Cooked potato, presented in a variety of forms, is favoured as a bait for large carp but is also attractive to bottomfeeders in general and sometimes tench, bream, chub and barbel. The occasional larger roach will take a potato but one of the bait’s advantages to the carp fisherman is that smaller fish will usually be deterred by its size and will leave it to the specimens. The attractiveness of potato to large carp is perhaps attributable to its curiosity value and, despite a notorious cautiousness, they will investigate a potential food not normally found in their natural environment if careful groundbaiting is used to allay their suspicions.

To hook a potato, thread the line

The groundbait in the right place, and then to fish the baited hook in the middle of it or as close as possible—on the downstream side.

Groundbaiting is frequently done with the use of mechanical devices, such as baitdroppers, swimfeeders and catapults. One sure way of landing loose maggots, or other hookbait samples, on the bottom, is to put them there by means of a baitdropper, of which there are various kinds on the market. The loaded baitdropper is lowered to the bottom of the swim, when a trip wire opens the lid and releases the contents.


A form of groundbaiting which is effective in many types of waters, particularly for surface and midwater species, is cloudbaiting. This means clouding the water by introducing minute particles which the fish will search through, looking for more substantial food.

After taking note of the rate of flow of the water, the angler regularly throws nwWWP^ through it, using a baiting needle. Better, sink a short piece of plastic tubing through the bait and pass the line through it. This will prevent the line cutting into the potato with the force of the cast, which often has to be a long one. Then tie on a suitably sized hook (some use a barbless model or cut the barb oiT the regular kind) and pull the hook back into the potato gently so as to prevent fragmenting when casting.