Frankie Gianoncelli, Preston Innovations and England Under-23 International, shares with us his top five winter carp tips for landing big on commercial fisheries.

Feature hunt

Target carp around features: This might be a bush on the far bank, a reeded or any bank side vegetation. Carp live in and around features. Generally, if you find a feature you’ll find a carp.

Go bright!

The water in commercial fisheries is usually much clearer in the winter months, which makes visual hookbaits a winner at this time of the year. I’ve found that a bright white or yellow colour is the most effective.


Carp are suckers for a few punches of bread, a grain a corn or a White Chocolate Semi Buoyant Band’Um.

Scale down

A mistake that I see a lot of anglers making is there inability to adapt their tackle to different times of the year.

Lots of anglers use the same hooks and line all year round. This might make your life easier but trust me, it will be affecting how many fish you catch!

In summer I’d naturally fish quite heavy, for added durability and confidence. I might fish 0.19mm Reflo Power main line to a 0.15mm hooklength with a size 14 hook. Whereas, in the winter time I’d drop right down to a 0.13mm main line and a 0.10mm hooklength, to a size 18 hook.

The fish don’t fight anywhere near as hard as they do in the warmer months, so there’s really no need to fish heavy lines and big hooks.


Fishes’ metabolisms in the winter months are much lower than they are in the warmer weather. This makes them much more difficult to catch. They don’t have to feed that often, so decreasing your hook size and line diameter will increase your chances of success massively.

Thinner lines and smaller hooks will get you more bites, and ultimately catch you more fish!

Be on the lookout!

One tip that might just get you an extra bite, or two in the colder months is to be on the lookout for signs of fish. This might be a swirl, or a fish surfacing.

If I’m fishing a bomb or a waggler and see a fish surface, I’ll cast near to the fish. It’s a trick that I’ve learnt form carp anglers. They commonly cast their rigs to fish they’ve just seen crash out of the water. You’ll be amazed at how often you get a response, and sometimes before the line has even settled!

Don’t feed

One thing that has amazed me over the past few years is how effective not feeding can be. This might sound quite strange, but not feeding can often be the best attack.

Like I’ve mentioned earlier, carp don’t have to feed that much in the winter time. So, they aren’t going to be attracted to piles of bait scattered around everywhere. A single hookbait dropped right in front of their nose will have a much better chance of getting snaffled.

There you have it, five of my top winter carp tips. You might not catch hundreds of fish in the winter time, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have an equally enjoyable day. Even in the coldest of weather!

Tight lines, 

FrankieBlog Preston