Any carp angler that is wishing to have a successful Winter campaign, will need to have done a lot of preparation and thought into where, when and how you will be fishing. I know it’s only July, however, you need to start planning now.
Pick a venue that you are happy with and do your homework before the Winter sets in. You can’t just turn up in November, with no idea of the features the fish love, where they are and their patrol routes.
The way I do this is to pick 4 swims depending on the size of the venue (more if larger). They need to give you access to view and observe the lake when you are there. Always listen out for topping fish, on quiet cold Winter nights, you may just hear a fish in your area or another close by and be on them the next time.
2- Swim Choice
Know your swims before Winter arrives. Take note of horizon markers as Autumn arrives and clip up and count the number of turns around two poles. Now if you really want to confuse other anglers, instead of using 12 ft why not use 9 or 10? It does not matter as long as you use a length of cord with a loop in each end, why does it need to be 12 ft, it will keep the other anglers of your spots.
This year I will be arriving for all my Winter trips in the dark, so, I will need to be fully aware of all the spots I am fishing, well before Winter. This is OK if you only fish one water. However, if you are planning a campaign on a new venue, you should be on there already learning. I have done very well in the past when I was fishing a lake on the Norfolk/Suffolk boarder, I would arrive after dark, I knew 3 swims very well and was just casting into the V shadow that a tree made and baiting up the same way.
3 – Be happy and Confident with what you are doing
If you are none of these you will struggle on those cold Winter nights. The last lake I did the Winter on, had a track which was about a quarter of a mile long. Which was OK, until it rained most of that Winter and by the end of January, I had truly had had enough of the slog up and down that track in the dark. This drain the enthusiasm from you. My golden rule to myself is, I must be comfortable these days, as I have passed the 50 marker. It is a wee bit harder in the Winter, than when I was 16.
4 – Bait
Again, be confident in your bait. You can’t change halfway through the Winter you need to keep your chosen bait going in regularly. this will give me a huge edge over other angler’s
5 – Equipment
You need a good bivvy, sleeping bag, a stove (with plenty of gas), water (for Winter night brew ups) as I said before you must be comfortable. This, in turn, will keep you happy and bring your confidence level up, which equals fish on the bank.
To nick a saying from my friend Mr Rob Nunn ‘effort equals reward’.
I hope this has helped and you get plenty of fish over the winter.