Fishing Skillz is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no additional cost to you.

How To Fish With Corn (Tips, Techniques and More!)

Fishing With Corn For Carp, Bluegill and Other Fish (Plus Tips For Using It!)

Have you ever heard of using corn as fishing bait? Does it really work? Well, I can tell you this much…I’ve used it and it does work. But there’s a few things you need to know before you open up a can of corn and throw a few kernel on a hook. So let’s take a quick look at this unique fishing bait and see if fishing with corn is something you should do and if it really catches fish.

Should You Use Corn As Fish Bait?

My opinion is yes. You should definitely give it a try, at least once. Why? Depending on what kind of fishing you do, corn is a fantastic carp bait as well as trout, panfish, and can even bass.

Idea For New Anglers

If you’re new to fishing, then corn is a great option for you. It’s also the ideal fishing bait for those of you who want to take the kids fishing but don’t necessarily want to deal with the messiness of live bait, like worms and grubs. Corn is clean and odorless and makes an awesome alternative to other common fish bait.

Using Corn With A Cane Pole

Even experienced anglers will use corn when they’re using a cane pole.  Cane pole fishing is often times done by dangling bait in front of fish that you can see. Corn is idea for this because you can easily see the bait under the surface due to it’s bright yellow color. If the color disappears, it’s time to set the hook!

What Kind of Corn To Use?

Whole kernel canned corn is preferred as it can be found at just about any country store or grocery store, but even bait companies are coming on board. They’ve now created a whole kernel corn that is larger and sturdier and will hold onto a hook longer when submerged underwater.

Why Do Fish Like Corn?

Corn Resembles Fish Eggs

However, it could also be that it resembles an egg of some sort that many fish, primarily trout, will actively seek out to feed on.

Fish Are Attracted To The Color Of Corn

It could also be that the fish are keyed in that particular color that day, and anything resembling chartreuse or yellow will help you catch fish. So yes, you can absolutely go fishing with corn.

Corn Kernels Resemble Food Pellets

The theory is that many stocked fish eat corn kernel sized pellets before they’re released into lakes and rivers. Some believe that the stocked fish recognize the round corn kernels as the food pellets that were their primary food source while at the fish hatchery.

What Kinds of Fish Can You Catch With Corn?

Just about any fish will hit on corn. It might not be as successful as using live, cut bait, or lures, but loading a hook full of kernels is bound to catch you something during your trip.

In my experience, corn works excellent as bait with bluegill, trout and especially carp.

Corn is primarily known as carp bait, and for good reason. Carp absolutely love it, and it’s a perfect bait to throw if you’re new to carp fishing or fishing in general.

However, you’ll find that bream, perch, bass, and small catfish will also come up and eat it.

Canned Corn Works Best

This all depends on your cost to lost bait ratio is. Whole kernel canned work can work wonders, but because of how soft it is you could end up losing your bait all day long.

With that said, however, the price for a can of whole kernel corn is incredible inexpensive. You could easily fish all day and unless you were really catching a lot of fish you would not even be close to running out.

Alternatives To Canned Corn

Feed Corn

Other than that, you could use feed corn. This is a harder kernel that you will need to soften the night before by boiling it and letting it soak. If you have copious amount of feed corn handy then there is no need to buy the can as you can easily and readily use that instead.

Corn Flavored Power Bait

You can also buy corn flavored power bait. If you’ve never used Power Bait, it’s a lot like the play doh we used to play with as kids, and comes in bright yellow. This is softer and more pliable allowing it easily stick to your hook.

Flavoring Corn Fish Bait

Why Flavored Corn Works

You don’t need to flavor your corn, but sometimes it can help when the fish are being stingy and slow to bite. To flavor your corn, all you have to do is dip your corn into any sort of liquid stink bait that you find at your local Walmart or tackle shop. Just doing this alone can make the difference between having a great day fishing and just a mediocre day.

If you do decide that you want to try flavoring your corn before using it, I recommend giving Pautzke Bait Fire Cure a try. I use this bait cure on everything from shrimp to salmon eggs to corn. Simply soak the corn in it over night and you’re good to go!

