10 Tips for Success: How to Catch Grass Carp in a Pond?

How to Catch Grass Carp - Tips

For all those who like a real fishing challenge, grass carp is one of the TOP choices.

Larger specimens look very impressive and you will be able to show off with your catch in front of your friends and family!

Grass carp is not easy to catch, and you have to be prepared for a hard fight.

From fishing gear choice, to perfect bait, everything has to be suitable for the task. And of course, you will need a good fishing technique and a lot of patience.

To know more about how to catch grass carp, read the following chapters full of good carp fishing tips ...



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Best Tips on How to Catch Grass Carp

When it comes to catching grass carp in a pond or lake, there are a few tips to keep in mind.

Grass carp are non-native and can be easily spooked, so it's important to use a quiet approach. Using a rod and reel with light line and small hooks can help increase your chances of catching them.

It's also helpful to learn how to catch them by using bait that they are attracted to

To learn more check my other grass carp fishing tips ...

Tip #1: Move Very Slowly

Grass carp can see outside of the water. They are extremely suspicious towards any movement or sound.

You can check that yourself by splashing the water or stirring it up with a stick. If the water is clear you will be able to see them swimming to the covers. It is also a great way to find out where their covers are.

Move slowly, watch your steps, and wear clothes that blends into the environment. Speak quietly if you have to. Fast movements will make you seem like a threat, and there is no way you will catch grass carp.

Tip #2: Be Very Patient

Patience is the key. If you spooked them, you will have to wait for a while for a fish to relax again.

When you present your bait, grass carp will not come and immediately eat it, no matter how hungry the fish is.

Grass carp likes to observe, sniff, nibble and check the bait before biting. During this time, you should be calm and patient. Trying to set up a hook like you would normally do will spook the fish and destroy a perfectly good opportunity.

How to Catch Grass Carp - Tips - Patience

Tip #3: Cast Carefully

Casting should be slow and gentle, without a big splash.

Avoid erratic movement, fast reeling, or any other similar water disturbance. If you are a beginner, try practicing your casting abilities, because to catch a grass carp, you can’t miss the place, retrieve and cast again because grass carp will go away.

Try to cast precisely to a desired location, and when your bait lands, keep the line tension – free. Grass carp does not like to feel resistance. Give it enough slack, and set your drag low.

Tip #4: Outsmart the Fish While Fighting

Although very timid and shy, grass carp can fight extremely hard ... 

When you set up the hook and start retrieving the fish, fighting will go from bad to worse. When you get the carp close by, and the carp sees you and the fishing net, situation can get worse.

In some situations, grass carp will start jumping, throwing around, biting and this erratic and uncontrolled movement may result in breaking off. And it would be a shame to lose such a good catch.

If this behaviour starts, give the fish some extra line to prevent hard impacts. Try to control the situation. When this crazy movement stops, react fast and get it out of the water before it starts again.

Grass carp - locations

Tip #5: Use the Right Fishing Equipment

For successful grass carp fishing, select a top-brand carp rod and use a 20-30 lbs test line.

Opt for a bait holder hook, avoiding treble hooks to facilitate catch and release, and choose circle hooks to match the carp's mouth.

Equip your reel with 200 yards (180 meters) of monofilament or copolymer line, opting for low-visibility options.

Set the reel to free-spool to prevent spooking the carp with drag, and keep a finger on the line to detect subtle bites. 

Tip #6: Choose Correct Hook Size and Type

When targeting grass carp, selecting the right equipment is crucial.

For sizable fish, opt for #1 to 2/0 hooks, but #4 hooks are suitable for most. Consult a hook size chart to understand the scale.

Circle hooks are effective as they puncture the fish's mouth corner without needing to set the hook with a jerk. Learn to tie and use them for a successful catch and release, minimizing harm to the fish.

These hooks, with their point aligned with the shank, are non-offset. Sharp, high-quality hooks from trusted manufacturers are essential for fishing for grass carp, as poor-quality hooks may break or deform during the struggle. Always ensure your hooks are in top condition for the best way to catch grass carp.

Grass carp equipment

Tip #7: Various Carp Rigs

There are various carp rigs, and there is a reason for such a diversity.

You should choose in accordance with the time of the year, lake bottom, and of course, the bait you are using.

Grass carp likes weedy areas, and the chod rig may be a great option if you are fishing in weeds, and do not have the option to move your bait elsewhere.

Some anglers prefer rigs with shorter hooklinks when catching grass carp.

