip. For most of my carp fishing rigs I have a little clearance so the hook can turn effectively when I test it on the palm of my hand.


Like all methods for carp fishing, it’s best to test and try these ideas for yourself. Every specific fishing situation may require a slight change in the minute details before you start banking more big carp!

Fishing for Carp in Rivers

Locating Large Carp in Springtime

Locating the Big Carp in the Summer

Locating the Biggest Carp in Winter time

Locating Most Larger Carp in Autumn season

The Importance of Using Quality Bait to Catch Carp

Fishing for Large Carp in Snags & under Trees

Boilie close to hook bend or leave gap?

Various Types of carp rig systems to use

Attempting to Catch Line Shy Carp

Basics of a Carp's Digestive System

Ingredients to use in Successful Carp Baits

Common Baiting Tactics When Fishing

The Various Carp Bait used to Catch Bigger Carp

When to use Pop-ups or Bottom Bait for Carp Fishing

How to complete a Baiting Campaign on Lakes & Ponds

The Basic Carp Fishing Baits Used to Catch Large Carp

Fishing Tactics when Fishing for Carp during Long-stay Sessions

Applying a New Carp Bait


Advice & Articles on How to Fish for Big Carp