How to Choose the Right Size Hook for Carp Fishing

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How to Choose the Right Size Hook for Carp Fishing

How often do we hear riddles like, ''What came first: chicken or egg?'' These ageless queries are usually followed by an equally inexplicable, but entertaining response. A question that is no less puzzling to amateur fishermen might be, ''Should your hook match the fish you're catching or the bait you're fishing?''. This too sounds like an entertaining riddle. However, the answer is less mystifying to veteran anglers: One should give just as much attention to matching the right bait to the appropriate hook as to picking the most attractive bait for a specific fish.

For example there is a wide range of bait options for carp fishing - from rubber rice to boiled potato bits. But if one is hoping to be successful, he must consider, ''What size hook should I use for the type of bait I've selected.'' Or, ''What bait should I use for one of the 13 size hooks available on the market.'' In order to start carp fishing you'll need to understand the various equipment used to fish. Fortunately, there is a large selection available at online marketplaces like eBay.

The History of Carp Fish

It is believed that the carp fish is native to Europe. They began being cultivated in England and Wales in the 1300s. According to the Pennsylvania Fishing Commission, the carp has always been a food fish. Since it was not considered to be as delectable as other types of fish, carp fell out of popularity for decades. The carp was also ignored because it is a bottom feeding fish. Carp will eat any organism that is on the bottom of the body of water in which they reside. The fish is believed to have very poor eyesight. It eats waste from other fish and bait that has fallen to the bottom of the waters. Some began to believe that carp was inedible. However, the carp fish had actually been eaten by monks for many years.

Richard Stuart Walker became very well known for the great advances he made in developing carp fishing methods in the 1950's. Walker was born at 32 Fishponds Road in Hitchin, Hertfordshire in 1918. At the age of four he was taken out regularly to go fishing with his father. Walker wanted a more relaxing way to enjoy his past time of fishing, so he also devised an alarm that would beep when a fish was tugging on his fishing line. Walker also wrote many books on fishing, and he even helped develop the carbon-fibre fishing rod. It wasn't until the 20th century when Richard Walker caught a 44lb carp that people really began to pay more attention to the carp fish again.

Selecting the Right Size Hook

There are plenty of fishers who still prefer the traditional fishing rod. This is an excellent method for someone who is trying to start carp fishing. Carp fish are bottom dwellers, so rod fishers would want to put their line at the bottom of the lake or pond. Carp come in various sizes, but a carbon fibre pole is usually fine. Any successful angler will probably say that the chances of landing a carp (or any other fish), depends on how well the fisherman is able to conceal the hook. Larger hooks, however, have more ''hooking'' potential and they are less likely to be ejected than smaller hooks.

Other factors that favour the use of larger hooks:

Larger hooks can withstand the weight of the larger carps.

Larger hooks can endure the strong tug and pull or ''play'' of the carp, which is regarded as a sporting fish.

So why would a professional angler still opt for the smaller hook? There is more bait and less hook exposed; hence, there is less chance that the bait will be refused. The fisherman delights more in feeding off the carp than having them feed off a large amount of bait that they can steal more readily from a larger hook.

Selecting the Right Bait for Carp Fishing

''Carp'' is not a singular type of fish but a category of fresh water fish of the Cyprinidae family that averages in weight from ten to twenty pound, but can weigh as much as 87lbs. and grow as long as 6 feet. They are omnivorous and can subsist on a vegetarian diet or will forage the bottom of a lake for dead fish, clams, crayfish, and even nuts that fall into the water. A favourite commercial bait is the ''bolie'' - little round bait ball. Therefore, one can rule out any dietary quirks the carp may have. The major questions then in the selection of a hook size are, ''How big will the carp be? And what will be the nature of the bait that will go on the hook?''

Carp fish eat waste, and a delicious treat for them is corn. Carp fishers can stock up on inexpensive cans of corn during the winter months from online marketplaces like eBay. Fishers can bait carp with corn by emptying a can of corn into the lake each day. This trains the carp to come to the same area each day. Some carp will even arrive at the same time or just stay there waiting for you to return. Some fishers use dough balls to lure carp fish to the same area of the lake each day. Keep in mind that carp are bottom feeders and they will eat just about anything. If you plan to make dough balls for bottom dwelling fish that eat waste, then don't bother buying expensive ingredients.

Know Your Fish

The carp fish is very cunning, and it will use the slightest opportunity to escape from your hook. It is also not easy to get a carp to take the bait at first. If anything seems suspicious, it will simply ignore the bait. To catch this fish you have to be aware of the thickness of the thread, the size of the hook, and the type of the bait. It is very important to know how much distance between the hook and the lead you can apply in certain environment.

Rod Fishing for Carp With the Right Size Hook

If you are just starting to fish for carp, rod fishing is a good method of choice. In order to catch carp you will need to get your line where the carp are. Carp are bottom dwellers, and stay in the bottom of their water source. If you plan to fish in the water, you will need to purchase sinkers, also known as leads, from an online marketplace like eBay. Leads come in various sizes, and fishers can usually purchase a multi-pack of split-shot sinkers. Smaller sized sinkers are recommended so that the fish don't see the sinker and try to go for the sinker instead of the bait. Carp usually like dark, murky waters. Leave about a foot of line from your sinker and swivel to your hook.

The bait will rise off the ground in the water and look appealing to the carp. The line needs to be strong and sturdy so that it can withstand tugging from the carp. A good 8-15 lb fishing line with a barrel swivel will work well. A swivel is needed because while carp are generally slow movers during their trips around the bottom of the water, once they are caught they will put up a good fight. Carp are considered to be knowledgeable fish, and have even been known to spit out the bait that they find unsuitable.


Fishing for carp can be a very rewarding activity. When you start carp fishing with the right size hook, make sure that you have appropriate bait. If a fishing license is required in your area, make sure you attain one. Remember that carp are nocturnal. If you decide to go fishing for them during the day you may be there for a long time. Since a carp sucks the bait in, you may want to utilize a carp bite alarm so that you'll know if you have one on your line. Before you start carp fishing make sure you have purchased the right size hook and all of the other necessary carp fishing equipment from online marketplaces like eBay.

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