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Lumeymorris

Winters coming!!

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Guys I'm thinking of giving my syndicate a real good go this winter but I'm going to be honest I don't really know what I'm doing and have heard that in winter the carp show less making it harder to locate them so was wondering what you guys do when during winter and haven't seen any signs to go on?? As I get I'm going to have to be a lot more mobile acting on any sign/show but what do you do before isit a case of what the weather's doing and getting in swims that have recently been fished??

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You need to be looking now mate - they'll be starting to visit the winter areas already and those early signs can make or break a winter campaign. If you can, I'd be baiting those areas too (and keep that going all through winter). There is no point starting baiting in winter as you've already missed the boat and their metabolism will have slowed. If you keep it going in from autumn, they'll keep feeding.

Regards fishing in winter itself, be ready for long periods of inactivity. They will show you where you need to be, but the levels of activity are very low, and it often comes in the dead of night (1 - 3 AM). When it gets dark at 4 or 5 PM that can seem like a very, very long wait (by 8 PM it feels like midnight!).

Every pit is different but I've found areas of consistent depth near (not in) the deepest water can often serve as winter holding areas. Keep your eyes on shallower water when the sun comes out, especially if there are reed beds about.

It's worth trying to find out about past winter captures as the holding areas usually stay the same year-on-year in my experience.

Don't expect too much. Sometimes you can be bang on them but at the end of the day their metabolism slows so they simply don't need to eat much. That said, imo they will feed for a short period every day so if you can find where that is, you can sometimes set you watch by the takes.

The hardest thing about winter is staying focused as the hours pass by with no signs whatsoever. Just one single sighting can make the difference between a great campaign and a whole winters blanking, so you absolutely need to keep those eyes open and just keep going.

Good luck.

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Agree with Yonny but one thing I would add is watch the weather like a hawk. Even the smallest spikes can be a window of opportunity and on my winter water between 11:00-15:00 is always good when the winter weather is a bit milder. I’d also add that at least one of my rods would be on a zig,if allowed on your water. Good luck work hard at it and hopefully you’ll have a few. 😬😎🎣

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8 minutes ago, snowmanstevo said:

I’d also add that at least one of my rods would be on a zig

Good call mate.

As water gets colder it gets denser so the coldest water will be on the deck, particularly in the deepest area. Some believe this is part of the reason the feeding spells are so short - because it's physically uncomfortable for them to feed on the deck due to temps. Obviously zigs can come into their own in this case.

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Yes yonny back again with the advice I needed to hear as the last few sessions I have noticed that the fish tend to show them selves in the same two swims but I just thought it was coincidence but now I'm starting to think that this could be where they are going to hold up being they have been showing there for the past month or so but no one's managed to catch any and my friend was in the swim where they where showing over the weekend but didn't get a beep so could defo be worth trying the zigs!! 

And with the water temp ive been thinking about it wrong I always thought that because the bottom layer doesn't go below 4c  so that the lake doesn't completly freeze so always thought the deeper the better but this could of been where I've been going wrong! But thinking about it now the lake has slowed down so I thought they were pre occupied on the naturals before they die out but now I'm pretty sure that they've been up in the levels and from what I've heard on the bank no one's using zigs all fishing on the bottom which is probably why no one's been catching!! 

And you guys aren't wrong about it being hard to stay focused and accept the blanks as this is what normally makes me give in but I'm more hungry than ever and with the help from you guys I'm sure I'll get one!

Also my lake has a lot of coots can I use them to my advantage in anyway or ignore them??

Cheers guys 👍

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Whilst this isn't aimed at the original poster, it is definitely worth choosing the venue most carefully for winter.  The only water I've happily fished right through and caught from regularly was a shallow pit 6ft max.  Like snowmanstevo has said 11:00 - 15:00 was bite time bang on, so I'd fish days only arriving mid morning, back home by 4pm.

It was a 25+ acre lake and the fish grouped in the central couple of acres in amongst the flocks of wildfowl, careful observation and you'd see head and shouldering just behind or in the flock itself.

I had 3 in 20 mins whilst trying to tell a guy that it was usually difficult, he must have thought I was trying to put him off.  Winter felt like the best time to be there tbh.

The deeper gravel pits where you've got good depth to say 20ft the fish are much harder to catch and the fishing starts a good month later in spring than other shallower pits, that's just my observation anyway.

IMO you want to be focusing on the West bank initially as it gets the first sun, also reed beds as said previously.

