Winter Carp fishing for me is about having some fun and trying to make the best of the miserable weather! I don’t want to be searching for that target fish in a 50 acre gravel pit or trying to figure out where the fish are in 40ft of water; Some anglers like that, and that’s fine! It’s just not my cup of tea.
I like to fish at my local day tickets, sometimes on the commercial lakes and the match lakes whilst it’s a little quieter and get plenty of runs (hopefully) and preferably with very little effort!
So yes…. You need to pick the right venue. But the most important aspect this time of year is having fun, as it is miserable out there!
For this blog I visited Mere Moor fisheries, a complex I am familiar with having fished the Specimen Pool there for a few years. I decided to fish pool 1; which is normally fished heavily in matches and is constantly booked up by various match fishing clubs. But, with it being winter there was no one on it. There are plenty of carp in there from high singles up to mid doubles and apparently there is even a thirty pounder in there at the right time of year that loves to smash match fishing gear up! Perfect for a bit of fun with a sprinkle of the unknown.
I arrived at about half past two, which gave me a good 2-3 hours fishing before it went to dark to see. Just enough time to have a bit of fun and hopefully catch a Carp or two!
Now… If you want easy fishing then you will love this place. I pulled up in my car by the lake and fished right out of my boot! No walking, brolly or chair needed. Perfect lazy winter fishing!
This type of fishing is far from over complicated so there is no special baiting strategy, or special set up required, remember this is meant to be fun and easy fishing!
For my loose feed I chose a winter winner – Nash Citruz soaked in the matching Spod Syrup and then coated in the matching Fizzing Stick Mix. This can get expensive, and a lot of people will think you are mad making it, but the amazing thing about this mix is that you hardly need to use any of it! To start with, it is winter; you do not need a lot of bait when it’s cold. Secondly, there are so many feeding triggers and stimulants in this mix that you only need to use it to draw the fish into the area… Your hook bait will do the rest.
Tactics were going to simple – A little pop up rig cast out into the pool followed by five or six of the Citruz boilies catapulted to the same area. I didn’t even have an area in mind! This pool is full of fish and you are sure to find them soon enough.
I started by fishing one rod close to the big island with a small yellow 12mm Scopex Squid pop up, I even went to the effort of attaching a small mesh bag of Citruz pellets to the hook as I didn’t know what the bottom was made up of. That went out nice and easy and was followed by a small handful of the Citruz boilies.
Before I had sorted my second rod a Carp showed me exactly where to put it by waving at me on the surface. I had some Ronnie rigs already tied up so one of these went out with a Boosted Mulb on, followed by some of the Citruz boilies.
It didn’t take long, I was half way through a Chicken Ceaser wrap when the R3 with the open water rod on it sprung into action, the bobbin hit the blank and the bait runner kicked into gear. After a short but feisty battle I had my first Carp in the bag! I unhooked the fish whilst it was safe in the net, checked the Mulb hook bait was ok and cast it straight back out onto the spot, followed by a few more Citruz boilies. This helped me maximise the time I had and also the time I had fish in front of me.
Roughly five minutes passed after I released the first carp and the same rod was away again, this time it was an angry little mirror with a damaged mouth, which was a real shame, but to be expected on this type of water. I treated the wounds with some Carp Care liquid and let it go after taking a few snaps.
By this time the left had rod had not even done a beep, so in order to maximise my chances I reeled it in, checked the pop up and cast it to the same spot I had the other fish from about three foot to the right of the other rod.
Once again, after a short break the left had rod was away again! A stronger battle produced a lovely common of around 13lb which was in great condition considering the pressure it is under! Remarkably this was my third fish on the same pop up, now that’s value for money!!!
It was getting dark at this point and I was starting to get a little annoyed that my right hand rod had not produced anything. Was it the hook bait that was making the difference? Were the fish only approaching the spot from the left hand side? Was the rig tangled? I had no idea, but I needed to figure it out.
I reeled the right hand rod in, changed the pop up to a Boosted Mulb and cast it straight back out. I don’t think the line had even settled by the time the bobbin was hitting the blank! The right hander was away…. A lovely small mirror similar to the fist fish with a row of golden scales that shimmered in the light from my photography lights was my final prize of the session.
To me, it was the end of a perfect winter session – I had caught a few carp with very little effort!