How to Make Fake Bread – Imitation Carp Bait

Geoff Stadnyk in Baits & Lures on

Imitation Carp Bait – How to Make Fake Bread

“It seems kind of funny and all, fake bread…”, thinks Jimmy as his thoughts wander off. His feet unconsciously follow a well known path through the shrubbery, leading to a rather large pond on the outskirts of Jimmy’s property. Jimmy had never in fact fished this pond, though he’d been there on countless occasions just wasting time. But after overhearing an old timer talking about the previous property owners, and the carp they used to catch in that pond, Jimmy decided to round up some forgotten fishing gear (see also carp fishing gear & methods here) and give it a try. Jimmy should have learned how to make fake bread.

Jimmy had been educated to the fact that bread can be used to catch carp, and he figured he’d buy a cheap loaf and go hook some of those carp (likely giants by now) that he had heard tell of. Once Jimmy got down to the water and tied his best set up, he carefully balled up some of the bread and coaxed it around the hook. First cast, and the bread goes flying off his hook to land in nearby water, floating harmlessly as free fish food. This unwittingly helps Jimmy, as the floating bread gets the attention of some nearby carp that come to investigate. Unfortunately, other eyes have seen the bread too. Jimmy eases off a bit on his next cast, and manages to get the bread and hook out a ways onto the water. But, before the carp arrive, hundreds of tiny schooled up bait fish quickly devour all the bread. Jimmy really should have learned how to make fake bread!

Fake Bread Fish Bait – Right from Your Kitchen

Jimmy’s story illustrates two of the obvious benefits of using fake bread vs. real bread. Fake bread will stay fastened to your hook much better than soft bread, especially if using what is known as a “hair rig”. Fake bread, much like stale bread, is harder than regular soft loaf bread. This makes it difficult for any smaller fish to peck away at it.

Kitchen Utensil Necessities:

✔Large Mixing Bowl
✔Measuring Cup
✔Dough Whisk or Pastry Blender
✔Baking Tray or Trays

Simple Fake Bread Recipe:

✔4 Cups Flour
✔1 Cup Salt
✔2 Cups Water

Step by Step:


  1. Add the flour and the salt to your large mixing bowl, and thoroughly blend.
  2. Slowly begin to add the water, using your dough whisk to stir as you do.
  3. Continue to add water and stir until you’ve formed a nice dough ball that isn’t too dry, but also doesn’t stick to your hands.
  4. Next you’ll want to form little pellet sized balls by picking off pieces of dough, and rolling them between your hands. Place each dough pellet on your baking trey about an inch apart.
  5. Bake in the oven at 300 degrees for about 30 minutes, or until crisp.
  6. Let these guys cool for about an hour, and store them in any manner you like. These fake bread bits will store a long time.

Your Secret Ingredient

This part is completely up to you, but it’s going to take at least 1 more ingredient to perfect your fake bread bait. You’ll surely want your false bread to give off a strong odor attractant while in the water. Perhaps you’re a big fan of garlic, or you find best results using hot sauce. If you’re fishing for carp, they go crazy for the pineapple and coconut flavor. You can order oils online, get them from your local tackle shop, or pick your own favorites from the grocery store. Simply add these to the water, or mix them in as you’re forming your dough.

Check out also this article that we have answering the question “do carp bite humans?”.

Top or Bottom – For Better or for Worse

fake-breadFishing fake bread baits can be done on the surface, or down near the bottom. Fake bread is semi buoyant, and will stay on the top for a while. Add a bit of weight part way up the line to fish the bottom. Using a bobber in this situation is an effective technique, and a helpful indicator of a soft, gentle bite. Another good technique to use if chumming is legal, is to flavor some regular bread and throw it out in the water. If you can get a school of carp over and feeding with your fake bread in the mix, you stand a good chance of hooking a fresh one!

A thought I’d like to leave you with as I run out of words here…for better or for worse, stick with it. One thing I’ve noticed about myself when fishing any kind of artificial bait, it’s easy to start second guessing yourself if the fish aren’t biting. Unless you see a feeding pattern that suggests your fish is eating something completely different, stick with it. All that changing of bait and set ups often does nothing more than keep your line out of the water. Once you know how to make fake bread, use it! Trust it. Change your flavor to try different things. Give it a shot. As always, send us a story or pic of your fake bread, or your latest fake bread catch. Don’t be afraid to brag.

Geoff Stadnyk

Geoff started fishing as a child in the gorgeous lakes of Mammoth, while on family vacations. His fishing experience includes the use of fly rod and reel. Guided trips along the Madison and Gallatin rivers in Montana, the Frying Pan and Animus in Colorado, and the Deschutes river in Oregon have all paid off and helped make Geoff the angler and writer that he is today.

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