Thanks for this article about winter tactics,
Tell us about your fishing background?
From a very young age I’ve always been a keen angler & my journey began aged 7 down on the River Witham in Lincoln. Back then the rivers where full & i would consistently catch good roach, perch & the odd Jack pike. From there on every year, birthday & Christmas I would always ask my mum to buy me new fishing gear. She would always drop me off every weekend at different lakes around my home town in Lincolnshire & I regular entered into local matches.
I didn’t actually start carp fishing until 2007. I came back from Afghanistan & had saved some money up whilst over there & bought myself a cheap set~up. From then onwards I’ve never looked back & the rest they say is history! I’m very fortunate in terms of how much time I get on the bank, having a very understanding wife she allows me as much fishing time as I want so at times I can be fishing as much as up to 4 nights out of the 7 which plays as a huge advantage as this enables me to keep in touch with the lakes I target. A huge thanks must go to Sophie for allowing this & being so supportive.
What is your favourite presentation this time of year?
At this time of year my favourite presentation has to be the medusa rig! My setup for this begins with items from my tackle sponsor “Sharp tackle” I use a size 10 Kurv shank hook tied KD style. For the boom section I use a supple non-coated braid which will be coupled with a tangerine size ball of maggots & tied off to a ring swivel on a helicopter style setup.
I begin by threading a small section of cork down onto the hair followed by 10-15 maggots via a sewing needle. I then slide them down onto a section of bait floss, tie this off with 3 granny knots onto the hair itself & you have a rig irresistible to any self respecting carp on the planet!
Is there any changes you make to your bait ?
Very much so, my advice to anyone at this time of year would always be to fish for one bite at a time, for me this requires the addition of as much attraction to the hookbait as possible, I’ll start by glugging my hookbaits heavily in either Core Baits “The Core” or “Super Fruits”. I’m also an avid fan of playing around with colours as I do believe this always gives off a massive visual edge, pinks whites & yellows are all winter time winners during the the colder months in my opinion!!
With the fish not showing too much how do you pick your spot?
Water craft is up there at “number one” anytime I go fishing, at the end of the day you can have the best gear or the best bait or best rig in the world, but if it’s not in the right place you might as well leave the rods at home!
I’ll look for the obvious tell tale signs such as bubblers/shows etc but if I have nothing to go on generally I’ll start by keeping all the gear thinned right down & ready on the barrow to move at a moments notice. I’ll potentially begin by targeting any “snaggy” areas of the lake which I believe the fish may hold up in during winter. I’ll also head towards the deeper areas of the lake where I do believe fish will tend to “shoal up” in a large groups during the colder months.
If we have any sunny/warmer milder days the fish can often be seen heading towards the shallows in search of warmers water. For me, there you have “Three key areas” in which I’ll look to target when all else fails.
Can you tell us about your baiting tactics do you put less bait in?
At this time of year the carp’s metabolism naturally slows down & they will usually hang midwater for weeks on end becoming very reluctant to feed. They really don’t require huge beds of baits to keep them going so little & often or hardly any at all will often play dividends.
With the nights drawing in it gets late early on the bank, What keeps you going through the winter months?
To be honest in winter i don’t need much motivation at all to go fishing as its defiantly my favourite time of the year to be out on the bank! They are generally much quiter, the fair weather anglers have disappeared till the spring & I have the whole place to myself! The carp look there absolute best & any captures are just that little bit more special in my opinion due to the harsher weather conditions.
Big Thanks to Billy for answering these questions, If you have got a carpy subject that you would like to talk about then contact us @ BiteEdge@gmail.com