|COARSE FISHING WITH THE ESSEX ANGLER|
|When approaching winter carping, apart from your own warmth which is covered on this site, the main factors are, Venue and Location choice, also Baiting and Pre-baiting, also Rigs.|
Venue and Location choice.|
When looking for a venue for your winter campaign, choose water, which you know well. Many anglers favour well fished day ticket waters, but I favour any water that I know the bottom layout of. The best time to study your water is in the summer, that way you know where the weed and pads are, also the feeding hotspots as these do not really change in the winter. Bonus carp in the winter can very often fall to your bait, which are fished in summer hotspots. Once you know the bottom layout of your water and the habits of the carp in that venue the better your chances of getting a bait in front of them in winter. Without doubt some waters do fish better than others in the colder months, you can make your selection on the basis of reputation, knowledge, or a target fish. But be aware although carp do feed in the colder months they are harder to catch than in summer.
Baiting and Pre-baiting
Think to yourself, I am trying to catch the one carp that is willing to feed while I am on the water and I want to preoccupy that one carp. Hemp is one of my favourite winter favourites, also Nutrabaits Corn Steep Liquor pellets is a winter winner. If you are using Boilies and are making your own, then adding Corn Steep Liquor to you bait can add confidence to your winter bait. A combination of hemp and pellets scattered low key, low level and precise into your areas are a good draw for that feeding carp in your swim. But once you have landed that feeder donít be tempted to top up your ground bait. Winter is a time for tiny Boilies of around 10mm, once I have put out my ground bait of hemp and pellets, I will put out about 30 freebie Boilies by spod, pult, bag or stringer. Once the feeder has been landed I will often re-cast the same set-up to the hotspot, if I have used a stringer, that is what is returned and the trap is set again. Keep the ground bait of hemp and pellets in moderation. On the subject of pre baiting, try and prebait two or three spots when you leave, this is not always possible I know, but if not then prebait your swim before you leave. Always prebait low key when you are fishing, more when you are not.
This is a personal choice for many carpers, but I favour a stiff rig in winter which I find is harder for the carp to eject as they are far more sluggish in the colder months and once they pick up a rigged bait are less likely to bolt, they are more likely to stay put until they have got rid of the problem. So think anti-ejection rigs first. One final point to catch carp from October onward you have to be on the bank, so good luck. Check out my winter bait recipes and let us know how you get on, as both Les and myself like to hear you are catching.