Monthly Archives: November 2014

Winter is just around the corner

Late Autumn capture before the Winter sets in

Late Autumn capture before the Winter sets in

It’s that time of year again when we start to scratch for the odd take. The carp are at their best weights after feeding up through September and October ready for the winter. Their stomachs  should be full on naturals and hopefully some of our boilies as well. As the days shorten and Winter approaches, both the air and water temperature reduces, slowing down any remaining feeding spells to a minimum. Selecting or guessing the short feeding periods of the carp comes down to an art. Those who master this will have success and the rest will fail.

So what are we looking for to identify one of these feeding periods which might only be a couple of hours each week.

Maybe it is a short period of low pressure with mild damp weather, long periods of high pressure, a long cold spell, a few warmer sunny days. There is no definite answer. Just when you think you have cracked it and banked a few fish, you can spend the rest of the winter with motionless indicators. We have all done it but mother nature changes the rules each year. There are so many probabilities that influence the carp’s feeding habits that we have to have luck on our side. I have caught winter carp in freezing conditions, heavy rain, during a long period of high pressure with not a cloud in the sky. The next year, exactly the same conditions and zilch. zero, nothing, a total blank. Why? If I knew the answers I would not be writing this blog. 26lb HH 004

So what do I think is the answer. ——————-Carp react to natural hatches of insects. I visit my garden pond every day, even during the coldest of days of Winter, and it is when I witness these hatches taking place that I try to get down to the lake. I may not catch every time that this occurs but my confidence would be high and I do not feel that I am wasting my time by casting a line. I will use this theory to try and work out when the best chances of a bite is possible, which usually occurs early morning, midday or the last few hours of daylight. After a couple of sessions a week, as long as the lake does not freeze over, I hopefully will pick up a couple of fish over the Winter period. This winter I will be fishing 2 waters, both for sessions of no longer than 6 hours at a time, more often than not, for no more than 3 hours. These waters that I will be fishing do not contain a lot of carp and I will be targeting carp of 25 to 40lb. Yes I will also be watching the weather reports and also monitoring catch reports from other anglers.

Early February capture

Early February capture

Tactics————— I have already reduced the size of my hook baits and consequently the size of my hooks. 6′s or 8′s Smartpoint SP310 hooks to the knotless knot, short tight hair rigs with a very short hook-link to as short as 3 inch. My hook-bait boilies will between 9 and 12mils max, with any loose fed baits being either crumbed in a PVA mesh, or boilies of 12 to 16mil on stringers. I will be fishing 3 rods, with at least one being used as a roaming rod, recast every hour to different location in my swim. At the end of my short sessions I will introduce a small quantity of freebies spread over a large area.

It is very rare that these tactics fail me, but again, who can predict what this Winter is going to throw up. Fingers crossed, lets hope that we do not have a big freeze. Best of luck to those that are willing to brave the wet and cold, you deserve it.

Paul Cooper

 

 

There is more to life than carp

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No, really, there is. Sometimes people forget that they fish a mixed coarse fishery and the fish all eat at the same dinner table so to speak. I never get upset if I catch bream while fishing for carp because by bring bream to the feed you can tempt carp to the table to dine.

Never be frightened to build a swim up with pellets and particles like sweet corn, but remember to alter the feeding when the carp move in. A little tip is to introduce bigger baits when the carp start feeding, like 20mm boilies and tiger nuts, which will reduce the chances of catching none target fish. A couple of waters that I have been targeting recently have produced some great results using this approach.

FullSizeRenderI would usually start by lining the lake bed with a ground bait made up with boilie crumb and bread flake, which brings smaller fish into the swim. This is basic coarse fishing tactic really, but over the years has been neglected. Remember to never be afraid to get the smaller fish feeding first to bring in other, larger targeted fish. You may be surprised from time to time when you find yourself holding a very large roach or even a specimen bream.

Whenever possible try to get everything to be flavoured as closely as the main bait source. I always use the matching pellets and ground baits like the CM60 so to make the carp identify the food source easier. Gradually, over time, stop the pellet and particle in the swim and over the rest of the session place baits that smaller fish struggle to feed on. This tactic has brought me loads of fish over the season and to the point where multiple catches are common on tricky lakes, where people are just fishing for one bite and possibly one fish.image2 image1

On the flip side, carp just might not move in but you’ve had the chance of some good fun while catching tench, bream or anything else that happens to enjoy the meal deal of the day. Each to their own really,
but always enjoy your fishing and try new things.

Squid and orange still producing the goods

Last week I was out on my local syndicate water and despite the change in weather I managed to pick off one of the low twenty pound carp on my shelf life Patshull Park Squid and Orange 16mil bottom baits.

23lb 12 oz mirror on the Squid and Orange

23lb 12 oz mirror on the Squid and Orange

I was back again this Sunday, a bright cold sunny day but I managed to find a few fish having a bit of a munch. 2 pouches of 16 mil Squid and Orange shelf life’s spread about 40 yards out into the lake and I soon had fish head and shouldering over the baited area. A few more baits to keep them interested and I had my first fish of the day, a 23lb 12oz mirror.

This was a new fish to me that I have not seen on the bank before

This was a new fish to me that I have not seen on the bank before

A few more pouches of bait and out went the same rod and within the hour I was into my second fish of the day a scattered linear of 22lb 5oz. These are the only fish that have been out of the lake in the last month so this was an exceptional result for the water which generally proves difficult at this time of year. Once again it was down to the ever faithful Squid and Orange. That was it for the day as the fish moved on to another part of the lake and the light began to fade. In came the rods and I should be back on the bank later in the week to try and winkle out another fish before the Winter really sets in.

Paul Cooper