Carpers Yard

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Make winter work for you!

Katie Watkinson

Winter fishing can be grueling at times if not done right so here is a quick insight into what I do during winter to maximize my chances of that elusive bite. Let’s face it, it’s dark, cold, damp, and depressing out there this time of year, anyone who says otherwise is either lying to look hard or totally mad. From December to March is when things can be tricky and really grind you down if you're not careful but if get it right it can also be prolific.

My first tip and most importantly is venue choice. Head for the venues you know have good winter form, believe me even the most Hardcore of anglers will be doing the same so leave your ego at the door! For me, a smaller higher stock water is always my first port of call, and remember nights are not always essential or particularly comfortable so also bare that in mind! 

My next tip is to be prepared! Daylight hours are over in a flash so in order to maximize your time and chances make sure your bait is ready and rigs are tied before you even consider leaving for a session. The last thing you want to do is to be fumbling about in the freezing cold with numb fingers!

That brings me to another very important factor of my winter fishing. Make sure you are warm and comfortable! Layer up with all the appropriate clothing and footwear. No one enjoys being cold or wet and as soon as you do get cold your attention and effort for the fishing will dramatically take a turn for the worst.

Layer up your clothing but slim down your tackle and stay mobile, location is key as the fish are more than likely to be tightly grouped and not moving about much at all so until you find them keep on the move. I tend to move every few hours until I feel I am on the fish.

As for Bait, less is definitely more this time of year and single hook baits are in my opinion even better! Single pop-ups in the right place can be a devastating tactic any time of year and they often come into their own in winter. They don’t always have to be huge, bright, blatant things either as long as they stink, I find that is the edge that’s required. When fishing singles I also find myself more inclined to move and recast more often in order to search out those shoals of fish.