Asian carps are famous for two things; they are desirable food for some people, and secondly, they have a prominent role in controlling marine ecosystems.
Most people find catching Asian carp a tedious and dangerous task because they are not only filter feeders but also can fly out of the water at a much higher level than many other fishes. That being said, what bait is preferable to trap this mysterious creature?
Sweet corn, head of cabbage, and lettuce are very effective in trapping Asian carp. There are many other baits that are in use to catch various types of Asian carp because each type follows a different pattern and unique behavior than the other ones.
Black carp, Bighead carp, Silver carp, and Grass carp are the new invaders falling under the broad category of Asian carp. So, depending upon the environment in which they live and their food, each carp behaves differently to various baits. Some carp got tricked by colored corn; others stumbled on dough balls and different other things.
Let’s dive into the detail of what type of bait can be effective against all types of carp and how to catch them in glimpses.
What Do Asian Carp Eat?
Asian carps are voracious feeders. By eating large quantities of food, they become too large for many ordinary fishes in the marine ecosystem. According to the National Park Service, some Asian carps even grow exceptionally up to 110 pounds in weight; still, most of them remain lower than this massive range.
It’s evident from their huge sizes that they eat huge quantities of food, but not only this, I have something astonishing to tell you. According to the American Fish and Wildlife Service, these carps eat 5-40 % of their body weight each day. In short, a 110-pound fish would be consuming 5.5 to 44 pounds of food on a daily basis.
Silver And Bighead Carps
Silver and Bighead carps normally make zooplankton and phytoplankton as their primary source of food.
The main issue with consuming this kind of food is that this is a food base for the number of snails, juveniles, freshwater mussels, and invertebrates, especially in American continent conditions.
Consuming such large quantities of food necessary for the survival of many other species damages the marine ecosystem’s balance.
Grass Carps; Primary Food Source
As the name suggests, they are herbivores consuming large quantities of aquatic vegetation within the stream. Out of your curiosity, they even eat vegetation grown on the stream banks, thus causing them to erode if this excessive eating behavior of grass carp persists.
Let me tell you that if you take all the vegetation out of the stream, how badly it will affect the marine ecosystem?
Firstly it disturbs temperature as well as oxygen levels in the marine environment. This also causes increments in water turbidity following the siltation of fish spawning grounds. Grass carp’s excessive eating habit also causes loss of food availability for species like waterfowl.
Black carp’s thirst for wild food resources leads to a significant decrease in snail and mussels populations. They also consume food like mollusks which are the primary food source for native turtles, birds, and mammals.
According to FWS research, bighead and silver carps lack an actual stomach, so they need to consume food continuously in order to survive.
What Is The Best Bait For Asian Carp?
Before I proceed to bait for Asian carp, let me first tell you that Asian carps are filter feeders. In my opinion, their filter-feeding ability and their wild attack made them challenging for carp lovers to catch them.
This unique ability of Asian carp made American authorities bring them to America, but it went some other way over time.
This is not a concern about where they came from, but their filter-feeding ability makes them unique from many other marine organisms. They are suspension-feeding animals, such as animals that take many pieces of prey at a time.
Unlike many others, filter feeders open their mouths to take everything in whatever happens to be there while filtering or eradicating the undesirable ones.
As per my experience, a dough ball is one the most effective and desirable bait for Asian carp. I would highly recommend using multiple hooks instead of single while hunting for carp due to their filter-feeding ability.
Make a big dough ball almost about the size of a softball and wrap it around various treble hooks. I have tried this method, and it worked perfectly for me.
Corn; Traditional Vs Effective Way
If you think that simple corn will work, I will say no; infect a big No; why? Corn has been in use for centuries by poor fishers to catch carp, especially in the Asian continent.
Now, carp have developed a kind of familiarity with the yellow corn. During my fishing times, I have observed that they filter them out whenever carps perceive yellow corn.
So, the traditional way is out of fashion now, but they still love corn to a large extent. I have tried various methods to trick them; sweet corn worked best for me. Give your corn a bit of sweet flavor and color it to orange or red. That’s it, there are wide chances that you will be able to ace in deceiving carps.
Banana And Cabbage
I have tried with a banana a few times, but it didn’t work the way I thought. Once I tried soaking a banana in a honey jar and using it as bait. You know what; it turned around good for me.
If you didn’t find honey, then condensed milk can be a lovely alternative. Other than cabbage and lettuce are also effective, but their usage follows a proper methodology that I will explain in the next half of this writing.
How To Catch Asian Carp?
Catching Asian carp is never an easy task because, due to their bigger size, they have mighty powers. Secondly, their jumping ability and voracious quality make them a potential injury-causing organism. So, it’s always preferable to keep your safety the first spot.
Don’t worry; I will guide you in some ways to trap them but still take all the safety measures before going into this battle. According to the Fishing and Wildlife Services Department of America, these carps usually prefer slow-moving rivers with high turbidity. The warmer temperature and moderate to low oxygen conditions are favorable conditions for their survival.
There’s also a proper time to catch grass carp, as they are potential herbivores so, whenever weed growth depletes or stops in small lakes, they find nothing to eat. So, it’s the best time to trick them and catch them with any green plant bait.
Boat And Net
This method is widely used to catch fish, especially those that can jump out of the water at higher levels. Take a boat, and better take some other fishermen along you while going on this; take nets with you. I call it usually an accident way of catching carp because it all depends on whether they come to the surface or not.
It’s just a play of moments that you will return victorious if their jump and your net overlapped. One good thing is that these carps and many other fishes usually start jumping near your boat. So, either they fall directly over the deck, or you can catch them in the air by using your net.
Rod And Reel
Most people say that this method isn’t effective, but I’m sharing my own experience once I made a dough ball using heads of lettuce and cabbage. Take a soft cloth and knot the whole ball in it.
It’s a time taking procedure, so you need to be patient. One other thing before I explain the procedure, that it will be giving you a lot of carps other than Asian ones. So, be patient; sooner or later, you will get your prey.
As Asian carps are filter feeders, they will try to suck that dough ball. In that race, the dough ball usually breaks into pieces. Once it happens, there are wide chances that some of the hooks develop contact with your prey.
I have tried a few times, though not very fast and not giving as many results as expected, but still can be a way to catch them.
It’s a Brazilian rig- there can be many alternates of it, but I’m sharing the one I have used- consisting of multiple hooks hanging below and around the metal spiral.
Attach any bait from the above-mentioned; I have used worms and sweet corn because Asian carp will surely come for the good stuff to eat due to their suspension and selective feeding ability.
As the bait breaks down and carp will come near it, hooks will indeed trap him somehow, as there are multiple of them. So, once trapped, you are good to use your fishing technique to bring them on the deck.
The Bottom Line
If you have devised your own techniques, catching Asian carp can still be challenging, but you will never return empty-handed.
Selecting the proper location and depending upon the types of carps you are going to catch, select the appropriate bait; if it doesn’t work, try with some other one as it’s all about learning and developing your own standards.