Well where do I start with winter fishing?
I reckon a good place to start is that it can be very very cold so number one rule is to pack a lot of warm clothing. There is nothing worse than being freezing on the side of the bank. I don’t like plugging gear that I have but I have the nash indulgence bedchair with the sleep system and once I am in that I have not been cold in the deepest of winter. I have also just got the third skin for my bivvy and did not realise how much of a difference it makes well worth getting even if used just for a few months a year. It will also protect your bivvy from the frost therefore keeping it in good condition.
On to the fishing
I have read many an article on different techniques and methods for winter fishing. As always some articles can be quite conflicting but as always one method may work on one water that doesn’t on another.
What sort of bait to use?
I try not to put too much bait out in the winter. I always tend to put a small bed of maggots on a clear area with the spomb then fish with a very small stick mix with corn, bit of hemp a bit of high fish content oil. The trick is that you have got to lure the carp into your water so oily baits and strong attractors always are key. Hook baits for me are the same this winter I have used squid tt boiles from innovate baits they are as the name suggest very fishy a good smell to them and they have a good oil content.I also use maggot on a clip with a small piece of foam to just pop them up.
The famous saying of “when the wind is in the east the fish bite least” In essence if you have a wind blowing from the east or north it will be a colder wind as it has been travelling over Siberia. So a southerly or westerly wind as been blowing over Europe or warmer seas therefore being warmer.The water in the lake is made of different thermal layers. When the ambient air temperature is say 0°c to 1°c the deeper parts of the lake (the lower thermal layer) will be warmer. Carp like us like the be warm so they will always seek warm water. When the sun is shining on a clear winters day the shallow water will warm up quicker therefore drawing the carp to the warmer water. The carp will naturally follow the wind as that is where the natural food will likely to be but in my opinion mr carp will choose to be warm over a bit of food hence why a cold easterly wind will keep the fish in warmer parts of the lake rather than following the wind.
I tend to fish two rods over a slightly baited area. My third rod I use to roam around my swim every two or so hours I will reel it in and recast to a different spot hoping to put my bait on the end of the carps nose. I tend to put a stringer with about six free squid tt on. If i know the lake is a bit weedy I will use the chod rig to allow for better presentation. If I catch on the roaming rod I will know where the spot is as I mark my line with marker elastic so I can get the rod out on the same spot I would also be inclined to put slightly more bait in to keep the carp feeding.
So there you go my winter fishing technique I hope this helps in some way.
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Until next time stay productive