Winter is probably the most demanding time to outsmart a carp. At this time of year they lower their metabolism, swim only short distances and in the process take in little food. At the same time, due to the clear winter water, they are usually very careful and difficult to outsmart. When I finally catch a winter carp, I am amazed by its beautiful winter color over and over again and all the hardships prior are forgotten.
Where do I fish for winter carp?
Early in autumn I look for two to three bodies of water that are on average as shallow as possible, and then I look for areas that are as deep and calm as possible. So I can assess a little where the carp could be in winter. I prefer small rivers or canals with a slight current here, as the fish in these basically have a certain energy requirement, always swim a little against the current and so have to eat from time to time.
When is my best fishing time?
Since I only want to spend a few hours at the bank in winter when the temperatures are low, I want to use the most effective time. This is usually the case around lunchtime when the temperatures are at their highest. Here I fish for about 3-5 hours.
How do I approach it?
As already mentioned in the introduction, it seems to me as if carp only eat their food carefully in cold temperatures. That’s why I fish extremely fine whenever possible to achieve success. This should of course be adapted to the respective water and the expected fish. On my polders this means soft main lines up to 0.28mm, leaders around 6kg and a hook size up to a maximum of size 8.
I use eye-catching boilies up to 12mm in size as bait. This year the good old tin of corn has been successful again. I almost completely refrain from feeding a maximum of 5-10 halved boilies or a handful of corn per hookbait!
The assembly must always be ejected precisely. It is particularly important not to scare the fish, I can only achieve this by being able to let the lead submerge quietly.
For this reason, I often even go without a second rod, because I prefer not to have frightened fish than a second bait in the race.
What equipment do I use?
I prefer to fish very short, soft rods around 9ft and 2lbs spooled with a 4500 reel and a 0.25 mono. The only other accessories I have with me are my backpack to which my unhooking mat is attached, a long-handled carp net, a small box with rigs and accessories and, most importantly, a light chair and tea.
With this little equipment I am always very mobile and can easily fish two or three good spots in a few hours and so always very spontaneously for fishing. (whenever the conditions are good in my eyes or I feel pleasure). Thanks to this effective use of time, I can often and regularly go carp fishing and so my chances of catching one or more carp in winter are really good!
I wish you all a good carp season with lots of fun and success on the water.