Competence in the Cold
Kodex angler Mark Foster gives us the low-down on his winter tactics.
Winter carp fishing has its disadvantages. It is cold, muddy, and offers fewer captures and daylight hours. However, carp are generally at their peak weight and condition, the banks are quieter, and there is a better choice of swims.
Location is even more important when winter carp fishing, and probably the hardest aspect. Carp are less active, usually held up in packs in certain areas of the lake, and can be hard to find, as they rarely show themselves.
There are a few things you can look out for when fishing in winter. Carp love spending time tight to islands and snags, where they are protected from the elements. Each lake is different, though. On some lakes, these areas may be around the centre of the lake where weed is present, while on pressured lakes, it could be the area anglers often ignore. Generally I like to fish the deeper areas in cold conditions and shallower areas in warm conditions. So if we do have a warmer period during the winter, don’t overlook the shallows, as that’s where the carp are likely to be.
Many carp anglers like to scale down their end tackle in winter, and I am one of them. I believe carp are less active during the colder months and not competing for food, so when they do come across my hookbait, they have more time to eye up my rig and pay more attention to what they are about to suck in.
My winter carp rigs differ from the rigs I use in the summer in that they are usually shorter, fished with a single hookbait or inside a small PVA bag. I prefer to use a short rig when carp are feeding on small patches of bait, and the Kodex PVA Bag/Stikk rigs, which I favour, fit nicely into a PVA bag, leaving a little hidden surprise amongst a nice parcel of food. Yes, my rigs are pre-tied, but I honestly believe no one could tie them better themselves.
I tend to use either the size 6 or 8 versions, depending on the situation. The ultra-sharp Genomic MGP hooks are a massive confidence-booster, as bites are few and far between in the winter, so when they do come along, you want to be sure your hook won’t let you down.
Take a look at the Kodex PVA Bag/Stikk rigs yourself by clicking the following link: www.kodextackle.com/products/?id=5483