When choosing the best rig for carp fishing, beginners often start with a simple hair rig, and that one can be effective if you manage to get the grass carp over lake bead that is not covered with grass. To fish near the surface, anglers use adjustable zig-rigs.

As a beginner, familiarize yourself with the differences, and practice setting them up at home.

How to Catch Grass Carp - Tips - Rigs

Tip #8: The Best Bait for Grass Carp

Grass carp are primarily herbivorous and consume aquatic plants, but they may sometimes ingest insects and small invertebrates.

Now when you know what do grass carp eat, you should choose baits for grass carp which will be more attractive to them than their natural food.

  • Bread – this cheap and easy to use bait is widely available and you can use it alone, or spiced up with some additives and attractants to increase effectiveness. The downside is that bread easily dissolves in water and falls of a hook, so you will have to carefully mould it around the hook. Fast dissolving and spreading abilities make it a great prebaiting food.

  • Fruit – this may sound weird to you but grass carp love a sweet taste. You can use strawberries, plum or pineapple. Some anglers will throw in some cherry tomatoes into their prebaiting mixture. Fruit is not naturally available to grass carp so it will make them curious but also very cautious.

  • Sweet corn – corn is very cheap and versatile. You can use it alone or in combination with other baits, such as boilies. It can be bought canned (sweet cans of corn) or you can buy dry feed corn, and prepare it yourself by adding molasses or different attractants and colouring. Corn is an excellent prebaiting food too.

  • Boilies – carp boilies are available in all sizes, flavours, colours and textures. The best thing about carp boilies that you can easily make them yourself and add ingredients which are the best for a certain location, season and specie. Grass carp like sweet taste, so you can go with strawberry, pineapple or similar. Colour should be chosen according to a water clarity. Brighter colours increase bait visibility.

How to Catch Grass Carp - Tips - Boilies

  • Grass – grass carp naturally eats aquatic weeds, so why not using the most natural option as bait? Many anglers use grass for prebaiting purposes. However, you will get the best effect if you mix it with something interesting, to attract carp attention.

  • Earth worms or maggots – choose a size that can cover the hook completely. Worms are natural bait for grass carp, so the fish shouldn’t be very suspicious towards them.

  • Lima beans – a popular choice for feeding grass carp, as they are high in protein and energy. Grass carp, stocked in many ponds and lakes, are herbivorous fish and enjoy a diet of plant materials. Lima beans provide a nutritious and natural source of food for these fish, contributing to their overall health and growth.

How to Catch Grass Carp - Tips - Lima beans

Tip #9: Attract Grass Carp the Right Way

To effectively lure grass carp, a popular freshwater fish in lakes and ponds, prebaiting (chumming) is essential.

Start a few days ahead if regulations permit. The aim is to entice the fish with the promise of food, like corn, fresh cut grass, or bread, without overfeeding.

Scatter your chosen bait around 10-20 ft (3-6 meters) from the bank, ensuring the area is clear of underwater and shoreline obstacles for an unobstructed catch. After the prebait settles, introduce your fishing bait.

Some anglers mix a "salad" of lettuce and assorted vegetables or fruits, which is appealing to grass carp due to their preference for aquatic vegetation. To avoid attracting other species, you may opt for specific fruits or cherry tomatoes.

Grass carp - corn

Tip #10: Choose the Best Place to Catch Grass Carp

To successfully catch grass carp, a fish species often used for weed control, it's crucial to know their preferred habitats.

They typically reside in lakes, ponds, or slow-moving rivers with ample underwater plants. When prebaiting, choose obstacle-free zones.

These fish often form shoals and are frequently found near the surface, making them easy to spot, especially in clear, shallow waters near the shore.

Grass carp are adaptable, tolerating various temperatures and low oxygen levels, which makes them a common species in many stocked locations.

Sharpening your fishing skills involves understanding these behaviors to effectively lure grass carp from their hiding spots.

How to Catch Grass Carp - Tips - Place


If you have been wondering how to catch grass carp, now you have the answer.

To catch them, you will need a lot of patience and practice. Many beginners are eager to catch a large grass carp, and it usually results in disappointment.

To increase your chances, set up your gear, use proper baits and attract the grass carp as described in this article.

And one more tip in the end. Don’t cast very close to grass carp. Try casting about 6 feet in front of them and wait for them to come to you.

About Me

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I am Siniša Pintar (friends call me Sina), the guy behind Slo-fishing.si and eBook writer. This site is base camp for fishing enthusiasts from all over the world. I love fishing and want to share all my stories, knowledge and my experience with any and all potential anglers. Read more ...

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