In this video Harry Andy and Dave go night fishing for Carp in the middle of winter to Home Farm Fisheries in Alsager South Cheshire. The Venue holds Cat Fish upto 60lb and Carp to 30lb. We show both the Match and the Specimen Pool and Andy gets a run in the early hours of a very cold morning to take a Chub. The Winter weather was very cold dropping to around 2 degrees at times and a little windy at the end so appoligies for the sound. This short video details the cost to fish and the hiring of a wooden cabin and also gives the address and web site details of the venue. At weekends it is best to book your peg, or phone the bailiffs to see if they are busy. Thanks for watching and please subscribe
Get the best out of your bait in winter and maximise the money you spend on it! These are a handful of very well proven expert tips to help you catch more winter and spring fish. Discover more now!
Carp do not digest bait very well in colder conditions so it is extremely vital you design and select your baits and ground baits for exactly this situation to maximise your greatest chances of bites and literally in effect stop actually wasting good money on bait! Of course one way to do this is use as little bait as possible, but this is only part of the solution and does not maximise your chances because you will not necessarily be applying bait and baiting in the optimum ways possible for best results. Many anglers will choose to utilise water-soluble PVA products in combination with whole or crushed boilies, yet you still have to pay for the PVA of course, however it baits-up exactly where your hook bait is, so drawing most attention to it without filling fish up.
The choice of bait these days means you need never worry about over-feeding fish but you need to know what will and will not over-feed fish in the first place and this requires some know-how. In general you need to avoid bulk oils and un-winterised oils in baits and avoid using too much free bait that takes a long time to break down in water. after all, if a bait is not very soluble it is likely to take much more energy and time for carp to digest it and this is something to very definitely bear in mind! Proteins are much better if they have at least been part-digested and fermented shrimp powder, whey protein concentrate, predigested yeast powder and enzyme-treated yeast powders for example are very well proven.
Of course you can apply as many various baits in your attack as you like, from readymade ground baits, to maggots, to hemp, to various crushed boilies and soluble carp pellets and so on, all in conjunction with PVA products and methods (and specialised bait feeding cages and droppers etc. Ground bait application is the art and skill that is a genuine cornerstone of successful carp fishing so it is absolutely essential especially in winter to do it to suit the situation and conditions taking into account all the possible variables that may challenge your fishing. Ground baiting for some carp anglers might mean launching spods of pellets or hemp or slop or method mix etc, instead of just firing out whole baits; which may well fill carp up too fast and bread is a very useful ground bait base often over-looked.
If you choose to exploit bread in winter and spring you will find it is not necessarily a small fish ground bait base; in fact far from it! In the coldest of nights you can get bites from big carp over bread-based ground baits and of course, know fish are gorging on free bait very little without actually sampling your hook baits with this method. Boilies in standard bottom bait, or pop-up bait or critically-balanced form etc all are reliable hook baits and always will be.
Increase your bite rate by improving the effective addtives and ingredients in your baits and ground baits that induce more sampling of hook baits having not fed fish up on free baits first! Water-solubility and digestible potential of your baits is paramount. Pellets and boilies made with little oil as possible (that make baits less digestible and less effective in cold water) are very highly recommended!
Many forms of popular pellets substantially lose their edge in winter owing to their high oil levels, including the halibut pellets and others which are designed as commercial feeds for fish with comparatively higher dietary lipid requirements. Pellets with low oil levels and wheatgerm are great for winter and spring carp fishing and you will normally get far more bites in the long-run fishing over such digestible free ground baits than over ordinary high oil halibut pellets for example. As oil is pretty much insoluble in water low oil pellets and boilies are much more able to draw fish towards your baited area as more water soluble attraction is dispersed more effectively in low water temperatures.
Robin Red is one of those famous winter bait and ground bait additives you can adapt and apply to almost anything just by mixing it into a mix or adding water or almost any liquid. Red Factor, Red Band, crushed hemp, Insecto Insecivorous, Nectar Blend and other mixtures such as Meggablend, Ccmoores Meggablend Red and Meggablend sweet are excellent as are yeast products and Phillips Yeast Mixture in winter baits. Essential oils and lecithins work their magic too and some are mostly under-dosed, while others are often over-dosed, so take the effort to discover correct levels!
If you add a liquid to your boilies and pellets for whatever period you choose whether long or short, you can raise the water-soluble proportion of your baits making them far more effective. Baits like particles, boilies, pellets etc all benefit from glugs, dips and so on, and so do fake and live baits such as maggots. These tips are just a sample taster to give you a perspective on the importance of you bait choices and the seriously important free bait application methods and ground bait formats you might select; preferably you will try to stimulate as many carp senses as possible at this time by gathering as many tips to help you as possible!
