Steve Hall reveals his top tips for winter
Be mentally prepared for the water you’re fishing. If you’re fishing a tough low stock water through the winter, you must be prepared for the long dark nights and many hours of blanking. Always remember that one good fish can make a winter. Never buckle and drop on a runs water just to get a bite. A few bites are always nice, but will distract you from your winter campaign.
Eyes-peeled ears open. For every second of day light I’m out looking for any sign of fish. The slightest show, bubble or any sign of activity that grabs my attention is worth a mental note. Also in the dark, any crashing or splashing that I hear is noted with the time and location. Always try a rod in that area the next night or next visit at the same time.
Feed em. Regular baiting of areas that you know or think the fish are visiting is a must. You stack the odds massively in your favour by doing this and quick bites can happen if you get it right. I like to feed twice weekly. Once midweek and once when I fish at the weekend, but after my session. I won’t do this if other anglers are there for two reasons. 1 respect and secondly, I don’t won’t them to see my spots!
Different areas for different times of day. If there is a shallower area that sees a lot of sun or is off the back of cold winds, it’s well worth a few hours with a couple of rods in the afternoon. Then you can always drop back in your camp, which has been quiet for a few hours for the night. The fish will still travel in the winter to find warmer water.
Cast at em. I will literally cast at anything I see, be it a bubble, a fish crash out, a subtle show or a flat spot. The number of winter carp I’ve caught doing this is crazy and many anglers will just stay on their spots.
Get naked. Not me! It’s way too cold for that! I like to lose the leaders & tubing, or anything else I think stands out in very clear water. A simple Outline Fluorocarbon leader with a lead clip or helicopter style setup is all I need. I also only use Fluorocarbon combi hooklinks for the same reason.
Keep warm. This might sound obvious, but keep warm. Good boots, thermal clothing, hats and waterproofs are all essential. If you get cold, you will generally end up leaving or lying in bed all day. No good as you need to be outside on the lookout!
Be prepared, be consistant, be strong & keep warm! Everything else will fall into place.