Age: 38 Favourite Venue: Wellington Country Park UK PB: 48lb 10oz
Idon’t change my approach or strategy really, as my mindset is and has always been that old mantra of ‘If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’. I’ve always remained consistent, whatever fishery I’ve been on in early winter. However, I feel a great deal of that is due to the location aspect. If I’m catching consistently in the spring, summer and autumn, then the early winter and beyond should be no different – but a lot of this relies on my having that positive mindset and belief.
If you can really begin to understand and pinpoint where the carp are frequenting more in early winter (and most importantly feeding) then your catch rate will stay consistent. They certainly won’t be hugging those shallow margins as much, which is why your watercraft skills and knowledge really come into their own. Try to locate deeper silt which will contain an abundance of naturals. Every lake will have various bays, gullies and deep holes if you look hard enough. There will be something that attracts the carp into these winter areas. You just need to crack the code, as such.
There is no doubt that we had an exceptional summer
this year, and even now the water temperatures are way above what they should be. This will ensure that things carry on in the same vein in regards to mine and everybody else’s early winter mindset, and it will certainly ensure that shallower lakes don’t shut up shop like they normally do from the end of November onwards. As and when the rules permit, I ensure that my chosen food source continues to go into the venue I’m fishing (two or three times per week, via a throwing stick) in order to keep the carp moving and ultimately feeding. I think that’s the critical aspect to any kind of consistency once winter starts taking hold. Things can become almost impossible if that level of enthusiasm doesn’t remain.
One thing is for sure and that is that you certainly can’t catch them at home. So wrap up with adequate clothing, apply some quality bait you have the utmost confidence in, and above all be safe.
IMAGES1 - Find them and they will feed2 - Locate that deep silt, as they will be looking for the naturals3 - The seasons are changing but they are still there to be caught4 - Having confidence in your bait is paramount 2