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Winter Fishing

21/11/2021 - Tactics & Edges

Winter fishing

Winter fishing, or more specifically cold water fishing can be quite soul destroying with lots of rod hours spent with no rewards and everything can seem quite bleak.

During these colder months bite times can be very localised and it’s all about small windows of opportunity. The last hour of daylight often being a good time.

I recall fishing a club water many years ago and fishing up to snags where I knew the fish were. I sat there all day and then just as the light levels were starting to drop, I got a bite. The fish was photographed and as I was releasing it, the other rod was away. 

Location as always is key but even more so in the winter as the fish can sit for large periods of time inactive, only moving short distances. The general assumption from most people is that the fish will move into the deeper water and while that can be the case, is certainly isn’t a given. Being cold blooded, carp will seek the warmer water wherever that may be so areas of the lake that are shallow and receive the most sunlight will often be a magnet to carp, as are dying weed beds and reeds. 

One of the waters I was fishing a few years ago was a typical old estate lake with a dam at the deeper end. I arrived one day in December but the lake had a lid on it so I decided to have a little wander around. I expected the fish to all be at the dam end of the lake or in the deeper water through the middle but on climbing a tree at the shallow end of the lake I saw a few dark shadows over a clay spot in about 3 feet of water so I slid my action camera out on a baiting pole and filmed these carp slowly drifting on and off of the spot. 



This information served me very well over that winter period and actually led to the downfall of the king of the pond just two days before Christmas.

As the water temperatures drop below 10 degrees, the carp’s metabolism slows down and their need for food is greatly reduced, as is their ability to digest that food. . Often a single bait with a small pva stick of boilie crumb is all that is needed to get a bite.

Milk protein baits really come into their own in winter as they are much more digestible in cold water than a fishmeal. The cold water green beast is one such bait along with the supa fruit and has highly soluble flavours and attractors which leak flavours even in the coldest of conditions. 

CWGB thermometer


To complement these baits, there are also bait sprays, boilie dips and the DNA feed stim liquid which uses a blend of refined nut oils that will not congeal, ensuring attraction even in cold water.

If you are planning on heading out this winter, wrap up warm, find the fish and apply the right bait and you too can enjoy some winter success.