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.