Winter Carp Fishing


Fishing for carp is certainly a hard task in the Winter. In reality, it only starts in January for me as December is mild these days and I always take the holiday season off with the family. I then start full-on in January.

This year I will be concentrating my efforts on Meadow Lake and hope the lockdown days are over. It will be nice to have another go, as maybe it’s time to find another winter water, but it will need to have the right appeal. I will still stay a member here as I love the Airfield Lake so much and I also have the School Lake for those short days I so love doing this time of year.

The Late 90’s

My approach is small food items, not too much until I locate them and they are up for a feed. I then pile it in. I have to bear in mind that if others are fishing and they will soon work it out as well. You may have to be a bit sneaky and arrive before they do or even set up in the dark, but once you’ve had your fill, it’s nice to step away and let other enjoy themselves.

I spend a lot of the dark hours up and about and then have a good lie in the next morning. Some people think I’m missing out on the carp showing themselves at first light, but I’ve already located them and moved swim or my rods. Sometimes, I may need to wait until another angler has gone home, I do find it hard moving swims in the Winter, despite my reduction in the tackle I take, so I may just take note and fish in that area next time in out (generally the following week). I’m lucky with this lake, as a number of swims have parking behind them.

If you get the opportunity, prebaiting works very well in Winter, but stick to a few boilies here and there, and if you can walk around the lake a few times a week, even better.

High water level

Finding a trusted fellow angler is also a perfect solution, especially if you don’t fish the same nights as each other and you pool your information. This definitely will help you and they get some carp on the bank.

I’ve written about keeping warm in winter, staying comfortable is a very important part of winter fishing and I feel that can be a key part. I get very cold feet and I’ve spent numerous Winter’s trying to solve this issue. My issue is that I live in wellies a lot and my feet freeze in them. So, I’ve taken to when I’m in the bivvy putting my feet on a dog thermal mattress, this has helped a lot, it keeps your feet off the ground a few inches and away from the cold floor.

Setting up in the dark can take its toll on you over the years and it did finally for me. It’s the constant setting up and packing away in the dark hour, it’s really hard going. A couple of years back, I started to do two nights, this made the setting up in the day feel a lot more worth it for me again and that really paid off over the last few winters. However, with missing out on last winter (due to the lockdown), I’m finding it a lot more of a struggle this year, as the Christmas break is just around the corner, sometimes it is worth having a break, resetting the clock and going full-on again once all the festivities have passed If you can get a few fish under your belt the motivation will pour out.

Lovely Common

Another way, I’ve found to deal with the lack of motivation is to consider the 23rd December as the shortest day, once that has passed, you’re back in the swing of it, Spring is ever closer, use the Christmas/New Year holidays as a natural break. After a few years of doing this, I began to realize that Winter is very short, the crowed lakes will be back again sooner than you were hoping for and you will be longing for those long Winter nights!

I hope this gives you a bit of motivation to get out over the winter months, when the carp look stunning and the rewards are certainly out there, with the empty banks.

Until next time

Richard

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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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