How to Catch Big Fish: By Fishing With a Carrot.

This is a Winter morning here.

To be the only fisherman on a beach is something many dream of. 30 minutes from Bumble Town - NZ the dream is always a reality.
To be the only fisherman on a beach is something many dream of. 30 minutes from Bumble Town - NZ the dream is always a reality.

A Kiwi Bait to use anywhere.

The very best technique for Catching Fish Without Standard Bait: Catch Big Snapper With a Carrot; by Pearldiver; explains one of the very best techniques for making your own secret bait; so you can catch more fish than your mates. This proven idea might save you from missing a good fishing day when the money is tight, or for when the better half has put a padlock on your bait fridge, after telling you that you aren't allowed to go fishing, until you've cut the lawns and done your chores at home. So this works for the married guys as well; as long as they tell their better half that with these ingredients; they might be able to make breakfast in bed for her. So let's call this an important marital aid then.

Throughout the world people feel the urge to spend time fishing. To many; actually catching fish is the bonus gained from just being there; doing what you love. In New Zealand it is said that 10% of the recreational fishos; catch 90% of the fish. From the time that I have spent following my love of fishing; I would have to agree with those statistics. This is a saltwater bait recipe that can be used anywhere in the world; I use it in New Zealand; it works for me and I'm sure that it will work for you.

Welcome to my world. I enjoy being part of the 10% of New Zealand fishermen who has learned that to catch good fish; you must understand the fish that you hope to take home. Luck has very little to do with whether or not your fishing expedition is successful. I have spent a lot of time with people who have spent years trying to catch enough to feed their families or justify the cost of their equipment, terminal tackle and bait. Oh yeah, something to remember: Catching good fish is usually about Remoteness, or being as far away from the crowd as you can be. Big fish tend to be big as a result of staying away from crowded places. Maybe you should consider coming here for your next fishing trip?

Completely Forget what you know about Not Catching Fish.

One of the first things that I promote to those that ask me why they can't consistently catch fish is: Forget all the knowledge that you currently use to Not Catch Fish. Once the old 'clutter' is discharged, you are able to learn new habits that work. With an open mind; you can start having fun and find out how easy it really is to catch fish. Some of the 'smartest' fish that I have caught fell prey to a humble carrot!

Carrots make good berley too.

An easy way to save on bait.

If you are thinking; "Yeah Right Kiwi! Carrots?" I'm pleased that you doubt me. This was exactly what I said to my grandfather, when he told me about growing your own bait. The cost and availability of quality bait has been instrumental to the development of many 'artificial' baits, that have shown their worth to those anglers who were open minded enough to actually try something very different from the norm.

Today millions of plastics, catch more than their share of the fish for no doubt again; a smaller percentage of the fishermen. What the emergence of this style of lure has done is to prove that if you hold your mouth right; you can catch fish on just about anything. By the way; this recipe will also enhance the effectiveness of the plastic lures as well. If you are just too embarrassed to let your mates see how clever you are; then you can use your carrot baits for a very effective low cost berley. The oil in the recipe won't get you a job at BP; but it will carry the tantalizing smell of freshly dug carrots to those fish that like to mix their diet up a bit.

So, how do you catch fish with a carrot? Stop smiling first - save the smile for the result. The references that I make all relate to saltwater fishing and I have not attempted to catch freshwater fish with this method. For most freshwater species; I would suggest you consider an old poacher's trick: Slightly Burnt Cheese!

The best ever catch for Shane.

This is a Bumble Town fisherman who had never caught an 8lb fish before after 15 years of fishing. I used the same carrot bait to not only catch him; but to also allow him to catch his best fish yet.
This is a Bumble Town fisherman who had never caught an 8lb fish before after 15 years of fishing. I used the same carrot bait to not only catch him; but to also allow him to catch his best fish yet.

Think outside the lunch box.

One of the main reasons people don't catch fish, is because they don't take the time to prepare for the event. I'm sure we have all been guilty of not cleaning our equipment after the last day out; only to find that we get an equipment malfunction on the next day out. For this experiment, you must allow at least two days 'prep time' to ensure the best results. If you take the time to do your preparation you will enhance your chances by 60%.