Flavored Dough Baits (Power Bait)

The Power Bait that I mentioned earlier also comes in different flavors. If you don’t feel like messing with dipping corn into liquid then the dough will be the perfect option. Pick out a few different flavors and see which one is working best that day.

Some fishermen will let their corn soak in garlic and oil over night, while some even soak it in their leftover Gulp bait juice.

Fishing Rigs For Corn

Hair Rig For Carp And Catfish

The hair rig is one of the more popular set ups for carp fishing with corn and works best when using corn favored dough. Although a hook with multiple kernels of corn will work also.

This rig is where your bait is hung from a section of leader off the bend of the hook. Since the bait is slightly separated from the actual hook it allows the fish to come up and mouth the corn to ensure its safe to eat.

Once it’s determined its safe it will suck up the bait as well as the hook. You can also select a hook that matches the size of the fish your attempting to catch. Then thread 4-6 kernels onto the hook, or however many you need to completely cover the hook. Unlike the hair rig, once the bait has been taken the hook has been inhaled.

To learn more about carp fishing, check out my complete guide to carp fishing full of tips and techniques for catching these monsters.

How To Catch Trout And Bluegill With Corn

To target bluegill with corn, you’r simply going to use a small egg size hook or similar, and attach 1 or 2 kernels of corn to it. This baited hook can either hang down about 24 inches below a bobber, or you can attach a very small split shot weight with your fishing pliers about 18 inches above the hook.

If you don’t have an egg hook on hand, try using a treble hook and attaching a kernel of corn onto each of the three hooks.

If not using a bobber, you only want to add enough weight to be able to cast it out to where the fish are. The weight should be light enough still that the corn will slowly fall through the water column attracting fish as it goes down.

To learn more about bluegill fishing or trout fishing check out these two guides I put together:

How To Catch Bluegill (Tips and Techniques)

Everything You Need To Know About Trout Fishing

Is It Legal To Fish With Corn As Bait?

Most states will allow you to fish with corn when using it as bait. However, there are a number of states that strictly prohibit using corn as chum to attract fish. This is why it’s always important to double check the county and state laws to ensure you’re breaking any laws.

If it is in fact illegal, then it is not worth getting a fine or losing your fishing license just because you wanted to fish with corn. There are plenty of other legal baits out there you can use that won’t result in you getting in trouble.

Related: Is It Legal To Fish With Corn In Texas?

Why Is It Illegal To Fish With Corn In Some States?

Believe it or not, but corn can actually lead to major digestive problems for fish and negatively impact  their environment.

Even though corn is easy forfish to swallow, it just doesn’t always digest very easily.  Corn is a material that simply does not break down very easily in the fish’s digestive system. And that shouldn’t come at a total surprise, because it’s difficult for even humans to digest corn. As a result, corn can lead to deadly consequences for many species of fish.

And how many times does bait simply fall off our hook? All the time, right? That, combined with half empty cans of corn being tossed into the water, can wreak havoc on many fish.

It’s for this reason many states have either outlawed the use of corn all together, or have implemented different rules on what species can be targeted with corn.

Final Thoughts

Fishing with Corn can be an extremely fun and cheap way to wet a line. Whether your attempting to catch bass, bream, catfish, perch, or carp, you’re almost guaranteed to catch at least something when out on the water.

One last trick you can use with corn fishing is to chum the water beforehand. Take a handful of your whole kernel corn and throw it out where you plan on fishing. This will attract other fish to the area who will now more than likely take what is on your hook.

Written by Don

When I'm not bass fishing or looking for steelhead in my home state of Oregon I can be found working on house projects dreaming of my next fishing adventure.

I started this website to share just some of the things I've learned along my fishing journey, and the many things I'm still learning. Enjoy!

brands of fishing rods

The Best Fishing Rod Brands | Ultimate Guide (For Saltwater and Freshwater)

boat fishing and trolling on calm lake

What Size Trolling Motor For A 14 Ft Boat? (Plus Tips For Maximizing Its Use)