As the nights draw in and temperatures drop, the prospect of sitting outside for hours may start to seem less appealing. Especially when you are finding it harder to catch your target fish. Winter is a difficult time for carp anglers so you could face spending many hours over a period of months with little to show for your efforts. But there are tactics that you can employ to ensure that you get the most out of your hobby in winter time.
You may enjoy pursuing larger specimens but it could be worth your while to switch venues in the winter months. A better stocked venue might feature smaller fish but your chances of a catch will be improved and you will be learning all the time. It is hard to learn much about your craft when you are experiencing zero success!
Pop-ups can come in really handy in the cold weather. They stand out more than baits on the bottom where the lake bed may be covered with autumn leaves and twigs. You can cast a good pop-up rig almost anywhere and this bait tends to gain a quick response if there are fish nearby.
Fish with maggots
maggots are certainly the ultimate winter carp bait. No matter how awful the weather, the carp will continue to eat maggots with great enthusiasm. They could spark the interest of carp when all other methods fail. The only proviso here is that you need to seek out waters where you are not pestered by roach and perch.
Prepare to Move About
Always be prepared to move swims. If you are experiencing no signs of life, you could find that there is better action elsewhere around the water. Keep an eye on any other anglers at the venue. Are they having better luck than you are? This could simply be because you are sitting in the wrong place.
Watch the Weather
The feeding habits of carp are unpredictable and can vary dramatically. However, milder and more settled conditions generally produce the best opportunities. It pays to pick your moment! But remember that it is the night-time lows that you should study not the daytime temperatures.
Watch Your Lines
Your indicators are vital to tracking down your targets. At times when carp are not active, they still have to be somewhere! If your line is amongst the fish, you will see line bites. Fish with your indicators slack and make a mental note of precisely where your line enters the water. The line pulling tight and then dropping slack tells you that you are in an area with significant numbers of fish. Sandwich the favourable area with your other rod or rods.
Keep Your Ear to the Ground
It will also pay dividends to keep abreast of how other anglers are faring and where they have had success. Look and listen in order to learn as much as you can about the best venues and the best pegs at those venues.