Is Sweetcorn A Good Fishing Bait – Explained

While it certainly has its limitations, sweetcorn is among the best fishing baits in the world. Particularly for bottom-feeders, herbivores, and omnivores. There are many kinds of complicated manufactured baits that are intricately designed to maximize attraction but sometimes the simplest things work the best.

Sweetcorn is naturally bright, juicy, sweet, and delicious. It already has all the fundamental components of a great fishing bait. I can’t count the number of carp and silverfish I’ve caught with this great bait. In fact, I can’t remember the last time I used sweetcorn and it didn’t garner results.

But sweetcorn is a universal fishing bait and there’s really no limit to its utility. For instance, In an episode of River Monsters, Jeremy Wade lands an enormous Mekong Gaint Catfish with a kernel of sweetcorn. A fish that weighed several hundred pounds was taken on the smallest and simplest of baits. 

Why Sweetcorn Is An Excellent Fishing Bait

We’ve already established that sweetcorn is brilliant for gaining attraction and producing results but there are plenty of baits that check those boxes too. Really the question I’m trying to get at is, what makes sweetcorn so special?

The answer to this question is very simple and purely numerical. The price! Sweetcorn is probably the cheapest effective bait I’ve ever come across. The vast majority of baits today are expensive because they contain many ingredients and attractants. However, you can pick up a kilogram of frozen sweetcorn for a pound in most supermarkets.

The only thing that is comparable to sweetcorn in terms of price is bread. However, I tend to find that a loaf of bread doesn’t last anywhere near as long as a bag of frozen sweetcorn. The other issue with bread is that it isn’t a permissible bait in a lot of fisheries. This is because while the fish certainly love it, too much bread isn’t good for their health.

Which Fish Eat Sweetcorn

Lots of fish would eat sweetcorn but listed below are the most popular species that are targeted by anglers along with their maximum potential sizes:

Fish SpeciesMax Size
Carp (Cyprinus Carpio)100lbs
Roach (Rutilus Rutilus)2lbs
Rudd (Scardinius Erythrophthalmus)4lbs
Tench (Tinca Tinca)15lbs
Bream (Abramis Brama)20lbs
Trout (Oncorhynchus Mykiss)30lbs
Crappie (Pomoxis)6lbs
Perch (Perca Fluviatilis)6lbs
Bluegill (Lepomis Macrochirus)4lbs

Using Sweetcorn As A Hookbait 

Sweetcorn by no means is the perfect bait but if I had to highlight its main weakness, it would be using it as a hookbait. There is nothing wrong with just skewering the bait with the hook when you’re fishing at short range for smaller fish quickly. However, if you’re casting out, you’ll want something with more resistance. This is because sweetcorn can get quite mushy in the water and if a fish has a couple of bites, it may fall off the hook entirely.

There are a few solutions to this problem. Firstly, you could use thread the sweetcorn onto a hair rig which would prevent them from falling off so easily. However, this doesn’t change the fact that the sweetcorn absorbs water and would still deteriorate over time. Fortunately, we can easily solve this issue by using imitation sweetcorn. This is a small plastic bait that is designed to look like sweetcorn but is much tougher.

Imitation corn is very useful because it looks natural and its what the fish are used to which means its a little more subtle than using a brightly coloured artificial bait. You can also use imitation sweetcorn in tandem with conventional sweetcorn. You can do this by using fake corn on your hook and baiting up your swim with conventional sweetcorn in order to lure the fish in.

Why You Should Incorporate Sweetcorn In Your Fishing 

I don’t think that sweetcorn should always be used but if you’re targeting fish like carp, then it can be a really useful tool. There are some instances where I wouldn’t use sweetcorn, for instance, if I was method feeder fishing, however, generally speaking, I will tend to use sweetcorn in the majority of my carp fishing.

Obviously, if you’re fishing for predatory fish like Pike, Zander, or Bass. Then sweetcorn is frankly redundant, although there is a handful for predatory omnivores like Catfish, which will eat sweetcorn. In fact, there is a video on the Catfish & Carp YouTube channel which shows exactly this. The angler was able to catch several species of United States catfish on a sweetcorn hair ring that was designed for carp fishing.

How To Incorporate Sweetcorn Into Your Fishing

The best way to incorporate sweetcorn in your fishing is through bait mixes. These are essentially just a group of baits that are all different sizes mixed together. The idea is that each different bait brings something different to the mix in order to create a mixture that is highly attractive to fish that you can then use to draw the fish into your swim. This bait would be thrown into the water near your hook and it’s effectively used as an incentive to get the fish nearer to your hook.

I find this to be a much more effective way of using sweetcorn than traditionally using it on the end of a hook due to the fact it can easily deteriorate and fall off. Listed below is an example of a bait mix that consists of sweetcorn and several other baits that collectively make an excellent bait mix for attracting a variety of fish. I would typically use this for carp fishing but you can use it for a lot of silverfish and lots of the fish listed above:

  • Hempseed
  • Canned Sweetcorn With Juice
  • Chopped Boilies
  • Groundbait
  • Water

Enhancing Sweetcorn As A Fishing Bait

There’s not much you have to do to sweetcorn to make it better. It’s a really versatile and effective bait as it is. However, some carp anglers like to pair sweetcorn with some other baits to make a larger hookbait. For instance, they will have a boilie or pop-up followed by a kernel of fake corn. Another thing you can do to make your fake corn hookbait more pungent is by dipping in some goo attractants which makes the sweetcorn smell much stronger. This makes it more likely to draw fish into the swim but there’s not a carp swimming that would turn down a kernel of sweetcorn if it could be seen.


In summary, sweetcorn is an excellent bait for a lot of fish that are omnivores and bottom feeders. While it has a few shortcomings, predominantly in the durability department, that doesn’t take away from the fact that holistically, its a phenomenal bait.

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