In winter and spring you get what you work for so to guarantee you save yourself money in wasted bait and on wasted blank trips, think about your carp senses-related issues around your hook bait and ground bait effectiveness and it will pay you back big-time; so read on…
By Tim Richardson.
Many fishermen get an anxiety attack thinking about their baits in winter and rightly so! Most commercially produced baits are not made to be ideal winter baits but in part to fulfil typical customer expectations which lead to more buyer confidence in the bait. This produces quite a few baits having constant features which may not necessarily always lead to the best bait option.
For example, such a winter bait will last more than 12 hours in water as a functional durable hook bait. Or exude a smell which is recognisable to a buyer to fit a current fashion (like pineapple for example. Or have a fair degree of initial hardness when first immersed in water and even have a dry centre. Such baits require a period of soaking in order to allow the bait to open up its texture and structure enough to release good soluble attraction into the water. Often winter baits can be so over-flavoured that they repel fish. Over-flavouring of baits works but can be a disadvantage on many waters where the same bait and flavours have been used too much to keep a real edge.
Many effective winter baits having a more open texture, containing more coarse ingredients like bird foods, (egg biscuit, hempseed, wheat germ meal etc,) the levels are often in less than ideal proportions that could lead to a more attractive and digestible bait. A bait with an open soft structure and capable of leaching soluble attractors while retaining attractive nutritional signals and taste factors is often much better than a dense textured bait which inhibits the dispersal of its attractors even if its a high protein milk protein bait. Very important taste signals which are received by carps taste receptors can directly influence the longevity of feeding on your bait and even if it is eaten at all.
Many baits will have high proportions of finely milled flours. In some carp studies it was found that carp preferred to eat coarse food items such as cracked maize, as opposed to finely milled maize flour made into dough balls. (This has much to do with nutrition being lost during the milling process – taste the difference between milled oats and natural oats for example.) Cracking open a piece of natural maize releases more concentrated flavour than the dough balls made from maize flour.
There has been a long growing trend towards use of so-called ‘food baits’ by carp anglers in many countries. This in theory means that carp get used to eating such a bait feeling the nutritional benefits that it contains and keep coming back for more. Such baits retain higher levels of taste substances after long immersion in water, than say a cheap ‘crap bait’ made from soya, semolina, rice flour or maize meal.
The cheap low food value bait base mix has very little in regards to nutritional attraction which contribute to taste attraction. In the case of the average commercially produced bait, results are often very similar between them because the ingredients used are so often the same or very similar and are offering similar nutritional rewards. Having been fed on these baits constantly by numbers of anglers and being hooked on them often fish can reduce their feeding on this bait now they need this supplemental nutrition offered less.
Some anglers say that carp do not differentiate between different anglers’ balanced nutritional baits, arguing they will eat them all anyway once flavours and most taste factors have leached out; the real difference being an individual angler’s abilities. This is very true in that years ago a low nutrition bait with a flavour could not match the attraction profile and nutritional rewards of constantly eating a balanced nutritional bait. At that time such baits could really produce astounding results. But these days most busy carp waters are fed such a wide range of baits, (which now form much of the bulk of the fish stocks diet,) that differences in catch rates between the commercially produced baits are mostly very similar, with few really standing out for long.
Even the new baits with added enzymes claiming to contain ‘optimum levels of the right amino acids for the best concentration and release of the most stimulating amino acids to carp,’ do not seem to work everywhere to the same degree of success compared to average baits. It seems that every carp water is different in regards to the relative nutritional requirements and possible deficiencies or not that carp may have. Much depends upon exactly how carp respond to each type of bait as a direct consequence of the nutrition that can be detected in it and efficiently digested and assimilated from it. There is evidence that use of the new generation of more highly preserved quality food baits, when used together with low flavour fresh frozen type baits on the same base mix can offer special attraction advantageous.
It’s the bait which offers more stimulating taste or a different nutritional attraction profile or a more stimulatory physiological effect that can get around the natural and angler-conditioned defences of carp. Many anglers have missed the potent physiological effects of essential oil mixtures including improved digestion and changes metabolism stimulation. An energized cold water carp is going to move faster and further, be more generally active, eat more bait, give you more chances of more pick-ups and even more far enough fast enough to self-hook itself against your lead, when they might otherwise not do so. I am personally extremely interested in the physiological, physical, mental, mood altering, general health and energy promoting effects of carp bait additives and ingredients. We have been catching carp for years by ‘drugging them’ and fishing baits are now more scientifically complex now than ever before.
The author has many more fishing and bait ‘edges.’ Just one could impact on your catches.
By Tim Richardson.
Location location location!
First find your fish; they may be indicated by other anglers catching fish, or come from where you caught previously. Past year’s records of hotspots and over – wintering areas can be very useful. But these can vary according to a season’s dominant prevailing winds directions and temperatures.
