Fishing for Carp on a Small Budget

Carp fishing sessions can become quite expensive if you plan to fish for carp for more than a day or two. Apart from the permit itself, one of the most expensive purchases can be the bait required to last a long fishing session. Bait can be even more expensive if you feel it’s important to fish for carp using only good quality bait


Photo shows Cheap Bait Usage caught CarpGood Sized carp caught Using Budget Baits!
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Many carp anglers of today like to fish for carp using some kind of boilies. Most boiles on the market are packaged nicely and they don’t require any preparation, plus they are clean and easy to use. What more could an angler want from his bait?

However, you will pay the price for this convenience. Boilies can be very expensive, especially if you require a large amount for heavy baiting sessions. Just 10 kilos of boilies can cost anything up to £80 plus, and this may only be enough to last for one long carp fishing session!


So, is it possible to get quality carp baits cheaply?

I believe it’s possible if you’re prepared to adjust your fishing tactics. I have started to use other, less expensive baits for my carp fishing for a few seasons, and I have caught just as many carp as I did when using expensive boilies. I have used many different particles and prepared them myself at home in the garage. Preparation of my particle bait can take some time, but I usually cook up 50-60 kilos at a time and freeze the majority of it. This will then last me 3 or 4 fishing trips. 

I have used a combination of chick peas, gunco beans, black eyed beans, dari seeds and red kidney beans. I can buy about 30 kilos of dry beans and peas for less than £15. Once prepared the weight will double that, so I’ll have over 60 kilos of particle bait for £15 – what a bargain!

And don’t think you can’t catch big carp on cheap bait either because I have caught at least 3 twenty pound + carp when using my budget mix of particle baits.

What I prefer to do is add some regular bait to my own cheap particle mix, something that the fish easily recognize. I sometimes add sweetcorn, hemp, tares or even maggots if I want to be different. So, even if some of the fish in the lake are not keen on the new, cheap bait, they’ll be something in amongst it all that’ll tempt them into feeding and keep them coming back. In fact, I think it can be a benefit if some carp do not like a heavy spod mix. The heavy baiting will attract the carp into the swim but they will be keen to search out other food items around the baited area, and this is when you can use what they prefer to eat on the hook, thereby increasing your chances of catching carp over a big baited area. This way you’ll still get all the attraction from heavy baiting without overfeeding the carp, and all for a much cheaper price!!

Examples of Some Less Expensive Carp Fishing baits

Liquidized bread and bread crumb are cheap ground baits that many carp anglers don’t use much these days. The great benefit of using large amounts of cheap ground bait, or bread crumb balls is that you can chuck out tons of it and it won’t fill up the bigger fish as much as a few kilos of boilies. 

These less expensive ground baits are a great way to attract carp into your swim, especially if liquid attractants or various flavours are added into the mixes. You can also control how much particle baits to add to each batch of bread crumb mix, plus, it’s possible to add some chopped boilies inside the bread crumb balls before catapulting them out.

There are many other cheap baits that can be used when fishing for carp on a budget, some of these are:

  • Barley
  • Groats
  • Maize
  • Chick peas
  • Bread crumb mix
  • Pigeon feed
  • Chicken feed
  • Bird food
  • Vitalin
  • Soaked dog biscuit mix
  • Cat food


Most of these cheap baits can be bought, or ordered from a large pet food shop. However, you must remember to prepare all dry particles correctly. Pre-soak them for the right amount of time and then cook them thoroughly so as not to cause any harm to a carp’s digestive system. Here is a rough particle cooking guide showing how long to soak / cook particles properly.

The great thing about most of the particles in the list above is that you can easily add liquid attractors and flavours to create your own, unique bait that carp will love! There’s an endless choice of additives for attracting carp. I often add some kind of oil after cooking the particles, cod liver oil is a good choice. I also like to add other liquids like betaine, and a sweet smelling flavour such as mollasses. Another good ingredient that I have used for some of my spod mixes is some kind of meat, like some cat food flavours. Some carp love the taste of certain flavours of cat food and you can simply buy a few tins and mix it into the particles on the bank, although, be aware that it’ll go all stickly! If you’re unsure about what to add, then go for the easy option, tuna in oil. All carp love this and will always be attracted to this cheap bait that costs very little money. 

If you’re not sure about using cheap bait to catch carp, then why not just use it to bulk out the more expensive particle baits like boilies, pellets, hemp and tiger nuts. 

Good luck & happy hunting!! 


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