Effectively, to catch fish on carrots, you must marinade the bait over at least a 48 hour period. However, the longer the bait is left to marinade the better. For your preparation you will need the following ingredients: 6 x Medium sized carrots - 500 mls of Vegetable Oil - 100 grms of Star Anise (Aniseed) - 1 x Small tin of Sardines or Anchovies - 1 x 1 litre pot - 1 x 600ml Plastic container with a tight lid - And just a few minutes of your time.


We have trained the fish here.

The very best time for fishing is before dawn. This is also the best time for using a carrot bait!
The very best time for fishing is before dawn. This is also the best time for using a carrot bait!

Our Day: Are you Envious?

We are Kiwis. This is New Zealand. What are you missing?  Come fishing. Look at this place. It doesn't matter how big your carrot is: It's how you use it!
We are Kiwis. This is New Zealand. What are you missing? Come fishing. Look at this place. It doesn't matter how big your carrot is: It's how you use it!

Preparation is 3/4 of the job.

Peel the carrots and cut each carrot lengthways into slithers approximately 10mm in thickness. Heat your pot on a low heat and add the Vegetable Oil, heating it until it is just below boiling. Take the Star Anise seed pods and add to the oil, stirring them into the oil. Increase the heat until your mixture reaches boiling point, stirring throughout. Allow your mix to boil for no more than 3 minutes, stirring to make sure you do not bun the oil and then turn down to simmer for another 15 minutes, stirring regularly. The smell of aniseed will start to be given off in the vapour. Continue until its intensity increases and then remove from the heat. Allow your mix to cool to room temperature.

While you have your mix bubbling away, take the carrot slithers and dry them on a paper towel. Make sure that you do not wash the carrots. Now take a small knife and shape the carrots into something that resembles a small fish, no longer than 100mm in length. Make sure to make only a small indent in your bait carrot when forming the tail region. It is important that your cuts here do not create a weak stress point on the bait. It does not matter how bad they look; you don't have to be an artist. Don't forget to stir the pot while you are doing this. Dry the carrot baits again once you have shaped them and cover them with a second paper towel.

Once the oil has cooled completely, place your little carrot fish in the (disposable) plastic container. Now open the tin of Sardines and pour the fish oil over the carrots. To enhance that scent, you can put no more than two broken up sardines in with the carrots. Take the aniseed oil mix and pour it all over the carrots. Include the star anise pods into your container. Lightly stir the two oils together, ensuing that the carrots remain submerged. You have now made your baits. Let this container sit (at room temperature) for up to a month before your fishing day. During this time, the carrots Will soak up the oil and remain pliable.

More Carrot Bait Damage: Are You Envious Now?

This is the damage done by 4 carrots in one and a half hours before dawn.
This is the damage done by 4 carrots in one and a half hours before dawn.

Use Elastic Cotton For All Baits

Caught on a "Yeah Right!"

This 5lb Snapper didn't believe it was a carrot either!
This 5lb Snapper didn't believe it was a carrot either!

How to bait your hooks.

When preparing your baits you will need: 2 x 6/0 Hooks - 1 x Size 1 Snap Swivel - 350mm 30lb Mono - Elastic Cotton.

Tie the first hook onto your mono leader line. Thread the second hook onto the line from the bottom side of the hook eye, so that it free runs. Tie the Snap Swivel to the other end of the leader. Your Trace will now be approximately 300mm in length. This is later attached to your main line on which you have threaded a running 3 - 4 oz sinker.

Take your leader line by the fixed hook. You are going to have your bait with the head end facing away from your main line; fixed by both hooks (the second being a 'keeper' hook). Pass the first hook once through the carrot in the area where its gills would be. Slide the second hook down and push it through the bait (in the same direction as the first). This hook is placed approximately where the gut cavity would be on the bait. Now do a half hitch knot over the tail section of your bait but do not pull it too tight or it will cut into the carrot bait.

