Top all-round carp angler and Fox consultant Lee ‘Mozza’ Morris reveals his 10 best tips for making this winter your most successful ever!
Pick the right venue!
Tip One – Pick the Right Venue
This is something that a lot of thought should go into, I've spent many winters on hard waters getting my kit ruined week in week out for not a lot of activity because I've chosen the wrong venue to fish during this incredibly hard period. Most anglers like myself don’t get that much time to fish, two nights a week at best I’d guess? That time spent on the bank is precious so during the coldest time of year I’d advise against sitting it out on low stock, hard venues and instead look for something else a little easier. The type of venue I now target in winter is one with plenty of fish, all carp no matter what their size look stunning in the winter months so at this time I’m happier to target smaller fish than the biggies. I've found that most shallow venues fish well and also venues which haven't been choked with weed all year also fish better in the colder period. I also like to target a relatively small venue of just a few acres as this makes location much easier and I would advise that you do some research about any potential venues to find out if they have form for fishing well in previous winters.
Winter clothing is essential.
Tip Two – Stay Comfortable
There are no items that are more essential in winter than appropriate thermal clothing, a warm bivvy and 5 Season sleeping bag. It is impossible to fish effectively if you are shivering cold, your concentration will not be right, and your motivation will suffer too. It is therefore essential to invest in some quality winter clothing such as a base layer, mid layer and of course a thermal suit over the top. A nice warm hat and some gloves along with thermal boots will also be a great aid at this time of year. I also recommend making yourself plenty of hot drinks as well as eating hot food as again these help to keep you nice and warm and also aid motivation too. By keeping warm and motivated you can sit out and watch the water much easier than being sat in the bivvy, in your bed. Watching the water is essential as seeing the tinniest signs of carp activity could be the difference between blanking all winter or hauling!
Two of the best winter baits you can buy.
Tip Three – Give Maggots and Casters a Try
Maggots and casters are two of the very best carp baits you can use in winter. In fact I’m sure they would be fantastic all year round other than the fact that nuisance species such as roach, bream and tench love them so when they are active in the warmer months it can be practically impossible to fish with them. Often you will read articles where anglers advocate putting gallons and gallons of maggots in, however, I'm not one to adopt this attack and prefer instead to use them in a little and often approach. I like to use a maggot or fluoro pop-up hookbait and then put the casters in a small PVA mesh bag as they add a bit of crunch factor. Often the PVA bag of casters is enough to get a bite but if I feel the fish are up for a bit more of a feed then I’ll spod out some maggots and casters too.