By Ben Flockton
With summer seeming a distant memory its time to start thinking about what tactics to adopt to over come the cold thats about to set upon us.
There are a few trains of thoughts on this subject and a few questions that need to be asked and indeed answered. First things first, the type of water you are fishing is of great importance if you are on a low stocked large body of water then it will take time to learn the winter holdings of the carp. With regular feeding throughout autumn the fish will continue to feed albeit they will slow down. In my opinion carp will feed all year if the bait keeps going in. Most lakes tend to "shut up shop" simply because many anglers stop fishing/feeding them. Now I'm not saying they will feed as heavily as they do in summer but with a little steady baiting it puts the odds slightly more in your favour.
Which brings me onto my next subject. if you arn't constraigned to one particular lake then i would advise to go to a heavier stocked water for obvious reasons, they tend to fish better through the winter not just because there are more fish but because they are fished and therefore baited regularly.
Location is key
Location is always important no matter what time of year it is, if the fish aren't there you can't catch them, obvious right? In the summer you can sit there for a day or so with no action and then a shoal of fish may move onto your bait. Well in the winter the fish may be held up in one particular area not wanting to waste their energy moving round the lake so you need to find them, look for deeper water, snags, dead reed lines etc. The next thing about location i would look at is where the sun is, they will gravatate to the warmer areas of the lake so follow the sun.
Now location doesn't just mean the area of the lake, its worth thinking about what height of water the fish are in too. If your fishing on the deck in 20ft of water and carp are basking 2ft off the surface in the warmer layers then you're 18ft away from them, might aswell be in a different peg so don't neglect the zigs. Fish will follow those thermal layers so changed regularly until you find whats working.
Baiting, or not
There are loads of articles on the subject of bait in the colder months so i'm not going to delve too deep here. As previously said I still apply bait in the winter, I just use alot less of it. not only in quantity but in size also. I will drop my boilies down to a size 10mm and fish high attract popups on the rig, with maybe a stringer or small pva bag.
On a more difficult water it is always worth searching out the fish with just a single high attract pop up. Casting around regularly searches out more water and if you find the fish there is often a few in the area so its worth moving around to find them.
The business end
My rigs don't really change through the seasons. I have the upmost confidence in my end tackle so why would i mess around with it.
My favoured set ups are the multi rig or the ronnie/spinner rig using the carponline range of scorpion hooks and end tackle. I like big hooks and small baits i.e size 6 or 4 with a 10-12 mm boilie. The only thing I really pay attention to is the hook points. Scorpion hooks are really sharp straight out the pack. Mark Russell aka the man behind the hooks checks each and every one before packing. They are strong wired so you dont have to worry about hook pulls fishing close to snags. We also have a range of leaders, lead clips and fitting swivels that are well worth a look.
Thanks for reading. I hope you find this helpful or a least food for thought, if you have any queries or questions regarding products or tactics then please feel free to contact any of our members, you will find a list of team members on the website.