James Conway answers a question regarding baiting approach in the winter

Question 1 - image 1Question: With winter not far around the corner, how does your baiting approach change for the colder months?

My baiting approach changes quite dramatically in the colder months. During the spring, summer and autumn, if the situation is right I’ll happily use a lot of bait. This more often than not, will be a spod mix containing boilies, hemp, sweetcorn and pellets. However, once the weather starts to cool and the water temperatures drop, I will reduce the amount of bait I use. To start off with in the autumn, I will cut out the particles and go down the boilie route, but still using a fair amount. Then as we progress through autumn and into winter, I will reduce this until I am hardly using any bait at all, focusing more on single hookbait fishing – primarily with bright pop ups.

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 perfect for the single, hi-viz pop up approach. Certain colours or flavours can work on different days, but I don’t think you can go far wrong with the hi-viz/fluoro type in white, yellow or pink.

Another method that can score well at this time of year is the solid PVA bag. It offers a small attractive parcel of food, which like the single pop up, can be cast to any signs of fish. However, in the colder temperatures, carp find it hard to digest baits with a high oil content, so if you are going to use pellets in the PVA bag, make sure that they have a low oil content, such as the Carp and Coarse pellets from Bait-Tech.

James Conway

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