Take your elastic cotton and wrap as much as you need around the bait to make sure the hooks are exposed and the half hitch is not taking the strain on your bait if it was pulled tight. Tie off the cotton with a half hitch and your bait is ready. Once I have cottoned my bait, I usually soak the bait and especially the cotton back in the oil. The reason for this is that the oil soaked cotton will create its own little oil slick over and above what your bait gives off.

OK you are ready to cast and start having some fun. When you tell your friends what you caught your fish on; they will probably say exactly what you did: "Yeah Right!" And for those guys who tricked their better halves into shopping for your ingredients; Don't forget that you are making breakfast in bed for her. If you want to add some romance to the occasion; then tell her that you decided not to go fishing; so that you could make breakfast for her... do the lawns, wash the dog, get the groceries, peel the carrots and.......

Copyright © 2009 - 2015 Art of the Diver with all rights reserved.

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Please Note.

Remember, that the best time to use this method is either during the change of light prior to dawn or just after dusk. Good Luck and leave your neighbour's garden alone.

Don't be afraid to leave a comment on this site or ask any questions that you feel are appropriate. Enjoy your fishing and make a difference to our environment by taking your rubbish home with you. (Along with your fish).

If you have enjoyed this secret Bumble Town - New Zealand fishing tip.. please mark this article Objectively and Positively. Thank you. Pearldiver.
If you have enjoyed this secret Bumble Town - New Zealand fishing tip.. please mark this article Objectively and Positively. Thank you. Pearldiver.

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Comments 50 comments

mythbuster profile image

mythbuster 7 years ago from Utopia, Oz, You Decide

Wow, "2 days prep time" - never knew that. This is a helpful hub - especially the tip to leave your neighbor's garden alone...good one - a touch of paradox.


Pearldiver profile image

Pearldiver 7 years ago from Tomorrow - In Words & NZ Time. Author

Thanks for reading this MB.. just don't burn the oil. I put that note in there especially for you; did you not see me moving in next door yesterday?


BirteEdwards profile image

BirteEdwards 7 years ago

Never fished in my life, but I am learning to see the value. Fishing, like with many other things in life, demand thinking outside the box, removing clutter for new things to come. I like the similarities


Pearldiver profile image

Pearldiver 7 years ago from Tomorrow - In Words & NZ Time. Author

Come and visit Birte and I'll teach you; maybe we can see what we can catch with Cheese! Thank you for reading & your comments.


Eaglekiwi profile image

Eaglekiwi 7 years ago from -Oceania

Well ok now Im hungry!! gosh that takes me back ,well the eating part anyway , I finally tried catfish ( they love it here in the south) got chatting to the fish guy in the deli , they had orange roughy from NZ!! ...another neato hub PD ,hey the link thingy , only thing I know to do is open your hub ,edit part, and in chosen capsule will be a link symbol (looks like a chain-link),that's where you link to any of your other hubs by highlighting appropriate word in the hub you have open.) but I dont know if that's what your wanting to know ,so sorry ask Darkside , he always responds ,hes great like that or Dame S ,shes a wee cracker ,failing that throw it in the forum buddy and good luck. All this fishy talks got me thinkin crayfish now dipped in butter!!!

hey this hub has the fonterra links ( I think) awesome they catch big fish too !!! thems the links I want.


Janetta 7 years ago

I usually stand in the boat and lean over the water calling "Here fishy fishy fishy..." Will that work??


Pearldiver profile image

Pearldiver 7 years ago from Tomorrow - In Words & NZ Time. Author

Thanks EagleKiwi Crayfish sounds good. But the Bluff Oysters are Better. Cheers for reading my works & encouragement.


Pearldiver profile image

Pearldiver 7 years ago from Tomorrow - In Words & NZ Time. Author

Janetta, Thank you. Come Fishing if that works with fish; maybe you can do the same with your dreams. I had a cat that it worked with


Eaglekiwi profile image

Eaglekiwi 7 years ago from -Oceania

ya just to put oysters in there , didn't ya ,couldn't resist lol oh well cant ya work a deal with one of dem kaikoura divers ,

janetta ..love ya sense of humour haha, they literally do jump out of the water in some rivers ,so ya never know ,couldn just imagine yer expression , (grins)


Badgirl 7 years ago

Hiya My friend has told me of this way of contacting you, I got er removed for attitude So I went on s q u i d o o hahahahahahha.

