IT’S MONDAY and that means it’s carp blog time here on the Angler’s Mail magazine website. This week we are pleased to welcome the guys from… Nash. Thanks to Nash man Keith Jones for supplying this round-up. He opens it up and adds contributions from some top names.
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Happy new carp fishing year
HELLO again and welcome to our latest blog, it only seems like five minutes ago that we put the last one together, I don’t know where the last few weeks have gone, in fact I could say the same thing about 2013!
Things are still hectic at Nash HQ with lots of new products being launched, every month there’s something new and interesting arriving in the tackle shops from Nash.
The new Instant Action range of high attract baits are continuing to catch well as are established products such as the Amber Strawberry range of boilies and peripheral products. We all have our favourite winter baits and it pays to stick with what you are most confident with, it’s certainly not the time of year to be experimenting with something untested. But if you do have any baiting issues, Amber Strawberry is the first choice winter bait for many of this country’s top anglers and it’s a top catcher too.
I know I mentioned this last time but looking at the recent catch reports we’ve received, it still amazes me just how many carp are being caught on Zig Bugs this winter, often in tricky conditions when more conventional tactics are failing to produce. Mastering mid water zigs will most definitely put bonus fish on the bank this winter for anyone willing to give it a try, I’m convinced of that.
We’ve got a new contributor this month, Alfie Russell, despite being only 15 years old, Alfie has without doubt got real talent, he’s certainly impressed us all at Nash HQ. You may have seen him in action fishing one of his local lakes in our 2013 Nash DVD. I’m sure he’s someone we’ll be hearing a lot more about in the near future.
Well that’s it from me, its mild again today, the suns out and I’ve got half a day free to go fishing!
As all carp anglers know, mid winter can be the hardest time to catch carp, during the warmer months carp can be very active and generally much easier to catch, but mid winter can be very different.
Choosing the right water that will give a good chance of a few bites during the colder months is important, I’m lucky to have the ideal water not too far from where I live. It’s around two acres in size and holds some lovely old carp. It fishes well even in the coldest conditions, it’s a London park lake and only ten minutes from my front door, obviously you have to fish well to catch them but I always feel that I’m in with a good chance when I go.
My target for this winter is a low thirty which is more than enough to keep me motivated to go regardless of how poor the weather might be.
I’ve been managing to fit in a few ‘after school sessions’ recently, in the past I’ve caught well on these short winter visits and banked several fish in just a few hours fishing.
As the carp don’t tend to eat lots of bait when it’s freezing, I tend to use small amounts of bait when fishing. And I like to keep things simple, a small pva bag of liquidized bread, normally the size of a 20 pence piece, with a snowman hook bait, often works well. I prefer to use a popup with lots of pulling power in the winter that will leak out plenty of attraction and pull any nearby fish down to the trap.
So that’s my winter fishing plans sorted, I’ll let you know how I’m getting on next time – good luck with your fishing!
Whilst I am sure it was written about years ago and I missed it, I guess I was one of the first writers to advocate fishing your rods on single bank sticks for carp fishing. In the early eighties I was a ‘specialist’ angler targeting pike, eels and the like and it was essential to minimise resistance so single rod rests were the only option.
Despite buzzer bars, rod pods and the like being the fashionable accessory I was always a single bank stick man and still am today unless the bankside conditions prevent it. With a single bank stick front and rear you can point your rod directly at the end tackle so improving bite registration significantly. You can spread your rods out so avoiding the lines criss-crossing the swim and tangles when playing fish are reduced.
So in the winter months when carp don’t always bolt off and are more wary in the clear water conditions choosing single sticks will really give you an edge. When I have picked my swim and set my rods up when I cast out I put the Siren on mute and when the lead hits the lakebed I allow the line to settle. I pay off line from the reel clutch and when it hangs limply I clip on the lightest bobbin I can and then switch the Siren back on. The rods are as low as possible and pointing directly at the end tackle. Any movement is magnified greatly by the balanced setup and its certainly caught me a lot of bonus carp over the years….Good luck and think about what you are doing.
Coming into mid winter is a particularly difficult time of the year for carp anglers. Apart from the cold weather just making our trips to the bank a little more uncomfortable for ourselves, this is the time of year when the carp are becoming much less active. On some waters the fish can remain dormant for long periods and hard to tempt.
