Jump to content
Slate Blackcurrant Watermelon Strawberry Orange Banana Apple Emerald Chocolate Marble
Slate Blackcurrant Watermelon Strawberry Orange Banana Apple Emerald Chocolate Marble
carpmachine

Winter Baits

Recommended Posts

Well, i dont fish winter anymore apart from Pike, so if i did, what baits would i use or have used, i look at the winter series on my local match fisheries, whats catching, method feeder, red maggot as bait, sweetcorn, chilli and spicy baits, gar;ic meat, pineapple popups, drop the halibut pellets, not sure about the nuts. It has to be critically placed, the fish mob up, dont over  feed, the blanket plastering of other seasons will spell blank, the zig has emerged as the go to in certain situations, so what is your top winter method, a few word clues there to mine, enlighten us.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've always switched entirely on to a birdfood based bait for digestion and leakage purposes but this year I'm keeping the fishmeal alongside it as a 2:1 ratio. The fish know it by now so dropping it doesnt make any sense. I've also been feeding the birdfood based bait since late september to get the fish used to it too. And I've been getting more bites on it recently as well.

Other than that my go to baits are; groats as a background feed. It doesnt take much to keep them grubbing for a while, which I think is perfect through the colder months to keep them active. My homemade pop ups or a pineapple fluoro or a long forgotten about nut, the brazil.

I think the amount introduced really depends on stock levels. I agree, fishing over a handful will get bites quicker but continuing the prebaiting is a real must, in similar levels to through the autumn. If you can keep them from switching off you will keep catching them. I was told by someone recently that they managed to feed fish out of torpidity one winter by piling in 2-3kg twice a week on top of where they had holed up and then spreading it around the lake. He went on to catch most of the stock over February and March whilst everyone else struggled. He started feeding them in January after nothing had been caught since November. 

They key is to never let them stop actively feeding.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'll not really change much at all for winter other than the amount I'm feeding. Given the choice I'd be fishing with boilies all the way and I'll not change the recipe I'm using. I do like a nice bright over-flavoured pop up as a hook-bait in winter (who doesn't). I'll normally have at least one zig on the go too.

If I don't see anything I'm happy to mess about casting around with the zigs and pop ups, handful of baits here and there. However, if I start seeing really positive activity I'll not hold back, I'll give them some bait. My winter PB came the morning after seeing a few fish roll on a freezing cold January afternoon and whacking 2 or 3 kilos of boilie on their heads.

I suppose I'll change my approach for hungrier waters. I'll normally do at least a couple of winter socials on day-tickets and for those I'll reach for the maggots.

1 hour ago, carpmachine said:

It has to be critically placed

I agree with that. For consistent results you need to learn where they go for those short winter feeding periods. If you find them (not an easy task) I don't think bait choice is as critical as we sometimes think.

39 minutes ago, greekskii said:

They key is to never let them stop actively feeding.

For sure, that is probably the most effective winter tactic, keep them feeding through regular baiting. I wish I had the time to go down that route.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sweetcorn and boilies are my favourite but maggots and worms also have there place. The last few years have opened my eyes just how much time the fish spend in shallow water when it's cold. One lake I fished id rarely see  fish in the day  in this particular area. It was crystal clear water nothing paticully special no snags ect just shallow and silty. Heard a fish show there one night started putting a rod in that spot and consistently caught from the spot even in heavy frosts. Last winter i fished a lake the only real snag was in shallowest part of the lake every fish was in a foot of water around this snag.  Few years ago if i was fishing blind in the winter i always used to gravitate towards the deeper parts of a lake these days I often head towards the shallows.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
25 minutes ago, LJC carper said:

Heard a fish show there one night started putting a rod in that spot and consistently caught from the spot even in heavy frosts.

Awesome mate. Just goes to show how important it is to keep watching, keep listening.... location far more important than bait IMO.

I'll happily up sticks and move to the other side of the lake for a single sighting in winter. It's the most difficult thing about winter angling IMO, finding them...... and if you can, a little bright pop up is all it can take.....

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Looking forward to this winter. Started this lake last Decemeber and it took til Feb/March to have my first bite.....Not great. My sessions over winter will all be arriving after dark and leaving before the sun comes up........So its not ideal but got to be in it to win it. I think i will come away from boilies a bit, Sunday night i will be on the by 7PM, Last week i could hear them crashing in the deeper area of the lake so i will be setting up in there, fishing all 3 rods on zigs for the night....if i hold my nerve. Other then that i think i will start using solid bags with mags and maybe a little pop up. i dont get to pre bait as the lake is 40 minutes away from work and with dad duties i cant get there so im really not sure if i should still be adding a kilo or so of bait every time i finish fishing but the lake goes pretty quiet...... no idea.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
23 minutes ago, Ginger9991 said:

My sessions over winter will all be arriving after dark and leaving before the sun comes up........