Gotta be Gisbo...?????????????


Pearldiver profile image

Pearldiver 7 years ago from Tomorrow - In Words & NZ Time. Author

Hahaha.. Good one... thanks for your attitude.. it made you leave a comment.. but no, it's not Gisbourne.


cindyvine profile image

cindyvine 7 years ago from Kyiv, Ukraine

Hmmmmmmmm


Pearldiver profile image

Pearldiver 7 years ago from Tomorrow - In Words & NZ Time. Author

CV - Behave... Hmmmmmm Try it... If you dare.. You will catch fish.


Anamika S profile image

Anamika S 7 years ago from Mumbai - Maharashtra, India

A Carrot bait ? Interesting!


Pearldiver profile image

Pearldiver 7 years ago from Tomorrow - In Words & NZ Time. Author

Thanks for dropping by Anamika and taking time out from your busy writing schedule. Yep, a carrot bait.. or it could be a spud.. as long as it soaks up the oils within the marinade. It works and the best thing about it is that people don't believe it possible. And of course carrots are good for eyesight, maybe that's why the fish are attracted to them..lol.


nyliram profile image

nyliram 7 years ago

Hi Congratulations on your winning Hub,

from Nyliram.


Pearldiver profile image

Pearldiver 7 years ago from Tomorrow - In Words & NZ Time. Author

Thanks Nyliram our newest kiwi, your turn is coming up soon... lol.


\Brenda Scully 7 years ago

O.k. i have my rubbish and I am going home.... nice hub.


Pearldiver profile image

Pearldiver 7 years ago from Tomorrow - In Words & NZ Time. Author

Thanks Brenda... But you could have taken your fish too. Cheers for reading this.


\Brenda Scully 7 years ago

Did not catch any..... i dont think your instructions were good enough


Pearldiver profile image

Pearldiver 7 years ago from Tomorrow - In Words & NZ Time. Author

Really, No Fish? Oh And You needed instructions? Probably best to wait for the end of our winter and try again then.. during Spring we use raddiches instead of carrots.. they are easier to put on a hook..lol


Christoph Reilly profile image

Christoph Reilly 7 years ago from St. Louis

Hmmm. Maybe I'll be the one to test the bait on freshwater fish!


Pearldiver profile image

Pearldiver 7 years ago from Tomorrow - In Words & NZ Time. Author

Thanks for reading this Christoph. If you try this as a freshwater bait, make sure that you can't loose your licence for using aniseed attractant. I have no doubt that for koy carp or catfish this should work fine.. Good Luck.. let me know how you go.


Highvoltagewriter profile image

Highvoltagewriter 7 years ago from Savannah GA.

I am one of the 10% that catch fish...but the carrot deal is a new one for me! I have some surf fishing methods you may have never heard of..check them out in "catch your own bait buddy!" Hub I wrote. Thanks for the fun hub!


Pearldiver profile image

Pearldiver 7 years ago from Tomorrow - In Words & NZ Time. Author

Hello Highvoltagewriter, electrifying statement that may have to be qualified by a day of fishing together and a $10 challenge on who gets their limit first. Thanks for showing interest in my works; I will certainly return the interest.

I have a huge armoury of surf fishing techniques that I should write about. Thanks for making the introduction; fishing certainly is a sport that unites the world. Take care & tight lines.


prettydarkhorse profile image

prettydarkhorse 7 years ago from US

very useful information Mr ROB, I go always with the little boys of my friend in the lakes and I will share this one, hard work but there you can catch a fish after, I must say that catching a fish is all, but the proces of fishing is more fun, waiting is fun also...

very informative hub too!

