Carp Fishing Techniques – In America And Europe

Posted by

Let’s talk about catching some Fresh Water Monsters !

In this article we will look at the many variances of carp fishing. With so many carp fishing techniques it isn’t hard to find one that will have you landing some monsters in no time ! From southern American pay lakes to European fisheries, the sport is as varied and contested as any sport fishing venture in the world .

Carp Fishing Techniques used in Europe

2 rod and reels in a stand carp fishing

European Carp fishing Rod and Reel setups !

Carp Fishing Hair Rig With A popup Boilie

The European version of carp fishing is as revered as the Bass Master Classic is here in America and possibly more !

The terminology of European Carp Fishing Techniques is so different to what we have in the states, it might take a person who is new to the sport a while to get a grasp. Terminology such as boillie, hair rig, mesh, and fishery is almost alien in America.

Image showing the boilie placement on a hair rigWhen a person is telling you that he is using a snowman configuration of boilies with a pineapple pop up on a hair rig, he / she is simply explaining the bait and how the hook is rigged to catch a carp. And hopefully his P.B. or personal best .

In the Video we watch the video as the owner of the YouTube channel Catfish and Carp give us more explanation of the use of boillies.


The variations of baits in Europe is almost as varied as what you can find at many pay lakes and wild lakes across America.

Boilies are basically a dough ball made with eggs and then boiled to become a harder, longer lasting hook bait.

But the secret sauce is really secret sauce ! Or maybe better stated as flavors and colors mixed in to give their baits a special color, flavor and texture than the anglers they are in competition with for the next big common or mirror carp that they are after in the lake or fishery they are fishing during a session .

When fishing at a European fishery, your location on the lake is called a swim. And mostCommon carp about to pick up a hair rig with floating corn of the time the angler will pre bait and continue to bait the area the whole time he or she is there with various particle baits, crushed boilies and other various goodies referred to as ground bait. In other words baiting the fish in .

Sound a little strange so far? Don’t worry, I’ll tie it all together for you by the end, and you’ll see what makes the sport of carp fishing so incredibly addictive!

But this mysterious attraction to a fish and carp fishing techniques to go after a quarry that in America is commonly called a “trash fish”, might take a little more than time to understand !

As Robert Marston, the famous editor of the Fishing Gazette, wrote in 1904, “There are exceptions to all rules, but as a rule I should not advise an angler to waste much time in fishing for carp – life it too short and the art of catching carp takes too long to learn.”

And as it was in those times, there are still anglers who keep their secrets close to the vest! But unlike Mr. Marston’s era, the internet has become a game changer !

In one way or another the carp has been patrolling the waters of Europe since the late 14th century or early 15th century.

These resilient fish moved from being considered as a food source to being one of the biggest European phenomena to hit hook and line anglers in the past 100 years !

American Carp Fishing Techniques

In America the phenomena of carp angling has been slow to catch on with the main stream fishing community.

Despite the fact that these fish commonly weigh in at well over 20 pounds and fightAmerican paylaker setup with orange Abu Garcoia Ambassaduer reels hard they are still widely considered trash fish among the U.S. anglers But that consensus is slowly changing .

European carp fishing techniques are starting to catch on in America. With European style tournaments cropping up around the country.

Popularity of catching these aquatic bull dozers is catching on and growing fast ! Many American anglers are even adopting the European bait, tackle, tactics and techniques,

It’s becoming ever more common to hear the big names of European tackle manufacturers such as Nash, Korda, and Delkim among these American followers of the European style, but the old standby American way still has strong influence.

American paylaker Carp Fishing tackleDon’t be surprised if you hear someone tell you they are fishing a P.V.A. bag full of crushed boilies and ground bait with a pop up and hair rig the next time you go to the lake .

But even with the growing European model staking claim on American techniques, Americans have their own spin on the sport.

In states where it’s legal to do so tried and true sweet corn placed directly on the hook is still a tried and true standby for having a blast catching these fish ! Many of the “old timers” made dough balls and just plain old bread and caught fish .

These fishermen in no way subscribe to the European crowd across the pond ! No way ! And in fact the tackle and tactics are as varying as any .

But the real phenomena on these shores is the pay lakers ! Although the largest contingent of this carp fishing technique hail from the southeast , there are pockets of pay lakers across the country ! And they mean business !