Doing winter overnighters is about as hardcore as it gets, only for the brave. The best of luck to you my good man!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm sticking with the same bait, I've watched them eating it all year since I first introduced it in early February when water temperatures were at there lowest. It's a fishmeal based bait, but has lots of larger seedy bits in. Last winter I was fishing a bit blind as it was my first winter on there. But having seen the place through all the seasons now, I have a better idea of where they could be hiding. I have a mental note of where they started coming out early Spring, and I'll be trickling some bait into these areas on leaving. On returning, it'll be 3 bait stringers with a few broken baits over the top. I think that in winter, once they've found an area that's comfortable, it's a lot harder to spook them away from that area, so if there are definite signs or if the miracle happens and a run occurs, I'll be pretty certain that there are a number of fish in the area and won't be shy on baiting over them....... I watched a couple of anglers using maggots last year without much joy, just attracting silvers and in turn, pike, but no carp. No doubt they'll be the odd day of clear skies and sunshine, so I'm determined to give zigs a proper go (all 3 rods).. I bought the stuff last year but was too lazy to mix tactics and was put off by the number of birds on the lake...........

Saw a monster pike in the edge last week 18plus..... So might end up fudging through the pike bits in my local tackle shop..... Garunteed some action with all the Jacks in there, with the chance of a 20... I've heard that the bigguns can be quite territorial, so hopefully that one wont stray to far from where it was spotted.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Big Common said:

I'm sticking with the same bait, I've watched them eating it all year since I first introduced it in early February when water temperatures were at there lowest. It's a fishmeal based bait, but has lots of larger seedy bits in. Last winter I was fishing a bit blind as it was my first winter on there. But having seen the place through all the seasons now, I have a better idea of where they could be hiding. I have a mental note of where they started coming out early Spring, and I'll be trickling some bait into these areas on leaving. On returning, it'll be 3 bait stringers with a few broken baits over the top. I think that in winter, once they've found an area that's comfortable, it's a lot harder to spook them away from that area, so if there are definite signs or if the miracle happens and a run occurs, I'll be pretty certain that there are a number of fish in the area and won't be shy on baiting over them....... I watched a couple of anglers using maggots last year without much joy, just attracting silvers and in turn, pike, but no carp. No doubt they'll be the odd day of clear skies and sunshine, so I'm determined to give zigs a proper go (all 3 rods).. I bought the stuff last year but was too lazy to mix tactics and was put off by the number of birds on the lake...........

Saw a monster pike in the edge last week 18plus..... So might end up fudging through the pike bits in my local tackle shop..... Garunteed some action with all the Jacks in there, with the chance of a 20... I've heard that the bigguns can be quite territorial, so hopefully that one wont stray to far from where it was spotted.

I'm gonna stick my head out here but after much discussion with my mate and proper experiments with his carp in the pond at certain temps, I'm gonna say do not use fishmeals.  They learn very very quickly that the fishmeals are hard to digest and stop eating them full stop until the water warms up.  They will however eat winter boilies with gusto completely ignoring the fishmeals when both are in together.  The fishmeals can sit there for weeks until one day the water temp gets to a certain point and bang the fishmeals are being taken again.

I think if everyone on a lake agreed to switch we would carry on catching instead of one guy ruining it literally for everyone.  Yeah one guy might catch a fish or two on the fishmeals initially but great they shut up shop afterwards so nice one hey!

If you don't believe me do some experiments and see for yourself.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Normally I switch to milk protein baits come winter,  no matter what bait I've been using throughout the year and regardless of how my action had been/ was. Although this year myself and 2 mates have been introducing a birdfood bait along with our fishmeal since early March so that will be one choice and I've also had our fishmeal bait "winterized " (lower fishmeal content, changed oil, upped milk protein content, added wheatgerm)  so will stick with this until the takes dry up, if they dry up. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
50 minutes ago, Big Common said:

I'll bare that in mind Kev. I won't be piling it in, just a regular 1kg a week, spread out....... Are you saying that they don't eat naturals then?

 

No ive not said that at all - quite the opposite they eat naturals all the time if they are available 👍

You're still going with the fishmeals though?

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Pond is 8ft - fishmeals from premier so very soluble if you read their gumpth, is that a word, if not should be.

I'm convinced from it - my last session on the fishmeal was last week - it's not coming back out till spring, they recognised the indigestability within 2 days and chose the other bait - no fishmeals were taken until the water warmed - can't remember the exact temps etc, coz this was last winter whilst I was down the lake blanking on fishmeals 😊

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's all about oil content I think. Higher the oil content the less digestible and soluble a bait is. But then on that basis nut baits should be the worst to use over winter as nut oils solidify at a higher temp than fish oils. 

From what I've experienced from premier, and not saying they aren't a good manufacturer because they are and have stood the test of time for a reason, however their fishmeals seem to have a high oil content across the board. This may be why they were less attractive to the pond fish? Just a suggestion though. 

we all know fishmeals aren't as effective due to oil content in winter and digestability but I don't think you need to completely cut them. As I said I'm mixing the fishmeals 2:1 and eventually down to 3 or 4:1 with a bird food based bait. If I've established it through the year why would I want to reestablish again in the new year? 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm guessing premier tbh coz that's largely what we use. Could have been something else.  It's not like I've not caught on fishmeals in winter coz I have and early spring.

