Something to look forward too. An early spring caught carp.
January has been a bit of a mish-mash with the weather, with high winds, storms and periods of cold Wintery spells. We are only 7 weeks away from Spring so it is time to start thinking about getting your baiting campaign in place for the forthcoming 2016 season. With the daylight hours getting longer, the carp will soon be getting back onto the feed, ready for spawning in early summer.
1st fish of last year caught mid-Feb
I am still using the remnants of a birdy mix that I had put together for me before Xmas. The lakes have been frozen only a week ago, but hopefully we will be having the odd mild day to get out the rods.
I have put my Spring order in with Simon for a fishmeal bait with a few changes. The ingredients are top quality so it will be a matter of getting some into the water as soon as possible.
As for quantities, weather permitting, I will be introducing around 1/2 a kilo every few days just before the hours of darkness and as the weeks go by I will start increasing the amount that I feed into the lake. By putting bait into the lake just before dark the fish get the benefit of the new food source by cutting down on any free offerings for the ever expanding bird life on the lake. By the time Spring arrives the fish should be back in full feeding mode.
In the meantime I will be spending a few hours a week out on the bank trying to pick up the odd feeding fish. I will be picking my time to fish as the feeding window in February is very limited.
Spring is here
In my mind the new Season starts from the second week in March, as the days are getting longer and everything begins to wake up for the new breeding season. One of the first signs that I look for is frog spawn in my garden pond and also the swelling buds on the willow trees that turn into pussy willow. Once you see these signs, Spring is either with us or just around the corner. The carp should be moving around once more, shaking off any leaches that have gathered over the Winter. They will start feeding up ready for the annual spawn so I always try to get has many hours on the bank as possible at this time of year. So start shaking the cobwebs off your fishing gear and get prepared.
Short session or long session
Winter is an interesting time of year for many people and rightly so. The seasons have merged into each other because of the greater numbers of anglers venturing out. Its clearly obvious that with the abolition of the old closed season and the availability of good tackle to cope with adverse conditions creates the opportunity for more and more summer only anglers to venture out.
No longer do the rods go into hiding from October to the beginning of spring or June the 16th if the old closed season was still in place.
Greater numbers of anglers are now bivvied up or doing day sessions under the brolly. There is no right or wrong way of approaching winter fishing but the golden rule is enjoyment and make sure you’re warm and dry. You’re not fishing if you’re cold and wet, you’re surviving and that’s a completely different game called staying alive.
Nobody needs to put themselves in dangers these days and the technology available from many different companies can keep you entertained when its grim outside. Many people take mobile phones, tables and TVs for the session so boredom can be kept at bay when there is nothing to see outside.
You can buy loads of gadgets from power packs, lights and quality cookers to keep the fires within you burning on the long dark nights.
Tactics may alter in winter depending on which type of water you choose to fish. Many commercial venues still require you to bait often and the standard club waters tend to slow down a little.
Gone are the days when carp sit up for winter on most commonly fished waters as the banks now have anglers fishing from January to January.
More and more baits have started to enter the water because of this very situation. The fish weights have increased and the meth of carp only feeding in between spring and autumn have been dismissed greatly.
Don’t get me wrong some waters just don’t fish well through the darker nights and to be honest, unless you’re looking just to escape away from the world, you’re wasting your time.
So what’s going to be your plan of attack, now that’s the question. Remember one thing though, you must look for movement and visually see signs of moving or feeding fish. This rule never changes and in winter it’s even more important to look.
You must be mobile first before putting your tent up and making your home for the night. The day session boys might already be on the fish but be patient as this is the only way to make your visit is worthwhile. Be respectful and don’t rush in and spoil somebody else’s day just because you’ve got to set up.
The fun is in looking for the fish before baiting up in the right place and applying your knowledge of rigs and ability. You’ve got time and it’s easy enough to bait at night with distance stick and good lighting. There is no rush because remember carp are very nocturnal.
Whether you’re fishing the Boillie only approach or using particles, always remember to feed them when you feel it’s right. There is always some other angler who forgets its your session and even with good intentions forgets this.
The rules never stay the same because you never know when a feeding spell will happen. I’ve found keeping a log and taking notes helps greatly but it’s never set in stone.
Enjoy your winter’s fishing if you venture out.