Despite our best efforts, the fishing can be slow, so baits need to be well proven and tactics need to be tried and tested. That way we’ll have the resolve and confidence to keep at it and if we fish well, when the carp do go on the feed we’ll catch.
Zig fishing is the main method that I use during this period of the year.
It’s true you can catch mid water carp on just about any buoyant hook bait, but over the last couple of years, the Nash Zig Bugs have taken my zig fishing to new levels. I find the brightly coloured Attractor Beatles to be the best option mid winter, on those tricky days when it’s hard to trigger a bite, these baits will often save a blank.
There are several good reasons for using zigs. Firstly I believe that in winter probably for up to 23 hours of the day, the carp have little or no interest in feeding on the bottom so conventional bottom baits will bring limited success.
So I prefer to spend the day searching out the depths with adjustable Zigs until I find the exact level where the fish are cruising or where they feel most comfortable. A Zig positioned at the right depth will often be instantly taken in by a mid water cruiser, it could instinct or maybe just curiosity but whatever the reason, if you get your winter zig tactics perfected you’ll often catch whilst others struggle on the bottom.
To get the best out of them, you must commit yourself to the method! By this I mean if you just half heartedly chuck out a zig on an extra rod for a few hours, the chances are you won’t catch.
You need to fish them on all rods, if for example you are fishing an area of the lake with an average depth of 8 feet, you can start with one rod at 5 feet one at 6 feet and the other at 7 feet. Once you receive the first bite, if you change all rods to that depth, there is every chance you will be able to reap the rewards and enjoy a multiple catch.
Here’s a quick tip, when you set your rods up on the rests, fish as tight a line as possible and fish for liners. If I start getting line bites this is generally a good indicator that I’m fishing too far out, bringing the zig hook baits closer in until the liners stop often produces an instant response from the fish.
Keep warm and tight lines!
One day its cold, the next it is so mild, our winter weather is so unpredictable at the moment, however it’s always worth going and the truth is most of us are angling for a bite now that we are well into winter. Personally with time at a premium I am still fishing short day sessions from 7am until just 2pm. Of course you have to be fishing the right waters and I am flitting around various day ticket fisheries in search of winter sport.
Like any other session the number one ingredient to success is location. It’s during these colder times that your Carp radar has to be at its best and it’s the areas that you think look carpy that generally are. Old dying weed beds, snags, overhanging trees, deep margins and reed lines often hold carp.
On bigger open lakes quite often the middle of the lake seems to be a holding area where the carp are happy to be. On these bigger lakes my starting point would be zig rigs, particularly if the water is reasonably deep. I fish adjustable Zigs at various depths, adjusting the actual depth of my Zig Bug every half an hour until I find a productive depth, it’s then a case of simply fishing all rods at the same depth to maximise your chances. On the more intimate venues where I can find fish in little hideouts I will be fishing what you would generally term bit baits. Cut down hook baits with a few glugged freebies (in matching Arouser liquid) or a PVA bag of boilie crumb.
Treating each and every session like its scratching time is the way forward, ringing the changes with baits can make a big difference on the day. During warmer times I will be using a pre baited and established food bait with hook baits as closely matched to my feed as possible, in winter in total contrast I will go through a selection of baits in just a short session.
My last day session resulted in six bites in just six hours. In that time I tried all manor of boilie hook baits, again these were trimmed down pop ups in various different colours and flavours. On that day pink Scopex Squid was the winner, even out fishing the ever trustworthy Amber Strawberry! This just proved to me that carrying a selection of baits around at this time of year will get you extra bites.
One thing I must bring to your attention is the new range of Instant Action baits. This range of high attract pop ups and matching peripheral products has proven so effective in winter testing. Just like the Zig Bugs, if you fish well, they will produce bites in the harshest conditions. I can pretty much guarantee that you will find the Tangerine Dream option a real winner!
One final point, the way you set your rods up is also important in winter. I change from my usual trusty fluorocarbon mainline to Nash D-Cam and fish rods pointed straight at the hook baits with a tight line. Buzzers on full sensitivity will show up those ever so important line bites, giving away the carp’s presence. Find them, find a hook bait they will pick up and go get them!
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