Subsequently, we’ve worked hard to compile this list of the most effective winter carp fishing tips to help our fellow anglers hook bait during the cold months!
Tips and Tricks to Ace Winter Fishing and Land Carp Treasures
The moment we start feeling the temperatures drop, we must begin taking on the winter form of carping. This includes a few changes to our techniques, tools, and general approach. When you’re fishing carp, you have to consider whether they’d be stalking the shallow water or the deep water.
You also must consider the air pressure and the direction of the wind, the other fish present in your lake, and a couple of other winter tips that we’ll go through together. So let’s dive right in!
1. Know Your Grounds and Waters
As all carp anglers know, this species is a freshwater fish; hence, carp swim in rivers and lakes, which will act as your potential spots. Unfortunately, these areas can be tricky, especially during the winter months, as you never know where the shallow spots are, which parts offer shelter, plankton, and vegetation, and what the high pressure of the wind will bring about.
Relax; you’ll learn all through observation and experience. So, before you set out your “catching carp” scene, it’ll be a good starting point to take a long walk around the lake.
Notice the movement of the fish, areas of vegetation, which parts are relatively warm, and how the temperatures change between night and day. Knowing the areas of the lake where carp show will help you hook bait much more efficiently.
2. Be Vigilant Yet Quick
Fishing, whether in the summer or the winter, is one of the most relaxing activities, especially when you’re experienced. We do understand the temptation of blasting some music or just staring into the wilderness. However, when dealing with cold water and carp, you have to be extra vigilant yet quick.
Why? Because winter carp doesn’t feed for long. Therefore, when you notice movement, even if it’s in a different part from your set-up, don’t hesitate to move one of your rods to that area. If one fish pokes its fins around, there’s most probably a lot more where that came from.
So, try to keep an eye on the entire lake, or as much of it as you can, so that you’re able to hook baits as much and as often as possible.
3. Consider the Timing of Colder Months
Primarily, in the summer, you can fish during any time of the day since it’s warm; there’s plenty of fish at different levels of the water column according to their tolerance of temperatures. In contrast, that’s not the case when dealing with the freezing cold winter.
Carp in winter will only come out to feed at specific times during the night or early in the day, according to the lake’s conditions. In simpler words, if you know that this one species comes out from 8 PM to 11 PM in this specific waterfront, then don’t waste your time setting up at 4 PM. Instead, start your hunt when your waterfront is actually showing fish!
4. Use the Right Tools and Techniques
Now, we’re approaching the technicalities of our topic, and we’ll start talking about how you can get your hands on some winter carp. There are three methods that anglers prefer.
Firstly, there’s the chod rig. This rig helps you get to the bottom of the lake to reach for the larger winter carp hiding deep down. They’re also an excellent attraction for the fish, as they can be the only coloured entity downstairs.
The second technique is the zig rig, and it’s similar to the chod; nevertheless, it covers more of the water column as it floats higher. Accordingly, the zig rig empowers you to reach even more carp swimming at different levels and significantly increases your catch rate.
Lastly, there are the PVA bags, which you can load up with different boilies and glug them as much as you want. Adding smaller baits as you fill up that PVA-friendly bag will help you snap more of this fastidious species if you know how to cast it right in the winter winds.
Depending on your previous findings in regard to the specific site, you can choose to go with either a small PVA bag or a large PVA bag.
5. Rely on the Right Bait for Feeding Spells
Now, we’re onto the baits, the small particles that can make or break your winter fishing trip. Fortunately, you can use a lot of baits. Yet, remember that fish feed a lot less in the colder months, so you have to do the feeding in smaller portions to keep them coming for you, or they’ll go hiding, and you’ll have lost your chance.
Another thing you need to know is that these cold winter temperatures reduce the porosity of your baits, no matter how good they are. This means that the scent won’t be wafting throughout the waters as it normally would, which is why glugging your baits is essential every time you cast.
You have to boost your baits no matter what they’re to provoke the fish. Some anglers prefer to use evolution oils to add that mild spell, yet others don’t, as oils don’t work very well with cold water, and they might scare the creature away.
As for the baits themselves, our number one preference is dead maggots. Since carp is omnivorous, they genuinely take pleasure in the taste of worms, molluscs, insects, and their larvae. Subsequently, maggots are the chef’s kiss choice for them. Of course, you can also adorn that bait with the boilies of your choice to enhance the taste.
Finally, there’s spod mix. Spodding is one of the most famous techniques of catching Carp, allowing anglers to snap it out of the water quickly.
P.S: You can also add evolution oil to your spod mix, in addition to your normal bait.
6. Be Prepared for More Fish
Another thing that a lot of anglers seem to miss is that although they’re fishing for a specific fish, no waterfront is exclusive to a single species, and a lot of fish will make your bait their natural food, first chance they get.
Make sure that you’re prepared for other fish species, and don’t dismiss any catch that you might get, as it might be a big one, more than you intend to bag in the first place.
7. Be Smooth
In the winter months, everything is much calmer, and your favourite fishing spot is no different. Subsequently, you need to make some changes to your fishing style and equipment when winter fishing carp. That means opting for lighter and more visible tools, as your ambience is much darker, and you need to be able to see your bait and line.
For instance, if you fish with a size five hook, you might want to drop to a size 8. Why? That’ll allow your bait to land smoothly on the water without causing too much ripple or backlash. Therefore, you won’t disturb the fish and drive it away from you.
Still, you can see where your rig is thanks to the colourful line, whether you’re using a monofilament or a braided fishing line, and the colour of the rig itself.
Our last tips revolve around you, and we have just a couple of reminders.
- Make sure that you’re appropriately dressed for the weather. Our advice is to be overdressed, not underdressed. If you’re overdressed, you can take off a layer, but if you’re underdressed, you’ll be freezing, and you’ll either have to turn around or continue fishing in uncomfortable conditions.
- If you’re kayak fishing, ensure that you have proper PFD on you and that nothing is ruptured.
- If you’re camping, make sure you have all your safety equipment, first-aid, and flashlights.
- Another thing you can’t miss is your own nutrition.
Always have plenty of water on you, several choices of hot drinks to ward off the winter cold, and high protein, high carb food to fuel you. Also, a power bank and a few spare batteries never harmed anyone.
- Finally, please don’t forget to invest in a high-quality bivvy, sleeping chair or tent. That way, you’ll be able to keep up with the swim throughout the day and the night as comfortably as possible.
In the end, to successfully catch carp, you have to be adequately prepared by following the tips we covered in this post. And if you have any winter carping tricks up your sleeve, don’t hesitate to share them in the comments, and keep us updated on your carp fishing journey.