Have a good day, Maita


Pearldiver profile image

Pearldiver 7 years ago from Tomorrow - In Words & NZ Time. Author

Hi Maita, Thanks for reading this. Remember this is a salt water bait and I have not tested it in fesh water, though it should work. If it doesn't then please don't blame the carrot lol. I agree with what you have said about fishing; I think the buzz is the anticipation. Take care and have a great christmas Maita.


salt profile image

salt 6 years ago from australia

Good for vegan fish if you forget the marinade. You could serve it to people who say their vegetarian, but eat fish.

Other than that, wouldn't it be just as inexpensive to use normal bait and less time consuming.. and you could spend all that time fishing instead of slicing carrots.


Pearldiver profile image

Pearldiver 6 years ago from Tomorrow - In Words & NZ Time. Author

Hi Salt, thanks for reading this and your interesting comments. Of course the use of a carrot is limited only to your imagination... isn't it? Part of successful fishing (as with many other things)is doing your prep first. This hub was also written for those who (for whatever reason) don't have a good fresh bait supply available to them. Take care.


Peace2009 profile image

Peace2009 6 years ago from New Zealand

hey pearl the carrot bait really works


Pearldiver profile image

Pearldiver 6 years ago from Tomorrow - In Words & NZ Time. Author

Hi Peace, thanks for taking the time to visit. I'm glad that you found this bait works and I hope that you told your mates about it too. I see that you forgot to tell me when my fish is arriving. Glad you caught more than a cold mate. Take care.


Sweetsusieg profile image

Sweetsusieg 6 years ago from Michigan

Next time I get by the Ocean I will give it a try! I used to live in Florida and LOVED fishing off the shore with my Yo-Yo.. Best non-fishing pole around! There was a little trick that the Cuban's taught me, the proper way to swing it. Go round and round your head (arm up please!) releasing a little line as you go, until you have a VERY large circle of line. Release and holding your Yo-Yo just right you could send it out more than 100 yards! Just make sure your finger tip didn't remain under the line, a whopper of a fish can easily take the end off!

P.S. Barracudas are Yummy!!


Pearldiver profile image

Pearldiver 6 years ago from Tomorrow - In Words & NZ Time. Author

Hi Sweetsusieg, thanks for reading this and reminding me of how I used to once fish. There is so much fun to be had from handlining from shore. The casting technique that you mention is the same as here (NZ) though not many do this today. I have caught some great fish this way. We use barras as bait... and the reason is that they are often full of worms. They make really good snapper bait. Take Care.


Sweetsusieg profile image

Sweetsusieg 6 years ago from Michigan

ewwwwwww.... I didn't know that... Yucky worms?? ewww, now I got the creepies... dang. *shuddering* here


Pearldiver profile image

Pearldiver 6 years ago from Tomorrow - In Words & NZ Time. Author

Hi Sweetsusieg, yep they are marine worms that are common throughout the world and affect many species of fish; including some species of cod. As Parasites, they are usually only found when filleting and preping the fillets, as they live and move through the flesh and can be only as fine as a hair. Well worth avoiding. Enjoy...


rmr profile image

rmr 6 years ago from Livonia, MI

I've had success with anise in fresh water in the past, but I've never tried it with a carrot. Sounds like a great (read cheap)bait! I'll give this one a try for sure.


Pearldiver profile image

Pearldiver 6 years ago from Tomorrow - In Words & NZ Time. Author

Hi rmr, thanks for reading this and for letting me know that you have found the scent working in freshwater. As I mentioned in this article, sightly burnt cheese baits work in fresh water here. I would be interested in knowing what you catch when you try this, as you guys have a far better selection of freshwater fish species than we do. We basically have trout, sea-run salmon and eels, in our streams and carp now in our lakes... that's it! I would love to fish for bass... but alas we only get that sort of fight from our whitebait! Good Luck my friend - let me know.. Tight Lines.


rmr profile image

rmr 6 years ago from Livonia, MI

That's a shame about your fresh water choices. I'm fortunate to live in Michigan, nestled among the Great Lakes, so I'm a little spoiled for choice. Unfortunately, it's getting a little chilly for fishing where I live (right around freezing at the moment), so the carrot trick will probably have to wait until spring. I can tell you this, though. Using anise, I have caught salmon, bass, pike, walleye and perch. Carp and catfish also seem to love it, especially when mixed into a dough bait with a little strawberry cream soda.


