Winter time can be the hardest time of the year to catch carp.
The problem being that the colder conditions slows down the fishes
motabolism (sp).Therefore the fish doesn't need as much food to survive.
Not so many years ago it was thought that carp were almost uncatchable
during the colder months.With the popularity of long stay (session) carp
fishing and advancements in protective clothing and camping equipment it
has been proved that carp are catchable right through the winter months.
I have found through my own and friends experience that carp tend to feed
for only short periods of time . Sometimes these feeding periods are quite
distinct in the same way as dawn and dusk are good in the summer on a lot
of waters. Just like in summer , every water has its own feeding times so
its difficult for me to estimate feeding times. i have found on a lot of
waters in europe , 10-12 am and 1-3pm seem to be good times for action.
I do know of one water in England that fished well in winter one hour
after dark so there are no hard and fast rules on this .
A lot of people think that in the winter the fish are always in the deepest
area of water . This just is not the case ! The fish tend to be around
snags or areas they feel safe . Don't ignore the areas you caught carp
from in the summer as there may be a good supply of natural food nearby
which holds the carp like a magnet . Many years ago i caught a 28
pound carp in winter, at night from a three foot deep area of a lake.
This lake has areas with depths down to 12ft but the three foot area
had some excellent features .
When fishing for carp in winter i always tend to fish boilies.
Particle baits such as peanuts , tiger nuts and maples tend to lose their
effectiveness possibly due the viscosity of the attractive oils these nuts
contain (as the temperature decreases they thicken considerably).
Also particles seem to work better in bulk.
When i am winter carp fishing i use little or no free offerings.
All the successful winter carp anglers i know use very little bait.
I feel the carp dont feed as hard in winter as in summer.
The type of boilies i would use would be a spice bait with a nice
The choice of attractors and flavours are very critical in winter.
The fish feed inducing oils are prime example , in summer they are a
fantastic attractor but as the temperature drops they increase their
viscosity and end up going solid .
Most spice flavours are made up of natural aromatic spice oils and esters
which tend to be somewhat resistant to solidifying to some degree.
There polarity makes them mix well with water.
Adding a few powdered spices (few pinches) to the boilie mix can
only help its effectiveness.
In winter i adopt different tactics when carp fishing.
If i am at a new water or i am not sure where the carp are i will
usually cast one rod to a likely looking spot. The other i will use
as a "roaming" rod. This means i will try lots of different areas for
about thirty minutes to see if i can get any indication.
Always have the tips of your rods raised , this
can register line bites
(where fish hit the line). This can tell you if you might be in the right
spot but the fish are not feeding yet.
Also bites in winter can be very small so its worth keeping an eye on
the tips. I put white tape around the ends to make them easier to
I always have my rods made up before i leave to
the water as
this saves me from getting cold setting up and gives me longer to fish !
A good time to visit a carp water is at dusk as sometimes the carp will
jump or roll (even in winter).
this may give you a clue as to the location of the carp when you next
come to fish.
The most important thing about winter fishing is that you must have
the right protective clothing.
If you are cold you will not fish well.You will be too busy trying
to stay warm and will miss clues which will help you put that big
winter fish on the bank.
Winter fishing has some advantages in that the banksides are empty
so you can pick where you want to fish without competition from other
Some waters in winter have beauty all of there own , just being there
makes you feel good even if you dont catch.
Winter carp fishing is without doubt a big challenge but the rewards
in beating the odds are great .