Commonly referred to as Pay lakes, Jackpot lakes, or Trophy lakes these guys and gals take it to the next level ! You see folks become quite a bit more competitive when there’s money involved, and sometimes it can be quite a nice payday ! These folks make their super top secret bait recipes from such things as Oats or oatmeal, grits, rice, panko bread crumb, soybeans and other grains and food..Then the scientific stuff Home made hook baits used in american paylake carp fishingstarts.

The right flavorings and other ingredients are designed and tested to send the competition home with their tails between their legs and wallets empty!

Most times the pack baits used in American Carp fishing techniques are designed to give the fish some food to feed on after the pack bat breaks apart.

This is meant to entice them to pick up the one or two hook rig, you have in the middle of the broken up pack bait. Hooks will usually have special colored beads and or cereal or some other hook bait known as a pop or pickup .

A more recent variant of carp fishing takes place across America and is done with bow and arrow.

Some carp species are very invasive and since the common carp and grass carp are not a protected game fish these tactics are promoted by D.N.R. officials in most states as a way to attempt to control the population. Hook and line fishermen usually aren’t bow hunters and vice versa .

But there is a place for both, even though I don’t agree.

The gear and tackle used in Europe

Like i said earlier, the gear differences are as varied as the bait and tactics and European style carp tackletechniques. There is no last word concerning gear in America.

When the new American record might be caught next weekend, it could very well be by a guy with a $20 rod and reel combo he purchased at Wal-Mart.

In Europe showing off your newest fishing rigs are as much a status symbol as fishing gear.

Truth be told, I believe it’s as much to show other fishermen that you know what you’re doing . Much of this equipment can be quite the investment ! But it’s not a rule.

There are al ot of successful fishermen who don’t spend $400 on a reel. But many do. And some much more.

When I first came across European carp fishing techniques the most impressive piece of gear (or kit as they say) is the bivy . A bivy is a tent like structure erected on the bank that you can rest and sleep in.

Many of these fishing sessions last for several days, and having a place to sleep and stay out of the elements is a must !

EuMost Bivys have a rain fly that is tied back or zippered to allow the front to remain open so that you don’t miss the big run or take that can make the trip.

Most serious European anglers will also carry all their gear to their spot on the fisheries in a wheel barrow type of cart .

These carts are needed due to the large amount of kit they haul ! Everything from the bivy, 2 or 3 rod and reel combos bite alarm systems, special landing nets, and in many cases pounds and pounds of bait ! Like any other outdoor sport, the more gear you need to acquire, the more of a hobby it becomes and thus the more addictive the activity .

American carp fishing gear

American paylake carp fishing rods

American carp fishing gear can vary widely, depending on the style of carp fishing you do.

You will find wild carp anglers who have simple setups as well as very elaborate setups that rival or surpass the European brethren !

But usually the guys and gals who choose the elaborate setups are pay lakers . And the types of setups can vary as well . While you don’t see many bait runner reels like you do in Europe, you will see a lot of open face spinning reels.

And usually the fishermen at a particular lake are regulars who all use the same type of gear, bite alarms, and nets. In the Carolinas ,if you go to a pay lake or tournament lake you will see a majority of Abu Garcia Ambassaduer reels.

The rods are usually heavy action rods in the 7 foot variety . But the most important part is that you usually use 3 or 4 rod and reels depending on the lake, and everything must match ! God forbid showing up with 2 red reels and a black one ! LOL

Pay lake tournaments are usually held on Friday and Saturday night. The position you fish on the lake is settled by a draw system .

Then you hurry to your spot , get your rod stands set up , bait your hooks, and wait for the buzzer to sound the start of fishing . Then you have the next eight hours to fish for hourly rodeos,spots, big fish and so on .

Sometimes you win, sometimes you don’t. But the friendship and competition between the regulars spurs on a fun tournament !

The future of carp fishing

Grass Carp

The future of carp fishing looks bright to say the least!

It doesn’t matter if you’re talking hook and line fishing or bow fishing the sport is growing quick !

One reason is that it doesn’t take a huge investment to get started and the success rate is high ! There is little that compares to a big run 5 minutes before the end of a tournament or seeing that rod jump at 2 am while you are sitting in front of a camper or tent .


If you’ve never tried the sport, give it a chance with one or more of the carp fishing techniques you’ve read about here, and I’ll bet I see you at the lake for the next tournament !


Please leave a comment, question, or suggestion. Your feedback helps me better serve my readers!

Have a blessed day !








Be Sociable, Share!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.