Pearldiver profile image

Pearldiver 6 years ago from Tomorrow - In Words & NZ Time. Author

Yep.. well anise certainly does work on salmon here too! Season-wise we're opposite with spring here and the best saltwater fishing time for the next couple of months, so fresh water fishing gets put on the back burner at this time of year. I think I need to plan a winter escape next year and get stuck into the walleye and pike... you can keep those horsecatfish they have to taste like mud, anyway you cook them. We're spoiled here atm with tuna, marlin and a 100 other saltwater species. So maybe you should escape your winter too and bring the carrots hahaha. Most welcome man!


Leptirela profile image

Leptirela 5 years ago from I don't know half the time

Great Hub, My father (now dead) used to love fishing I remember him taking me out with him sometimes.

Great HUB, Useful :)


Pearldiver profile image

Pearldiver 5 years ago from Tomorrow - In Words & NZ Time. Author

Hi Leptirela, thanks for reading this work. I'm glad that you enjoyed this. You are lucky to have such memories of fishing with your Dad, they are indeed special times, with or without fish. Cheers, you take care and be well.


wilderness profile image

wilderness 5 years ago from Boise, Idaho

Well, I guess you learn something every day - I would never in a thousand years thought of using carrots to catch fish with, no matter how marinated they were.

Nice hub, PD - no wonder you do well on HP.


Pearldiver profile image

Pearldiver 5 years ago from Tomorrow - In Words & NZ Time. Author

Hi wilderness, thanks for reading this and for your comments. Yep they work, but of course the marinade has a lot to do with the fact that carrots do the job. Since I wrote this article, I have converted a few to this very cheap way of fishing. I guess this method could also do something serious to help towards the preservation of the pilchard and sardine stocks, if it was wider used.

So over a period of a year if you are a regular fisho, your savings on bait can be quite substantial. Thanks for your compliment wilderness.. take care.


Tony 5 years ago

Hi hub, Tracey and I are going to make your bait and give it a whirl at urqharts bay next week. Will keep you posted


Pearldiver profile image

Pearldiver 5 years ago from Tomorrow - In Words & NZ Time. Author

Good Luck fella - don't forget the star anise.


Dodong - Cebu, Philippines 4 years ago

I tried to substitute sweet potatoes for carrots. It's fiber-rich, not too expensive and with the same result...catch big fish. Thanks a lot, Mr. Author for sharing your ideas.


A.A. Zavala profile image

A.A. Zavala 4 years ago from Texas

Fascinating! We use corn to catch perch or as chum for carp. Carving a carraot and infusing it oils to excite fish. I will try next time I head to the coast. Thank you for sharing.


Pearldiver profile image

Pearldiver 4 years ago from Tomorrow - In Words & NZ Time. Author

Hi Augustine, yes, I've used corn kernels to catch flounder and sole on tiny hooks. Other than obvious reasons cost etc. the reason I use this bait and not softbaits or alike is because I prefer to surf cast from shore and that method reduces your overall options. Carving the shape is just a preference that I use also, though I have never fished with this without first carving the bait... Of course the primary attractant is the additive and that is why this works. Thanks for taking the time and for your comment... Cheers.. Good luck mate, I'm sure you will have some fun.... take care


Glen Kowalski profile image

Glen Kowalski 2 years ago

I've caught fish on many different types of bait-but a carrot would be a first. I may try this with ground up-shrimp 'juice' and see how it works for sheepshead this winter when fiddler crabs are hard to come by.


Pearldiver profile image

Pearldiver 18 months ago from Tomorrow - In Words & NZ Time. Author

Hi Glen, you sound like you know what you're doing, so for sure have a play, this was an experimental exercise, that got good results and has given me a lot of laughs from surprised fishing mates. Thanks for your comment, I'd be interested in finding out how you go with this. Tight Lines buddy... take care

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