Get ready for winter – Darren Apps
Kodex’s Darren Apps explains how to make the most of short day sessions in winter and his go-to rig for the season
AS WE move into late autumn and early winter, carp anglers face a number of challenges. Temperatures have dropped, it’s dark by late afternoon and, as we progress further into winter, the number of fish getting caught decreases. That said, the season does have some massive plus points. The carp will be approaching their heaviest weights and peak condition as they stock up their fat reserves ready for the cold months ahead.
Stay on the move
Location is obviously important at any time of year, after all, you can’t catch what isn’t there. But by this stage of the year the fish will be far less active than they were in the summer. This means that if you just plonk yourself in your favourite peg there’s a very good chance that the carp won’t pass through your swim all day. Spending time looking for signs of fish and getting on them quickly will stand you in much better stead. This is why I move around a lot during my sessions. To make this easier, go through your kit and remove any unnecessary items. You should be able to fit all the terminal tackle items you’ll need in a small pouch which can be kept in a rucksack with enough bait and food for the day. If the day is going to be dry, leave the bivvy at home if you’re only planning on fishing for the day. A lightweight and compact chair will also make upping sticks and heading to a different part of the lake much easier.
Once I’m confident that I’ve located a few carp I waste no time getting my rigs in the water. To ensure that my hookbait will be clearly visible over any leaves that have fallen off the trees and into the lake, I use pop-ups at this time of year. My favourite pop-up rig is a multi-rig and, as I couldn’t tie one better myself, I use the pre-tied Kodex ready rigs. Not only is this presentation incredibly effective at hooking carp, it has the added benefit of allowing me to change the hook very quickly. This is because the hook isn’t fixed to
the hooklink as it is in pretty much every other carp rig. On a multi-rig the hook is threaded over a loop tied in the end of the coated braid, so it can be removed in seconds and a fresh hook threaded on without having to tie up a whole new hooklink section. I change my hook after every fish for peace of mind and then get the rig back in the water as quick as I can.
When I arrived this morning I spotted at least two or three separate fish showing themselves on the far side of the lake. This was all I needed to see. A couple of rigs were cast accurately close to where I’d seen the fish show. My baits had only been soaking in the water for about 15 minutes before one of my rods was off. Typically, the fish took me straight into a weedbed. With fish safety in mind and the carp not moving out, I walked into the water’s edge to get a better line angle. This often does the trick and the carp will work its own way out with a bit of steady pressure. Sure enough, I soon managed to get the fish moving again and, without any further problems, I netted a cracking 28lb 10oz common. Despite weeding me up, my rig was nailed squarely in the bottom lip and there was no way that the fish was going to come off. So, if you’re after a rig to see you through the winter, give the multi-rig a try.
All Darren’s essential tackle items are kept in a small accessory pouch
A safety clip allows the lead to be ditched on the take, which reduces the chances of the fish getting snagged Coated braid provides an element of stiffness. This reduces tangles and makes the rig hard to eject A multi-rig allows the hook to be changed without needing to tie up a whole new hooklink
This 28lb 10oz common was nailed on a multi-rig
A multi-rig was quickly cast towards showing fish near the far bank