Let’s all agree from the start, boilies are the ultimate carp bait. Fished correctly nothing catches more carp around the UK and Europe than boilies and hook baits.
But with so many available how can you know which are the best boilies on the market?
Here’s my guide to my bait and how to best fish it, it’s broken down as follows (Scroll through to what you are looking for)
- Best small boilies (12mm and under)
- Mid to large size (14mm+)
- Best freezer boilies
- Best popups
- Best wafters
Best boilie guide
As a day session angler, I’m really keen on smaller boilies and have used loads of different ones. Smaller boilies are a killer bait for winter carping. I always carry some 12mm boilies and hook baits on day sessions – they can be good for getting a bite if it’s a quiet day. My choice for the best small boilies is – Nash – Scopex Squid. These are an awesome smelling bait that and the 12mms are nice and soft. They come with a full range of matching liquids and hook baits too.
A bag will last me a few sessions in winter and I generally fish them in a stiff bag or small bed of broken boilies. When fishing the bottom baits I’ll occasionally use them in a method or pellet feeder as a hook bait (See my guide to the best feeder pellets here). I always get great results at the lakes I fish with these boilies and they are my go-to bait.
Best full-size boilies
I’m saying full size for anything 14mm+ as I class anything under that as a small boilie. This section is basically what I think is the absolute ultimate must buy boilie.
And the winner is…
CC Moore Live system
It’s fair to say CC Moores Live System boilies are my favourite boilie and these have accounted for some big carp around the world. They are a unique bait with an incredible smell and excellent consistency.
These are part of an incredible range of baits from CC Moore in this flavour with the stick mix being one of my favourite products to use. Here’s the full range –
- Shelf life boilies in various sizes (15mm – 18mm – 24mm)
- Matching Popups
- Balanced wafters
- Bag mix
- Base mix for rolling your own
- Freezer bait paste
- Hardened hook baits
- Pre glugged hookbaits
- Dumbell boilies
The bag mix is fantastic for your PVA bags and it creates a good area of attraction around your bait to create a cloud or attraction. There are not many others on the market that combine these flavours and the difference gives you a good edge on harder waters rather than fishing the same baits everyone else is using.
If you want the best bait to catch more carp then I’d say you cannot go wrong with these – in summer, winter, autumn or spring!
I could have done a whole separate page on pop-ups with the amount of weird and wonderful baits there is no the market. I’ve tried fishing with the odd fluro mixed colour ones but just find they don’t work, well they didn’t for me anyway. Ones like this are not making the list!
I’m sure someone out their loves these baits but it’s not me.
My favourite pop-ups are – CC Moore diary supreme pop-ups, washed-out pink colour. What I love about these are the colour and strength. The elite range can stay in the water for up to 24 hours and work really well with the matching glug. The 12mm is a great bait for the cooler months and is my preferredhook bait bait all winter. I’ll then switch to the larger sizes in the summer months.
These can be fished effectively on their own or over a bed of bait and work best with an added glug or bait spray booster. The 12mm version make great baits for a snowman rigs over a size 18mm/ 20mm boilie. These are excellent as a hook bait on a solid bag.
Best Cheap boilies
Important – when I say cheap I mean ways to find good value quality boilies, I do not mean the £3 a kilo crap off eBay.
1 – Starmer baits – Starmer baits have a good range of quality boilies but with a bit of searching you can find 5KG bags of their offcuts and overruns at a great price – Check for stock here. With offcuts, you’ll never really know what you’re getting until they arrive and from experience, you’ll get some odd shapes and the occasional sausage in there. These are great boilies for feeding and mixing up how you fish. I’ve had some decent sessions on these.
2 – Premier baits – Randoms – Premier baits are one of my favourite frozen boilies manufactures and for the best value freezer boilies you will not beat these at £17.50 per 5KG* (*Price correct at time of writing this blog, shipping is extra). These are again overruns from their mainline and are excellent boilies. Find them here.
Again you don’t know what you’re fishing with and will have a mix of boilies on the lake bed but at this price for the quality, you cannot go wrong. If available you’ll find them in the left-hand menu of the premier baits website.
Best freezer boilies
For big carp fishing and long sessions you simply cannot beat freezer baits. The quality of the baits are instantly noticeable and with a little prep and an air-dry bag (I use this one) then you’ll soon see the benefit of these baits.
1 – Premier Baits – Matrix Plus
What a bait the matrix is, I’ve caught loads of fish using these baits and were allowed I’ve some mates who take them to France every time they go. The Matrix plus is an advanced version of the original Matrix which is even more potent and too 2 years of testing before launch to make sure it was perfect.
The smallest amount you can buy is 5kg which comes in at a very reasonable £40 (Correct at time of writing and subject to change). Sizes go from 14mm up to 24mm and if you order 20kg or more then you’ll be able to split sizes. At a maximum, you can order 50KG for £290 which works out at just £5.80 a kilo – which is a great value.
This is a really common question and there is no hard and fast rule. Below is a general guide to what I’d use personally – the best advice is to play around with the rigs and see how they look and what you catch on.
- 12mm – I’d usually use a size 10 or 12 hooks.
- 15mm – I’d usually us a 10 or an 8 size hook.
- 18mm – I’d usually use an 8, 6 or size 4 – but you can go to a 2 – this just isn’t something I’d personally do.
Spring/ Summer – The general guide would be to use higher oil and fishmeal baits in the warmer months – like my spiced krill flavour which catches loads in the summer.
Autumn/ Winter – When it starts getting cooler higher oil boilies aren’t good for the fish as the oils take time to break down. Usually, carpers, including myself, move over to sweeter flavours. My top choice of boilie to use in winter is the Pineapple, Butyric and Black Pepper Oil wafters, fished over a few free offerings, pellets and all soaked in boilie glug.