Also fishing pressure, food availability, changes in the lake bed caused by moving / feeding carp, other fish present, e.g.; big over – wintering catfish etc can alter ‘holding areas! Snags in the water like fallen trees, rocks etc, silt beds, gravel bars, old water lily beds, dying weed beds, water inflows, overhanging trees and bushes can all hold fish and all are worth a try.
Also investigate cut – away banks, undercut margins, shallow margins in shade or sun where rolling / bubbling fish may be observed, in winter on the end of a warmer wind or the back of a Northerly wind.
Reed beds, underwater humps, troughs, ‘food traps’ along the prevailing winds lanes, dips, smooth hard areas may well indicate a feeding area as will old silted up areas with bloodworm beds, that produced fish previously in warmer times of the year.
Try places where there are sudden changes of depth as many harbour attractive natural food. Especially gravel slopes, mud humps and ledges around islands, and at the edge of weed beds. Casting around to find underwater debris and old dying weed can help locate fish too as these areas harbour natural food.
Studying quiet, or under-fished areas, ‘un-pressured’ areas can be very revealing. Often the biggest fish are often caught in the areas where the most bait goes into a lake. I know big fish man Dave Lane would agree on this, regarding his UK fifties!!!
Often in winter carp can be located in maybe 1, 2 or just 3 areas of a lake and will be shoaled up tightly together. Casting all around the lake with a small lead and braided line methodically until you feel ‘bumps’ as you wind in (that are not there next cast) could be fish!
Moving your hook baits every hour may be productive as you may find this roving approach lands right next to a fish or disturbs them into fresh activity / or ‘hearing’ your bait land and investigate out of curiosity.
Some say use smaller baits on the hook in winter, and I agree here. I’ve had more takes on these and I use small baits in P.V.A. bags or on stringers, especially using pastes and par – boiled baits mixed with quick dissolving bait / fishmeal pellets.
Bites in winter can be very deceiving indeed and your indicators should ideally be set to maximum vibration / sensitivity as often just one or two ‘bleeps’ could be a hooked fish spinning or shaking it’s head trying to spit the hook while just ‘sitting’ in the water static without running.
‘Rod knocks’ can really produce carp that were perhaps only lightly hooked; Try quickly ‘twitching’ your rig with a swift pull on your line by hand to hook the fish!
I have found that the old traditional ground bait composed of broken up stale loaves with loads of extra highly attractive additives and extracts, like those containing alkaloid substances you would use in your boilie base mixes work very well.
This form of ground bait is not used so often these days in the UK. Added ‘live food like maggots / worms bring much needed activity to the mix, and often will attract other species to feed first which stimulates the carp to follow just in time to polish off your hook bait!
On that note using a plastic ‘feeder cage lead’ wrapped in fast dissolving / breaking down ground bait as in the popular ‘method’ is a great way to ‘build – up’ and feed your swim with fast acting attractors importantly, without feeding up the fish!
This so often can produce smaller fish too, e.g., using ‘artificial maggots or sweet corn’ on the hook, but I was at “Rainbow lake” in France when Martin Locke (boss of “Solar tackle” caught his very first 60 pound carp on ‘the method’.
Find your fish and give them some bait!
While fishing ideally use quantities of fast dissolving baits that can really turn the fish onto feeding without filling them up or suppressing their appetite! A period of pre – baiting quantities either while fishing, or introducing bait into areas where warmer winds drive into or afternoon sun can heat up, not fished at the time, or while not fishing.
Or any area that potentially could hold or be a feeding area or a ‘safety area’ where fish may move to de – leach themselves or bask in top water levels as sunshine hits the water, or in / adjacent to snags etc; I remember one winter finding fish literally ‘stacked-up’ tightly together in a depression within an extensive weed bed of dead ‘Canadian pond weed.’ at Shotgate reservoir, Essex UK 1984.
These fish were very easy to catch for a half – hour period each day and this time was like ‘clockwork for a period of about 3 weeks in December. Each day the feeding time changed by about 10 minutes so it could be charted and ‘kick-off’ could be predicted extremely precisely. It was exceptionally fruitful and exciting fishing and I kept the action going by using lots of basic, simple small roughly chopped ‘par-boiled’ and paste balls; yeast based milk protein baits with added coffee and chocolate drink powders. (For extra attractive ‘alkaloid’ content – they’re addictive!)
I think regular baiting is the major factor in long term consistent big carp fishing success especially in the winter!
Fish pulling methods to trigger fish feeding:
Try using dissolving baits, Poly Vinyl Alcohol (water soluble) stringers with baits on or P.V.A. bags. These are excellent for delivery of larger quantities of bait, maggots and even oil based liquid attractors into your swim, or even fine ground bait or pellets etc.
Add some natural butyric acid to boost your winter baits: For great added attraction, simply add finely grated parmesan or blue cheese. This is just the ‘tip of the iceberg!’
By Tim Richardson