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By Target Baits

Carp Fishing in Winter

Carp Fishing in Winter

As the temperatures drop as we move into winter, we see that carp are active for shorter periods of time, only feeding for a select few hours a day.  Therefore, it is vital to be prepared to make the most of the winter months.


With carp often located in just a few areas of the lake, location becomes very important as carp will often be shoaled up tightly together often leaving high areas of the lake completely devoid of fish. Fishing pressure, food availability, change in the lake bed along with prevailing wind direction and temperatures can all affect location, but it is also worth considering your lakes hotspots from previous years.


If possible, if you have a venue close to home regular pre-baiting can make all the difference.  Baiting up with smaller quantities every couple of days, rather than a bucketful once a week will help keep carp actively feeding as they will respond positively to the regular food availability, even in the coldest months.


Choosing the right bait is also vital when it comes to fishing over the winter months.

A ground bait should be highly attractive, using scent to help draw carp into your swim.  Once this has been placed you can then fish over it using your preferred method.  Live food like maggots / worms will help bring activity into your mix, and will often attract other species of fish which in turn will help stimulate the carp.  Bait should also ideally be fast dissolving and easily digestible.

Boilies, especially homemade, are also recommended.  High leakage ones are particularly beneficial in colder waters, with some flavours helping make all the difference in winter so it is worth experimenting.  Remember that the solubility of some flavours is lowered in winter, so you may have to increase your inclusion rate for better attraction.

Likewise, adding taste enhancers such as yeast extracts, spices, and salts will also help encourage more intensive feeding, as will aminos whether used in your bait, to dust your boilies or as a glug.

Ingredients such as AVT24 or VitaB-9 will help improve the nutritional profile of any bait, encouraging carp to feed as they seek out nutritional baits which offer a complete balanced, nutritional profile.  Carp will often prioritize nutrition in the winter, so reward the carp with HNV baits and they will keep coming back.

Single, high attraction hook baits that are highly flavoured / coloured can also be very productive through winter, with carp sometimes feeling more confident to feed on solitary ones when they are no free offerings nearby.

However, if you have a bait that is already well established on a lake is there really any need to change tactics as the temperature drops?