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Features
13 Nov 2017
by CARPology
8 of the best features to fish to during winter
We ask eight experts what the best features are to angle to during the freezing months

1 Simon Crow

“All lakes are different and even a small depression in a round hole in the lakebed will hold carp,” states seasoned pro, Simon Crow, “but if I was presented with all manner of different types of features, the one I’d go straight to would be the snags. Carp are wild creatures and they love shelter around and above them, which is what snags offer them. They are so good I’ve even known really shallow areas with snags in to be the best spot on a lake. I remember once fishing an estate lake in the Midlands with an average depth of 5ft all over yet the best winter holding spot was a set of snags in 2ft.”

2 Shaun Harrison

“Many unsuccessful winter anglers make the mistake of looking for deep water during the cold winter months. During the lead in to winter the deep water can be a good place to try as they hold onto their summer temperatures a little longer but once the cold water temperatures really kick in, usually around the Christmas period, I would always look for shallower water, preferably a bit of a sun trap close to the bank. Old dying reeds are often a magnet for carp in the winter and many fish go un-noticed simply because the anglers tend to be looking at and fishing into deeper water. I believe the reeds themselves absorb a small amount of heat as there are often ice-free areas in them when the rest of the pool is frozen.

3 Jon Bones

“Snags with a decent depth of water beneath them is by far my favourite. Even better if the snags are south facing and sheltered from the coldest winter winds yet still get the sunshine, when it decides to make an appearance! In a similar vein, and particularly in the absence of any big snags, large reedbeds can also be great winter holding areas. Reeds won’t grow in deep water, so you will always find them in shallow areas, but the carp still congregate in them through out the winter. Once you’ve found an area like this where the carp are holding up then it’s likely they’ll remain there all winter.”

4 Dave Levy

“I don’t really have a favourite feature, I simply just try to locate where the carp are holding up. For example, on Walthamstow 2 and 3, the deep silt was a very good area, and there is a part of the lake where the silt was so deep that everything comes back black but during the winter months the carp loved it in there due to the amount of natural food that live within the silt. Last winter I fished a small gravel pit where fishing open water would only produce bream, there were three very snaggy islands with only three foot of water around them but the carp were stacked up under the snaggy branches.”

5 Kev Hewitt

“When I sit back and think about all of my winter captures over the past number of years, it is hard to pick out one single feature that has produced more bites for me. I think it is safe to say I have caught carp in winter over silt, gravel, light weed and depths ranging from five foot all the way up to 20ft. It would probably be easier to list the features that haven’t been so successful for me during the colder months and they are the shallower margins and tight to islands with a shallow shelf. So for me the biggest importance is actually locating the carp and giving them a food source that they are willing to eat.”

6 Iain Macmillan

“The main one area I prefer to fish to is dying weedbeds. Now they aren’t too hard to find with just a bare lead so there’s no need to thrash the water to a foam at all. They still may have pockets of natural food left in them, in whatever shape or form that may be, but more importantly they provide the fish with slightly more warmth than the barren open water areas. You’ll also get away with a lot more on the rig front by slinging them in the weed; don’t forget the water will be at its utmost clearest so rather than scaling things down so the fish can’t see your tackle, simply fish where it will be hidden!”

7 Harry Charrington

“I wouldn’t say I have one particular type of feature during the winter as it differs depending on the size and depth of the lake. When deciding where to fish in the winter I always try to think about where the fish will feel warm and comfortable. On small, shallow waters (2-6ft) I have had cracking results fishing to dead lily pads and silty areas and I believe that this is because these areas hold the most warmth. On larger, deeper lakes I prefer fishing shallower areas as they warm up faster during the day, this may be a shallow bar or bay and if I can’t find a shallower area it will be a case of presenting Zig Rigs just a couple of feet below the surface. It’s all about understanding the lake you’re fishing at the time, but like Mark (point 8) mentions, snaggy areas are always a great area to head for when starting on a lake in winter.”

8 Mark Pitchers

“It’s incredibly difficult to define one particular feature as being my ‘favourite’ as the type of venue and environmental conditions will all affect the carp’s behaviour and their location, but in my experience snaggy areas are always a good holding area regardless of the season - but are seriously favourable during the winter months. Not only do these features offer a sanctuary area for the fish, but they also support an abundance of natural food items such as shrimps, snails etc., which are likely to be in relatively short supply during these winter months. At this time of year the carp will be looking to expend as little energy as possible during feeding, and these areas present the carp with a natural food larder with provisions never far away.”

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