This shallow water advice relates directly to the zigs advice for deeper water I guess.

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4 minutes ago, Lumeymorris said:

Yes yonny back again with the advice I needed to hear as the last few sessions I have noticed that the fish tend to show them selves in the same two swims but I just thought it was coincidence but now I'm starting to think that this could be where they are going to hold up being they have been showing there for the past month or so but no one's managed to catch any and my friend was in the swim where they where showing over the weekend but didn't get a beep so could defo be worth trying the zigs!! 

And with the water temp ive been thinking about it wrong I always thought that because the bottom layer doesn't go below 4c  so that the lake doesn't completly freeze so always thought the deeper the better but this could of been where I've been going wrong! But thinking about it now the lake has slowed down so I thought they were pre occupied on the naturals before they die out but now I'm pretty sure that they've been up in the levels and from what I've heard on the bank no one's using zigs all fishing on the bottom which is probably why no one's been catching!! 

And you guys aren't wrong about it being hard to stay focused and accept the blanks as this is what normally makes me give in but I'm more hungry than ever and with the help from you guys I'm sure I'll get one!

Also my lake has a lot of coots can I use them to my advantage in anyway or ignore them??

Cheers guys 👍

They will have been pre-occupied on naturals through Oct - Nov on a typical gravel pit no doubt as the weed drops and the bugs end up congregated in the silt troughs, frustrating to the max.

Good advice so far - try those zigs for sure 👍

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9 minutes ago, Lumeymorris said:

my lake has a lot of coots can I use them to my advantage in anyway or ignore them??

Always worth keeping an eye on them buddy. It's worth keeping an eye on anything and everything tbh, just the slightest sign can help.

8 minutes ago, kevtaylor said:

The deeper gravel pits where you've got good depth to say 20ft the fish are much harder to catch and the fishing starts a good month later in spring than other shallower pits, that's just my observation anyway.

I completely agree mate. I did a winter on the Mill a while back. It was awful lol. Didn't see a carp for 3 months. Where as on Heron with it's shallower depths, I had real good results.

6 minutes ago, kevtaylor said:

They will have been pre-occupied on naturals through Oct - Nov on a typical gravel pit no doubt as the weed drops and the bugs end up congregated in the silt troughs, frustrating to the max.

Maggots!

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31 minutes ago, yonny said:

I completely agree mate. I did a winter on the Mill a while back. It was awful lol. Didn't see a carp for 3 months. Where as on Heron with it's shallower depths, I had real good results.

I know the odd one has come out the mill Jan/Feb but its like a miracle not the norm lol

I was in Oak in January and in the night the wind swung from West to East, as soon as that happened I got a load of liners one after the other.  Speaking to a guy who moved into West End Point, he got a load of liners 20 mins after me, so they were plenty still moving about and reacting to conditions.

I think that 20ft depth thing on the Mill tallies up with the slow start on other waters nearby - such as Kingy, its a good 4 - 6 weeks behind neighbouring waters for the spring switch on.

The Heron and Island fish OK right through don't they as does Beedles in Leics, but thats Syndi now.

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Great advice by all & not much to add tbh . If you can bait a little a day or two before fishing... don't get carried away just enough to let them know there's a little fresh food on offer . Then on arrival just bait a little again before getting the rods out . Once you find bite time on your lake in winter you only really need to go a couple of hours either side of that window , as above either side on lunch time.  

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On 13/11/2019 at 21:34, chillfactor said:

Great advice by all & not much to add tbh . If you can bait a little a day or two before fishing... don't get carried away just enough to let them know there's a little fresh food on offer . Then on arrival just bait a little again before getting the rods out . Once you find bite time on your lake in winter you only really need to go a couple of hours either side of that window , as above either side on lunch time.  

 

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So with baiting a little a day or two before I fish what would I bait up with my chosen boilie? Or would you go for say hemp n corn or what ever I put in when I fish do the same but on a smaller scale?? Not that I'm putting a lot in and am feeding hemp, corn, boilie n some bloodworm pellet. Also would you just bait one swim of a few in case people are in then when I come to fish? And one more thing with winter spots do I want to be fishing on the gravel or the silt or does it not matter the fish will feed where the fish feed??

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2 hours ago, elmoputney said:

It's not winter till December 22nd this year, so anyone caught catching a winter carp before then is still catching an autumn carp 😁

 

Screenshot_20191117_115302_com.android.chrome.jpg

I bet your Kids won't be allowed to open their Christmas presents until after the Queens' Speech , Elmo .

