7 March, 2018 |0 Comments
Winter and early spring can be a tough time for specimen carpers but Wayne Issatt shows how you can keep your alarms sounding during the cold by following his winter bait strategy. Wayne shows you the best baits to use for carp in winter. Explains the best rigs for carping in cold water and how and where to feeed and find the carp…
High attraction bait is a definite edge when fishing in cold water temperatures and hi-attract baits are generally categorised as either high-visual or high-scent. High-oil content baits often seem to get ignored by anglers in the winter and they are right to do so if they are bulk feeding, as too much oil will cause the fish digestion problems when their body temperature is low in the colder months. However, this does not mean that we cannot use oils in low-feed quantity baits like in a groundbait mix or hookbait glug. I believe carp crave this fatty goodness all-year round and therefore is a great attractor in both the winter and spring. There are many variations of high-oil/low-quantity attraction combinations you can use, as an example, my favourite at the moment is the Dynamite Baits’ Smoked Salmon Oil. I like to mix this with their new Spicy Stick mix and when used in small PVA mesh bags along with a well glugged hookbait which includes a CompleX-T boilie and matching Tuff paste, I’ve enjoyed some great results. This mix really does kick out some scent and is great if you want to use a low visibility tactic.
How to create Wayne’s low feed value PVA mix
Add some of the new Evolution Smoked Salmon oil to your stick mix
Start the PVA bag by adding a pinch of CompleX-T pellets
Then add the oily stick mix
The finished presentation allows for maximum attraction with little food
Hi or low vis…
It is often an uncertainty as to whether to go with low or high visibility baiting and results will vary across different waters or times of year. I personally will often try both strategies on different rods, until a bite materialises. As I am usually on short sessions and are always looking for a quick bite, offering a variety of colours and flavours on different spots may just increase your odds of that one bite at the times of year when the fishing is hard going.
Another great visual combination I have been using is Dynamite’s White Chocolate and Coconut Cream groundbait mixed with Sweet Tigernut liquid food and the lingering cloud this creates is massive. It can be used just as well in solid PVA bags or added to a sloppy spomb mix. When used as a spomb mix, the potent sweet aroma along with the plumes of hi-viz liquid will linger in the water column like a beacon, whilst hopefully attracting fish from some distance away and triggering their incentive to feed. It is no secret that carp love to investigate cloudy water, especially one smelling that good!
Add to this a few slow-sinking and small food particles like pulped corn and pellet to draw the fish down to the depth you are fishing at and you have a high attraction, but low feed trap, perfect for low-temperatures. When applied little and often, it really helps keep the attraction lingering over your hookbaits for hours. If you are fishing relatively short range, this mix can also be made dryer, rolled into balls and applied by the catapult.
Pour a quantity of White Chocolate & Coconut groundbait into a bucket
Add a generous glug of Sweet Tiger Liquid
Give the ingredients a good mix
Mould your mix around your lead like a Method feeder or fish it in a PVA bag or spod mix
The resultant presentation creates a large cloud of attraction
Go small for bigger results
Small hookbait’s are a must for me when water temperatures are cold. Simply with the fish being so lethargic and slow-feeding in cold conditions, it means their appetite is usually low and so they are more likely to trip up on small food parcel than a much larger one. I find 10mm dumbells are great for the job and I even whittle them down further to mimic the small items that I’ve added to the spomb mix.
If all else is failing to produce a bite then an alternative bait, like maggots, or my personal new favourite ‘Hemp and Snails’ are well worth a shot too. The carp love snails and also, they do not expect to find a hook anywhere near them, so they feed with much more gusto. A tin or two are well worth keeping in your ammunition and could just bag you that rare one!
Once I am confident that I have worked out the carp’s location, it is then time to start applying a good food source boilie and matching pellet regularly, to help hold them. If you are like me and only usually have short sessions to fish and do not want to overfeed during your session then it’s always worth baiting up at the end of the session before you leave to increase the odds of them sticking around for longer. Then, hopefully they won’t be too far away when you next arrive to wet a line. Heavy prebaiting is definitely key to regular success when approaching and during the Spring and with the fish beginning to wake up as the days are getting longer, they will be on the hunt for food. This is why I make sure I always give them a regular larder on the spots I’m fishing to help satisfy their appetite. The results will then come with the minimum of effort.
It is, of course, a big advantage to be fishing high-stocked waters throughout the colder months to keep your chances of a bite higher.