For many, winter is a time when they hang up the old carp rods and do not bother going fishing, that or target other species ie Perch or Pike, well that is not for me.
So what are the winter essentials : I think personally it is all about fishing the right water, does it have winter form , does it have a good head of fish , are you likely to catch !! Pretty obvious really but there are waters out there like this and if you get it right, you can have an amazing time and amount of fish. Winter daylight hours are short so it all about using these hours to prep for the night ahead, have you found the fish? have you baited accurately etc etc, I have found a lot of runs will come during the night time period.
So last year October 2018 I purchased a winter ticket for Naseby Reservoir in Northamptonshire, when it is full it covers 93 acres, however water is down still at the moment, so you are probably looking at 45 acres ish! It is a known winter water, has plenty fish to go at and the biggest out of there recorded was just under 40lb in weight, so one or two surprises to go for too … To be fair it was still sunny in October and I was fishing in a t-shirt, bait wise was putting a lot in and have continued to do so right through till now in January.
My Tactics were simple , most of the fishing early on was done at 17 wraps, I would bait heavily in the afternoon when I arrived and sat back till darkness fell and it would kick off the fish just seemed to hone in on the baited area and would stay there all night, I would top up with a few spods after every fish.
The key to catching obviously is as always locating them they do not give themselves away on Naseby but there are some obvious area’s that they will hold up in, contrary to the popular notion of fishing the deeper water, I elected to fish in around 4.5 to 5ft of water and towards a bank that you cannot fish from, in October it was a 17 wrap cast , now water is filling back in, a 25 to 27 wrap is required to get to the spots.
Naseby has a good head of twenty pound fish, there are loads and loads of high doubles though and you will have to get through them before hitting the bigger fish, sometimes it all goes right and they arrive first but there are some very nice fish to go for and all scrap right to the net and in the cradle lol.
Bait wise I stuck to my trusted Key Baitsolutions ASM, it just works, I always have some good hits on this bait, and I wasn’t shy with the hook baits either, I was using 18 or 15mm bottom baits with either half a white or pink ASM pop up. This snowman presentation sits perfect off bottom with the size 6 curve hooks and nails them every time. We have managed fish to 31lb so far, not bad for a winter water hey!!
So in essence, for winter, find the right water, get some knowledge, use Facebook etc to research the place, do not beat yourself up weekly on a headbanger water, nights are long and if you fish alone like I do, can become boring, so have a bit of fun even if it is every now and then, keeps you going till spring!! and if your winter water has some decent fish in too then you are laughing.
In terms of end tackle I wanted something which was strong and robust as these fish used to go crazy, every take was like a kamikaze pilot and if you are having one or two, well you don’t want to be changing rigs every hour or so.
My components were simple, I used the new Fluorocarbon leaders from carp.online, these are fitted with a quick change swivel which makes life easy if you want to change rig quickly, I used the clips and rubbers from carp.online and also the Size 6 Scorpion Curved hooks, a cracking combination which went on to land me over 135 fish in 11 nights of fishing, when I say 11 nights I mean individual nights lol.
Carptackleonline have a fantastic range of products now available for all your end gear requirements , the Hooks are all mega sharp , hand checked before being despatched and at only £2.50 posted, a fantastic deal for quality gear, take a look at the web site, you will not be disappointed.
Tight Lines all: Steve (The Hat) Cartwright
Bait: Key Baitsolutions https://www.facebook.com/keybaitsolutions/
End Gear : Carptackleonline (carp.online)