Winter Preparation


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.

1- Venue

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 an 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 round 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 half way 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.


About richardhandel

I would like to give a brief snap shot of my life and introduce myself; My name is Richard Handel and was born in 1965 in Suffolk. I have worked as a UK Operation & Intermodule Manager for a shipping company. I live in Hampshire now and am married with 2 young children, both girls so I am a bit outnumbered even the cat is a girl! I have been fishing since I was about 7 years old. I started on small local rivers in Suffolk, then moved onto gravel pits and then carp fishing. My personal best is a 39.08 mirror, over recent years I have started river fishing again, on the Hampshire Avon, this is a nice break from the carp lakes. My life has turned a big corner this year, the company I was working for relocated their Operation centre to Estonia. I was offered a job at the head office in London. This would have meant a 5 day commute and working in Stratford. As a family, we did not fancy this, as I would hardly spend any time with the children (and the Mrs). So after 22.5 years, I was given a nice redundancy package and with my wife is working full time. I became the house husband. This has meant a complete turn around in my fishing, as I can pick and choose when I go. I have found a splendid new syndicate to fish this year, which includes 5 lakes and some 8 miles of river with only 150 members. It's an amazing change to the way I am able to fish. I am now trying to start my own tackle business and make a bit of a name for myself in the world of fishing, as I have retired from real work. Richard
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