I headed out on a bit of a wet Decembers morning for some method feeder carp fishing at a commercial type lake. Stocked full of small Carp around 5lb. To make things a bit interesting fellow blogger Joe decided to come along and we thought we would make a bit of a competition out of it, to see who can catch the most Fish, was simple, 1 point for each Carp caught. And was only Fishing between about 9:30am-2pm. I did also opt to use the Tackle Box Darrent Valley 8ft Quiver, I have used this for Roach fishing on Rivers, so was interested to see how it would fair up against Carp.
I don’t change around my method feeder fishing between winter and summer too much, it’s mainly a bit of scaling down. My method mix today was some sonubaits sticki method feeder pellets mixed with special G groundbait.
The mix I was using was about 70/30 towards the pellets, to give them a bit of a dusting and help them stick together. A lot of people will probably at this point be saying to me “Why are you using pellets in winter and not groundbait?”, my answer to that is, I believe pellets can be used all year round, I know people lean towards groundbait as it’s less filling for the Fish. However using the small micro pellets, is essentially a groundbait, however with the size of the pellets, they have a good chance of finding their way under rocks and leaves etc and can break down and release more scent into the water, I also believe this encourages the Carp to rummage around more searching for the micros and with some tight casting to the same spot, they should find your hook bait, which in winter, is good to use something to stand out from the feed you are using. I think Corn is perfect for this. Pellets being heavier than groundbait, also ensure a tighter feed area, to keep the Fish more concentrated and over your bed of feed.
I normally opt for a banjo feeder when method feeder fishing, I just think it keeps the bait tidy, and serves your hookbait and feed on the top, like a dinner plate for the Fish! Going back to my newlands hall session I used a larger more new style banjo feeder from Preston. However today I was using one of my old smaller lighter ones I had, still being winter, I don’t want to over feed the fish and have them back off, so as small as I can go, and instead of in the summer recasting every 2-3 minutes, I am waiting more so 10-15 minutes, depending on the day really.
I was casting just to the end of the spit in front of me, however was casting a bit away to make sure I was in slightly deeper water, in the summer, I would probably be casting a bit closer. The first few casts only led to a few little knocks on the tip, but no bites. Was confident I had a few Fish in the area, seeing a few Carp swim over my feed, I knew it was a matter of time, hopefully anyway in the cold conditions! After maybe 30 minutes ish, and a few chucks, the tip smashed round, clearly the Carp still had some summer fight on them, with a great aggressive bite, and a good little fight. But it was great to be off the mark with a small mirror.
This Fish did then create a bit of a flurry as I had 2 more quick bites after this, landing both Fish, all bites again very positive, the type of bite you love, watching the tip fly round. I did have then quite a big quiet spell, but eventually had another run of a few Carp. I did also have a surprise skimmer in the middle of the Carp.
Surprisingly, the biggest Fish of the day for me, one of the commons maybe around 5lb. Produced the most timid bite of the day, I imagined it was another skimmer of bream, however when I struck into it, It soon went off on a charge, however the Rod dealt with it fantastically.
The day soon came to an end, I managed to rack up 8 Carp in the session, and Joe only managed 3, catching them mostly in the second half of the session after struggling to find them. So a nice win and boost for myself knowing I had beat Joe!
Hope you guys enjoyed the read, I’d love to know how you approach winter Fishing for Carp, do you stay on the method? Do you use pellets or groundbait?
Tight Lines all!