Hard Winter

This Winter just gone was the hardest one for me over the past few years. I think there are a few factors to take into consideration and the combination of some or all contributed to this. If it wasn’t for my local club lake, it would’ve been a complete disaster.

1. This winter was particularly grey with not many sunny days.

2. It was also colder than normal, in particular long periods of cold conditions

3. There was a lot of Northeasterly/Northwesterly winds for many weeks consecutively.

4. No Southwesterly winds have been a feature of the past 3 or 4 years, this wind gives warm wet stormy conditions which can last for weeks, this keeps the lake warmer over the winter period

5. Days only the previous winter may well have continued to this factor as well. Giving the fish more freedom than over the last few years. The lockdowns probably also contributed to this.

I believe these factors put the carp in to a much more hibernation state than in previous years and also spread them out a lot more than in past seasons. They were clearly hidden away in the snags all over the lake, this became more apparent as spring got closer. They drifted out more and anglers started to catch a lot more in late February into early March than what had been caught in December and January. This happened in various areas around the lake, they generally hold up in big groups in certain areas.

It’s always a learning curve with fishing; things change and always will do. As frustrating as it can be, it’s really why I love it so much, it keeps the spark and fire burning. This will always keep me coming back for more. Also, the fact that both my syndicate lakes close for a period each year is actually making me keep coming back each year. Another thing is the fact (as has happened in the past) I get bored of the water. The more I get to grips with it and crack that nut which leads me to keep catching, which became boring (beleive it or not!).

Long may it continue.



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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