😁

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Carp often have specific areas they hole up in winter, year after year. It could be silt beds, near gravel bars, natural foods like bloodworm beds, or even next to snags, decaying lily pads or rushes. It is most definitely not always the deepest water, I have seen them in rush beds with only just around 3feet of water above them. They were only visible if you got into the water right next to them, you couldn't see them from any swim, although you could cast to the edge of the rush bed, and catch.

 

In winter I rarely fish with any particles, maybe some very over wet soaked Vitalin as groundbait and nearly all boilie as my feed, although sweetcorn can produce a fish or two.

I also reduce my stringers; instead of 5-30 bait stringers, I go to only 1 or 2 (14mm) boilies on a stringer with a single hookbait. One rod nearly always has a hi-viz or hi-attract pop-up as the bait, and I recast this regularly, trying various spots and various baits. The obvious bright yellow Pineapple (in its various forms from different manufacturers) works sometimes, as do others, Monster Squid, Scopex, Plum or my own version pop-up Garlic and Megaspice, which I describe in the Bait Making section. I really don't know what it is, but that mix produces a lot of fish as an individual pop-up, or as part of a food bait mix.

 

Even in winter, the food bait will often work. I have described in the past a session I had years ago on Thwaite. For the first two days the high attract pop-ups produced, then for the rest of the week all takes came to the food bait I had been feeding sparingly since the first day of the trip after no other prebaiting through the year. 

 

On Earith back all those years ago I found a swim that produced fish every trip, although because I was catching other people did start fishing it. A little digging around with the marker rod, I found a swim with similar topography at the other end of the island. I went on to catch from here as well.

My pre-baiting on here was as I left every week after a two day trip. I put a kilogramme of boilies in as I was leaving. Every take came on my good source bait. Despite trying a few times, the high attract baits did not give a fish. I wish I had known about the Garlic Spice mix then!

NOT all takes will come during the day. As much as fish may be caught during daylight, I found some fish still fed at night. I have caught a lot of fish at night, even in winter. My biggest common at the time, from Earith, was caught at around 1am in February. Saying that though, my best winter session 4 fish, over 4 days, just after a thaw, every fish came during daylight. The only reason I fished at night was the distance from home.

 

 

Earith Winter February 25lb common:

 

 

 

 

image.jpeg

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12 hours ago, Lumeymorris said:

So with baiting a little a day or two before I fish what would I bait up with my chosen boilie? Or would you go for say hemp n corn or what ever I put in when I fish do the same but on a smaller scale?? Not that I'm putting a lot in and am feeding hemp, corn, boilie n some bloodworm pellet. Also would you just bait one swim of a few in case people are in then when I come to fish? And one more thing with winter spots do I want to be fishing on the gravel or the silt or does it not matter the fish will feed where the fish feed??

Looking back I reckon my best results came from baiting a matching pellet to my boilie. Was using baitworks at the time & they do a pellet from the same mix. Was mixing a few chops of boilie in with the pellet. The pellet would break down even in the coldest of water leaving lots of food signals but not to much to actually get there fill . On the day it was a judgment to bait straight away or not depending on activity. Not a fan of baiting over there heads in winter , as they might spook for the day .  

I had  3 spots baited one for each rod , & offering slightly different options ie depth / Sun/ shelter etc . 

 

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On 13/11/2019 at 23:04, muftyboy said:

So what would you guys class as shallow?.

I think anything less than 10 ft is shallow enough.

23 hours ago, Lumeymorris said:

So with baiting a little a day or two before I fish what would I bait up with

Whatever you're confident in imo buddy.

For me, there is no better winter bait than maggots.

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Guys hoping to get some fishing in over the Xmas break but was thinking about doing a little prebaiting but I've not been to the lake in a good month or two so not don't really know where the fish have been showing/coming out all I've got to go on is where a fish came out two weeks ago but of course I know you need to find the fish to be on the fish but with them hardly showing now winters here the chances of me seeing them in the little time I will be on the bank prebaiting it's going to be a bit of a guessing game so I was wondering what winds you don't want to be at the end off and what winds to be at the back off as my lake is really effected by the wind and i always thought that when a sw comes in get on the end of it but I've tried it the last few times I've been and failed so any tips would be appreciated

 

Merry Christmas you filthy animals

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