Speaking again wiv a mate the pre-digested fishmeals would be better but how much of the mix is that? Not much due to price.

I reckon you'd do better going onto a proper winter bait, if the fish learnt immediately to switch and left the fishys for weeks there has to be something in it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
22 minutes ago, greekskii said:

If I've established it through the year why would I want to reestablish again in the new year? 

Maybe just eating a few when it's too cold will slow the feeding right down overall, you could be slowing your own action 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I get it mate, it's standard knowledge. It's why particles work so well because they digest so quickly and need to keep eating. It all comes down to boilie choice I guess, if you choose to use them. As you say, the more pre digested meals the better and every bait is different in levels of it. 

Just now, kevtaylor said:

Maybe just eating a few when it's too cold will slow the feeding right down overall, you could be slowing your own action 

Potentially but I don't think it'll make a difference. But that's due to stock levels on the estate lake. It will (hopefully) be more than a handful of fish eating the bait. its also never been used over winter before, but as a tester I have the pleasure of potentially not catching to provide the feedback! 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm pretty positive that Trigga contains fishmeal, and I know that worked all the way through winter. In fact of my 4 blanks in 2 years, 2 were when the lake froze over, but as soon as it thawed I was catching again, and still prebaiting with it.

Could it be down to the balance?

 

The comment about milk proteins is one I pull up on, as I'm actually sure that there is more problem digesting them than some fishmeals baits, unless there is a high quantity of trypsin in it.

Greekski's point about nut based baits, I think the oil content is low; the nut flour has a lot of oil removed. Rod Hutchinson made the experiment years ago for a nut flour in his bait, toasted peanut I think it was.

 

I use the same bait all the way through, all though on one rod I do usually try a high attract bait of some sort. I probably catch more in winter than I do in summer, and on my balanced food bait, although I fish with less, but prebait with more.

One lake I used to fish, for a few weeks, the going bait was Green Zing pop-ups, then  a few weeks later it was Pineapple/N-butyric, then a week after it was sweetcorn.

A couple of years later I hadn't pre-baited at all on that lake, but did a weeks session over Christmas/New Year. For 3 days high attract baits were catching fish, Pineapple, Spiced Garlic (my own), Squid and Octopus, Monster Crab, then it switched over to the B&F Smokey Mackeral for the rest of the week. 

 

I think that regular baiting is the key, not necessarily just when session fishing, for that I mean pre-baiting, but on a lot of waters, groundbait baiting, small handfuls of 'smell' groundbait. Not much substance or actual food, but plenty of smell to get the fish frustrated to pick up your hookbait. 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

IMG_20170307_233117_zpsbdq3bsux.png

Had these fish feeding on fishmeals for a couple of weeks last Feb, which I believe to be the coldest time of year, when all heat has dissipated from substrates. Could of carried on, but me feeding them would encourage them to stay in the snags. There were nine fish in total and I was giving them about 100 baits every other day purely as a way of introducing a new bait to them. When they did venture out, it was only in the top layers that had warmed up by a degree or two....... The point I'm trying to make is that it all depends where you put the bait as to whether or not they eat it... This spot was about 4ft deep and sheltered from any wind and was averagely a couple of degrees warmer than most of the lake... As they moved out of the snags, the water dropped to 7ft deep ( I chucked the odd handful in here too) and they stayed up in the top layers, they clearly did not want to drop down onto bait that they had been eating for a week or two.... Too cold...Too uncomfortable in 7ft. It's my view that they will move up and down the layers accordingly to help digestion (increase enzyme activity in warmer layers.).... That's why the zig boys won't complain if someone is feeding a few fishmeals...... I also think that fishmeals offer more nutrition and as fish are expending less energy in the winter months, they just need less to eat......

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think that what a lot of people forget is the the deepest water in a lake is quite often very cold, 4degrees. Not always the best temperature for them to feed at, yet ledges, gravel bars, plateaus and the like are often warmer, and in any sunlight, will take heat from the sunlight itself, warming up faster than the deeper water. 

Because of that they may well not be interested in feeding in the deepest water.

 

I say deepest water, water at 4degrees is most dense, and sinks to the bottom. Water above that may be warmer or colder, and in patches. You could have air temperature water on top, say 2 degrees, below that you may have not yet cooled down water of say 5degrees over the sun lit bars from the day, and then above and around that 3degrees. In other words the temperature may not be a constant all over. 

 

Its likely the fish if they are in the area, feed in the warmest water. If they are in the snags, that may well be their winter spot, and might not move anyway, whether you feed or not.

 

Taverham from December onwards, you could catch fish from The Meadow swims, and numbers 1-4. The other 19 odd acres had very few fish in it.

On Thwaite, the majority of the fish were in the centre section (imagine an upside down capital E), and the snags at both ends of it. The first and last arms were mostly empty.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×