How to Catch Asian Carp

Asian carp fishing is a growing sport, and it seems everyone wants in on the action.

Carp are large fish with plenty of fight, and they are a bit exotic.

So how do you catch Asian carp? Keep reading as this post goes over the best ways to target and battle big, fat, Asian carp.


Methods to Catching Carp

There are many methods you can use to catch Asian carp.

They range from netting to pole fishing, to gigging.

Here is a deeper explanation for each.

Throw Nets

A throw net is a ringed net that you toss in a spiral motion from the bow of the boat, from shore, or from a sandbar.

The net spirals through the air in a circle where it lands on the water.

Thanks to sinkers tied ever six-twelve inches, the net sinks quickly to the bottom catching anything beneath it.

As it is drawn in, it closes securing the catch in the net, which you then haul into the boat.

Throw nets are available in many sizes for adults and children.

They are sold by weight and by circumference or diameter.

They are mostly sold in monofilament, but some are available in twine netting.


Bowfishing is aptly appropriate for targeting Asian carp.

This sight fishing method requires you to see your target, then fire an arrow with a fishing line tied to it into the carp.

The bow has a reel attachment that allows you to battle the carp and then haul it onboard.

Note: Polarized sunglasses greatly improve your ability to see carp that are submerged. They add to your ability to find and target carp, especially on sunny days. Polarized sunglasses block much of the glare from the water and should be part of every anglers tool kit.

Rod and Reel

Perhaps the most popular way to catch Asian Carp is to use a rod and reel.

You can attract carp with smelly baits and sometimes with flashy spoons.

Carp have poor eyesight, and they hunt by sense of smell.

You can fish them in the daytime, but during the night they are often more active due to their poor eyesight.

To fish carp at night, you use a fish monitor.

The monitor sounds when the line is disturbed alerting you to the fact that a fish has taken the bait.

You can choose a fly rod or spinning rod for carp fishing.

A 7-8 weight fly rod is ideal in the 12-foot length range. A 12-13-foot medium action rod will do well for spinning rods.


To gig for Asian carp, you use a gigging fork.

The process requires that you wade through the water, slowly and carefully until you spot a carp.

You position yourself without scaring the fish off, and then stab it with the gigging fork.

It is a different approach to fishing, but one that works well and evokes a primal vibe of hunting.

Gigs are available in three tines or five tine units. Each tine is sharp and pointed with barbs that securely hold the carp in place.

If you are shopping for gigs be sure to check the handle diameter in relationship to your palm size.

It is important that you be able to securely hold the gig pole so that you can apply the greatest force. Fishing gloves also greatly help.


What is the best bait to catch Asian carp?

Asian carp eat many types of foods and one of the weirdest foods to attract carp to a hook is sweet corn.

Trout and bass also have a love for sweet corn.

Whether you go for the sweet corn or you go for boilies, which are a conglomerate type of fish bait – fish meal, flour, bird food, and milk proteins, you will attract Asian carp to your hook.

The key to bait fishing for carp is to use bait that is strong smelling.

They hunt with their nose, not their eyes.

Are Asian carp easy to catch?

Asian carp are not overly difficult to catch which is why there are so many methods to catching them.

They are also big fish. The world record carp is just under 107 pounds.

Their massive size makes them a wonderful target for anyone who wants to battle big, fat, trophy fish.

Can you catch Asian carp with a hook?

Absolutely you can catch Asian carp with a hook.

The best method for baiting fishing Asian carp is to set a line and leave it alone.

Most people bait fish Asian carp at night.

Use a quality fish alarm and set out a few lines.

Carp hunt by scent so use strong-smelling baits, such as sweet corn, boilies, etc.

If you are wondering how to use sweet corn as a bait, use tulle to wrap the corn in, which is cheap and easy.

How do you catch a bighead carp on a rod and reel?

The trick for bighead carp is to use carp bait-balls.

There is also carp bait that comes from Japan that you can add to the bait balls.

The bait-ball is a plastic device with a snap lid. It looks like a wiffle ball.

You put the bait in, and around the bait-ball are a series of hooks with tiny floats.

The floats help the hooks to find the carp’s mouth.

To catch bighead carp, add sweet corn, boilies, or Asian carp bait to the bait-ball and let it sink near the bottom.

The bait leaves a strong bait trail which draw in the carp.

Carp are plankton feeders, and they will follow the grainy smell right to the swirl of hooks.

Where can I find bighead carp?

If you are fishing in freshwater where bighead carp are known to be, you will find them in the top 1/3 of the water column.

They are found in rivers, reservoirs, water holding ponds, natural ponds, lakes, and even small streams.

How do you catch a big head carp?

You can catch big head carp with a rod and reel, net, or bowfishing bow

The easiest way to catch these big fish is with a rod and reel and a setup that includes a strong smelling bait.

You can target them day or night, which allows you to extend the timeline for fishing for big Asian Carp.


If targeting big, fat, trophy fish is on your bucket list, consider going after Asian Carp.

These fish are easy to catch, if you know the secrets.

They offer a few ways to target them – net, bow, rod and reel – and the tactics make them fun to target.

The best part about fishing for Asian Carp is the tremendous battle that these big fish provide.