Winter Baiting Approach


james_winter_2As we enter the colder months, it’s well worth paying a bit more attention to your baiting approach.

During the summer, if the situation is right, you can get away with using a lot of bait. However, once the weather cools and the water temperature drops, I will tend to use much less free bait, sometimes if anything at all.

In the cooler temperatures, carp lower their metabolism and become a lot less active. This means that they’ll use less energy and therefore require less food to survive. It also means that they’ll move around a lot less and become more localised to certain areas of the lake. With this in mind, any signs of fish should be acted on, which is perfectly suited to my favourite winter method – the single, hi-viz pop up.

When choosing a pop up, I believe that the colour is more important than the flavour. By this I don’t mean the exact colour but more the tone. Single hookbaits work by being highly visual and grabbing the carps attention, so anything that’s bright and stands out on the bottom will score well. The Hi-Vis Pop Ups from Bait-Tech are some of the brightest on the market and each tub has a mix of colours. Certain colours will work better on different days, but I don’t think you can go far wrong with white, yellow or pink.

james_winter1As for rigs, I favour the Multi Rig which I use all year round, but any other designated pop up rigs will do. The buoyancy is another very important factor when choosing your pop ups. Many of today’s pop up rigs, especially ones like the Chod and Stiff Hinge, are most effective with a pop up. So by using a pop up that is not buoyant enough or looses its buoyancy, you could be rendering your rig useless. There are some exceptions to this, such as the pre mentioned Multi Rig, which seems to work well with a balanced or bottom bait, but on the whole, most pop up rigs are much most effective with pop ups that ‘pop up’.

Another favourite winter tactic of mine and one that I will happily use in quantity is maggots. These really come in to their own during the colder months and can often temp a bite when all else fails. Solid PVA bags with maggots and other small food items such as low oil carp pellets or crumbed birdfood type boilies is a great method, as it offers a small attractive parcel of food, which like the single pop up, can be cast to any signs of carp.

James Conway
Carp Catcher

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