WINTER FISHING - ARE YOU JOKING?
By Paul Orford
Fish don't feed in the winter, that's right isn't it? You must be joking !! We all know that as water temperatures fall, fish slow down and don't need to feed as much, but that doesn't mean they don't feed at all. So if like me, you take one look out of the window when the weather is cold and head straight back to bed, this article is for you.
Change your tactics and the fish you target, wrap up warm and winter can still offer some excellent fishing. Fish South East tells you how.
Target Silver Fish:
Try fishing for silver fish at commercial carp fisheries in winter. Roach, rudd, skimmers and hybrids are often neglected at commercial waters and can often grow quickly on the kilos of bait intended to attract carp. As water temperatures fall and carp feeding slows down, now is the time to target silver fish. Maggots or casters on light tackle are excellent winter baits.
Scale Down Bait Sizes and Quantities:
As fish feed less, is makes sense to cut back on large hook baits and the amount of loose feed. When fish aren't feeding so readily, you want to increase the chance of fish picking up your hook bait. Lees feed in your swim increases that chance. Use single baits like brightly coloured pop-up boilies.
Use More Visual Hook Baits:
As waters become clearer as feeding activity reduces, fish tend to feed more by sight. Try brightly coloured mini boilies, sweetcorn or maggots which can all be successful in the winter months.
Scale Down Tackle Size:
Because there is less chance of hooking a larghe carp and as smaller baits are more successful, it makes sense to scale back your tackle size in the winter. Use smaller hooks and finer diameter lines, for example, makes your tackle less visible to fish and can dramatically increase you bite rates.
Try Flavouring Your Baits:
When water temperatures fall, fish feed less and anything you can do to make your bait stand out more and seem more appealing, the better.
River Fish For Chub:
In really cold weather, the Chub may often be the only fish you can tempt into feeding. Try worm, bread flake, luncheon meat or boilies and target likely fish holding areas like overhanging trees and bushes as well as creases in the river where fast water meets slower water.
Target The Predators:
Whilst predators can be caught all year round, the winter months are when pike, perch and zander fishing really comes to the fore. Try small spinners, livebaiting or lobworm for perch, sea or coarse deadbaits [roach, mackerel lamprey section etc] for pike and coarse deadbaits or live baits [whatever species are indigenous to the water you are fishing] for zander.
Want to comment or this article or even better, submit one of your own? Please visit the contact page.