Do Round Baits Catch More Big Carp?

I would like to introduce and thank avid blogger Mike Samways for doing the very first guest blog on Ian’s Fishing.  Please check out his blogs (Homemade Boilies Quest, Carp Tackle Reviewer and The Catch App Blog)

typical round boilies

typical round boilies

Are the bait companies brainwashing anglers into thinking round baits catch big carp?

Sounds harsh but in a sense it’s true because at the end of the day they want to sell more bait. Recently I’ve been on a campaign to catch some of the big carp from a local members only water and wanted to pre bait as part of the campaign.

Ideally I want the carp to be the only ones feeding on the bait so I went with a boilie pre baiting approach. I needed to either buy or make a huge quantity of bait then suddenly had a thought do the big carp in this water actually prefer round baits or is this just something we are told so I thought I would start this experiment.

I had a real think about this question and here are questions that followed.

Do carp get used to round baits and does it turn them on to feeding?

This is one of the questions I thought about, do carp get used to round baits as lots of anglers use them and when carp spot round boilies do they trigger them to feed?

When do round baits not work in your favour?

I discussed this question with a couple of local anglers and they said that sometimes if your fishing tight to an island and the margin of the island has a gradual slope, if you’re baiting up tight to the island the round baits are more likely to roll down the slope thus creating countless line bites and false takes. One way to combat this it to find the bottom of the slope and clip up, this should be where most of the bait and fish will be.

Results of big carp caught on naturals or non round baits

Recently I’ve been watching a lot of carp fishing videos on YouTube and one thing I’ve re learnt is that big carp can be caught on small naturals as well as large boilies.

I decided to do some research on what baits big carp have been caught on recently and here’s my result out of 50 big carp.

  • 32/50 – Round baits
  • 7/50 – Sweetcorn/Plastic Corn
  • 2/50 – Bread
  • 2/50 – Tigernut
  • 3/50 – Spam
  • 2/50 – Peperami
  • 1/50 – White Maggots
  • 1/50 – Pellet

These results show that the highest percentage were caught on boilies, which I’m guessing most of them were round (did not mention shape). Which means the most heavily used bait for big carp are round baits so will using an alternative to them give you much better result?

Whats an alternative to round baits?

I’ve made a short list of alternatives that catch carp:

Shaved round baits

This is a small trick I’ve used in the past be a little different on the bank and the theory behind this is that carp believe that your shaved hook bait looks older and also the favours and oils will seep out of the boilies much quicker because you’ve broken the seal around the boilie.

Washed out baits

Similar to the shaved baits approach, if you wash your baits out with lake water or an enhanced liquid, carp will believe the bait is safer to eat as It looks as if the baits been in the water for a large amount of time.

washed out baits

washed out baits

Boilie Chunks

boilie chunks

boilie chunks

Chunks is new thing I’ve experimented with over the last year, I needed to make boilies for pre baiting that was quick, easy and cheap in large quantities and this is what I’ve come up with and I’m sure boilies companies will clock on this eventually but before they do, give it a go and make them yourself. You can find how to make boilies quick, easy and cheap on my bait blog.


I’m a huge fan of dumbell shaped boilies and they catch a lot of big carp.


Particles are great for drawing fish into your swim. It’s cheap and easy to produce and carp love them but so do other species like bream and tench so you need to be aware of this.

When round baits work for you?

Round bait can come in very handy when fishing at long-range with a throwing stick. Using a throwing stick can create a spread of bait which will get the fish moving around and often are caught unaware as they get preoccupied with picking up boilies.

Boilies pick out only the big ones

We’ve heard this statement time after time, partially it’s true but boilies do catch bream, tench, chub and list goes on, so us carp anglers need to just enjoy and respect all species. I personally get very excited if I catch a big bream as well as catch big carp.

Am I against round baits?

Certainly not, as thousands of carp get caught on them every day and even my pb was caught on snowman rig.

This post was designed to give you an insight on the alternates to round baits and make you question yourself, do round baits really make a difference to your carp fishing.

Mikes PB caught on a Snowman setup

Mikes PB caught on a Snowman set-up

The Future

I would also love to do an underwater test video in future, testing round baits versus the alternatives I’ve listed above which would making a very interesting experiment.

If you would like to find out more about making boilies at home to give you an edge on the bank then please check out my blog where you will find helpful hints and tips, boilies recipes and boilie experiments.

If you have an opinion on this subject I would love to hear it them in the comments below.

Thanks for reading and tight lines.


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