The stories that in winter he only plays with balls with outstretched lips or generally pinches the fishing line for pastime are nothing more than baseless fantasies. And here’s the bite! The line breaks off the reel, the bite indicator beeps with long beeps, and all the inconsolable hours of waiting are instantly forgotten. At last!
The choice of reservoir
Those who live near the power plant already know where they will spend their time in the cold season: below the plume of the discharged warm waters. Here, both in the snow and in the cold, carps swarm. The rest of the anglers will have to look for small, well-populated fish ponds – ideal for “winter training”. It is convenient to toss the bait right under the fish’s nose here. However, in most cases here you will have to deal with medium-sized carp. Spacious reservoirs provide more opportunities for catching large specimens of carp. But the search for places for fish stopping can take the whole winter. Many anglers deliberately take the risk of developing large bodies of water, because even a single bite can justify the time and effort spent. Many winter carp fishing enthusiasts are attracted by rivers and canals. After all, a strong current, they say, keeps the carp from relaxing and keeps its appetite going. This, of course, has a reason. But with a drop in water temperature, the chances of good luck here also quickly decrease, since carp will always find a quiet corner for themselves where they can calmly spend the winter.
The search for carp that have lain in the winter requires special flair and endurance. An echo sounder is of little help here. Carps are so close to the bottom that he is powerless to detect them. All that can be recognized with its help are small features of the bottom structure: depressions, ditches, individual plateaus. All of them can theoretically serve as a refuge for carp.
From the experience of the past years, luck accompanied me until, in November, the water near the coast was seized by ice. The most inclement season for fishing carp is from December to March: at this time, fish activity appears, it seems, only in some very short periods of time. And fishing at this time is very problematic, since frost and ice suppress any attempts at regular feeding.
The value of the choice of feeding is often overestimated. Balls of boilies, even in frost, do not lose their attractiveness, and most of all, large-sized boilies, beloved in summer, are quite “tough” for winter carp. Our advice: At first, do not rush to generously distribute fertilizers. At first, it will be quite enough to throw two or three handfuls of boilies a day for each fishing spot. If, in spite of everything, things do not go, try to experiment: the particles of the bait softened after boiling plus worms and maggots have already helped out more than once on winter fishing. By scattering this kind of small bait widely across the pond, you, without saturating the fish, attract its attention.
Winter fishing requires a different approach. Instead of the usual rig with a fixed sinker, I often use a free-sliding sinker with a back stop in cold weather. While a fixed sinker only signals a bite when the carp has already picked up the hook and starts to flee, I use a sliding sinker to put a very sensitive rig on the ground. Every pinch of the bait, every touch of the line by the fish makes the tip of the rod flinch, signaling to me: there is something here.
I have problems with the usually reliable spinning reels in winter. If they are equipped with a rear drag, then in cold weather their brake only jerks allows you to dump the line. Front-mounted clutch with large brake discs in cold weather works much smoother and more reliable. A small stove powered by propane gas, set up in a tent, allows you to sit for long hours in winter, watching the bites. Harmful gases escape through the mosquito net on the ceiling of the tent.
Finding themselves in the icy air, the caught carps, of course, do not feel well. Therefore, the time for taking photographs or filming should be as short as possible. In the cold, the mucus covering the body of the fish very quickly coagulates into lumps. In no case do not wash it, even if in your photo the carp looks like it is doused with milk. Otherwise, it will be impossible to keep the fish alive and healthy.