Small Water Winter Carping is one of my most enjoyable ways of fishing. Quiet on the banks, Small and can be very intense if you make it happen.. In this Blog I am going to tell you all about my little Tips and Tricks that you can imitate in order to hopefully catch you more fish in the middle of these short winter months.
The Biggest mistake people do wrong is going into a swim with no fish in it especially in winter as this is just a recipe for disaster or just because its a ”Comfy” swim or because its close to something, no point fishing for fish that aren’t there!. Take your Time have a look around look for signs of fish, Fizzing, Splashing or even in the edge because fishing for an hour in the right place is better then fishing 6 in the wrong. This is a very crucial part and is very important as the fish are less active in the colder months. The Biggest feature on most lakes are the margins so don’t refuse them, it will also be where the most cover and protection is whilst they rest up for the winter while there metabolism rate is low.
A couple of ways I personally go about mastering my local water in the winter and keep my catch rate up by a few fundamental tasks which could be spotting signs of fish and fishing for a bite at a time, once I have spotted a fish or 2, I would chuck out a single popup, The CC Moore Northern Specials in fact are perfect for this as you just might be able to nick a quick bite OR another thing you can try is catapulting/throwing stick out a couple of boilies to temporarily spook the Carp as they no its food and will be back, not a big lead crashing down on them, use light leads and try to be as subtle as humanly possible and this will give you the biggest edge!. Fishing light and fishing with accuracy is essential to maximise your change of catching. Camouflaging your tackle is very important for wary carp in the winter months by Blending everything in with the debris on the bottom. My biggest key is to fish slack and let the line sink, you do not want any fish coming in contact with your line as this will probably spoil you chances and could be on route to a blank. If you don’t have no fish within a few hours or you don’t see any sign of fish activity, move!
Moving on to Rigs, Keep them simple, Small and bright. Personally on my Small Water I use a short 1 and a half inch Choddy or Stiff Hinged rigs made up from Ashima Poltergeist Fluorocarbon boom section and an Ashima Wide Gape Choddy hook as the bottom is very ” Leafy and Silty”. If the Bottom is Clean I normally use a simple short Snowman rigs compromising of an Ashima Excalibur hook and Rig Rings to create it blowback style. A small 20p sized Stick full of the Crushed boilie, in this instance I am using probably the best winter boilie of all time … CC Moore 10mm LiveSystem which is amazing all year round but especially winter!, with its low oil content and high milky proteins makes it irresistible to carp in the winter. Its light Creamy colour stimulates fish to feed when most others wont and because of it visual colour it attracts carp! ”You Wont beat the System!”. Zig Rigs are rarely used in the winter but can be devastating especially if you commit to this style of fishing. Recently I have been having a lot of Success on the New Enterprise Tackle Zig Beetle glazed in CC Moore Worm Protein Extract or Betalin.
Fishing with accuracy plays an essential role in my angling, as I tend to target carp a few inches from a snag or a feature. You and your line clip will become good friends in this, aiding top precision every time.
So for instance lets say you have a snag or feature you want to fish to in mind, you should start of by casting out edging your way closer and closer until you are happy with the distance and clip it up using your line clip. Marking the line is also really important making sure you can cast to the same spot again for a recast or hopefully after a fish. I tend to use most of the time is Electrical tape by cutting it in half and wrapping a small section round the line and cutting the corners of making sure that it doesn’t catch on the line lay whilst casting. You could also use specifically designed marker elastic or pole elastic.
Winter day sessions are very short so make the most of the time you have by being organised and being quick with everything at hand. If you have a Fish, net it and SAFELY unhook it, dealing with it after in a sling or your net whilst you have recast and deal with photos after etc.. This can really help improve catch rate on them cold winter days when feeding time differentiate between hours which in the winter months are normally in the morn till afternoon as this is when the day is at its warmest. So make sure your not wasting any time with you rods out the water!.