UKCARP MAGAZINE 36 JANUARY 3RD 2012STAYING MOBILESEAGULL-PROOF BAGS 2Tighten and tie off the PVA bag in the usual way to get this result. 1A tiny handful of bait and a small pebble go into a PVA mesh bag. Punching a bait out into a sheltered area at the back of the wind.five-season sleeping bags and mountains of food for the stove. I'm not knocking that, but by fishing day sessions in the winter I can wrap up in my Zero Tolerance clothing and not be burdened down with loads of extra kit. I have watched several anglers in the last couple of weeks not even walk around an empty lake. Instead they just set up in one of the big comfortable swims and spend two hours setting up camp before a bait is even put in the water.I've spent the last eight winters fishing many day trips with my good mate and UKCarp editor Broady on all manner of waters, and I've enjoyed every minute because we have a similar approach - both us are willing to move regularly until we catch. We still have a laugh, taking the pee out of each other and enjoying each other's success, but because we have the same attitude to winter carping we fish well together.On some day sessions I dread to think how many times I cast out and introduce a little bit of bait, but staying active and working a swim in the winter is a great way to induce a quick bite. An old friend fished next to me the other day and was surprised at my constant recasting, but if I'm seeing fish show or just trying to work the swim I will recast as many times as it takes for me to be happy. I eventually tempted a nice twenty, the only bite of the day between us.All my bites in the last few weeks have been within half-an-hour of recasting, and from lakes where most anglers I've seen recast every 12 hours.In the cold months carp are far less active, so I want to put my hookbait right in front of them. I've lost count of how many times one rod fished in one spot will bring all the action, even with two other rods fished to the same spot with the same rigs and bait.Fishing for line bites is also a great way of locating carp in the winter, so casting regularly and spreading my rods in a swim to start can soon help pinpoint where the fish are. After a while all three of my rods may end up in one area, but my usual approach, especially when I've seen a carp roll, is to put the middle rod directly where the fish has shown and the other two either side. Usually the other rods will be fished staggered.For example, if the fish has shown at 50 yards range, the left-hand rod will be cast out 60-70yds and the right-hand rod at 30-40yds. If nothing happens I may switch the right-hand rod to the "long" rod and recast the left-hand rod shorter. The middle rod will often stay where the carp has rolled, but I will still recast towards the same area with fresh bait on within 30 minutes of the first cast being made.I've been targeting three very different lakes in the last month. I try to pick the right lake on the right day to suit the conditions. One of the lakes is a pretty featureless deep pit, another is slightly larger, a typical old gravel pit with a bottom like an egg box. The third is my own small day-ticket lake which is mainly 6ft all over with one deeper area.These lakes and the fish in them are very different, but my mobile and active approach "If I'm seeing fi sh show I will recast as many times as it takes for me to be happy"
UKCARP MAGAZINE 37 JANUARY 3RD 20124Ready to go, the bags will go miles and are too big for the gulls to deal with easily in the air.3You can feed two bags at a time via a baiting spoon. works well on all three. Giving myself some options is certainly helping me catch consistently. I remember being on the bank with Jim Shelley at Waveney Valley a couple of winters ago, and what really impressed me was how he was switching from lake to lake on the holiday complex. He has fished this venue for so many years and this experience, along with his excellent watercraft, helped him target the best lake on the day.The largest lake I'm fishing is 12 acres and the fish seem more active there than on the deep pit or my own shallower water. I've had bites from three of the four banks now but unless a fish pops its head out as I arrive it is very hard to guess where they will be.I'm starting to learn that the fish seem to be bit happier on the back of the wind, but on a couple of trips they have turned up on the end of it. Both the other lakes are far more predictable and I have caught all my fish this winter from the same one or two areas. These lakes fish better with a good breeze pushing across the water, and the deep pit is the one I target in the coldest conditions. Several times I've fished two of the lakes in the same day as the weather conditions have changed during my session.One thing that has worked well for me this winter is being confident about introducing bait regularly. I'm using a mixture of Monster Squid and the awesome Strawberry Amber Attract. I will often spread 40-50 baits over all my rods as soon as I get into a swim and then introduce the same amount half-an-hour later when I recast.All the lakes I'm fishing are far from being overstocked, but I'm confident the fish are grouped up in small shoals, so if 10 drop down to feed, 100 baits will not last long even in the coldest weather. Add to this diving ducks, coots and gulls taking some baits in the air and not all of it is going to reach its target. To add to my woes, one of the pits I'm fishing has too many bream in it for my liking. But I believe all this annoying attention paid to my bait from the birds and nuisance fish just encourages the lethargic winter carp to feed.I can remember a few very cold day trips over at top I use Diffusion leaders and lead clips.Blobs of putty added to leader.Long hooklink and snowman rig, ideal to fish over light weed.