Locating carp in winter is much more important because they tend to move far less. If you pick the wrong peg you will almost certainly blank during your stay. As carp move less during the colder months there will be less signs of their locations, so it’s important that you take your time and assess where the carp are likely to hold up. There will be many different areas where carp may feel comfortable during winter, and these areas may change depending on certain situations. So where are they likely to be?
A carp’s priority is temperature during the winter. For this reason, they will be trying to seek out areas of the lake where the temperature is higher. Yes, food is still important to them, but because they move less, due to the low temperatures, they require less energy. In fact, if you ever find an area that provides natural food items, warmth from direct sunlight, and offers some shelter, then you’ll have one ideal place to locate carp during the winter months.
Let’s have a look at areas that may possibly hold carp during colder months:
All carp anglers know that carp will generally follow the wind. However, there is an exception; if it’s a cold wind. Remember their priority at this time is temperature, so why would they follow a cold wind coming from the east? I believe you will find more fish located on the back of a cold wind in the winter months.
If during the day there is a warm south-westerly wind blowing down the lake, then carp will probably follow this wind to gain some warmth. Although, if there is lots of angling pressure due to all carp fishermen fishing into the warm wind, then the carp may find other areas to hold up in.
The Shallow Waters
Whenever there is a bright, warm winter’s day, then head towards the shallow areas which receive direct sunlight. These areas will warm up very quickly, so carp will always come back for a warming up session. I like to settle my carp rigs in these areas well before the sun rises, then there is no disturbance when they arrive on the scene. There are many other fishing tactics to use in winter!
Natural Food Areas
Although, many natural food areas will be diminished, carp will often visit these in winter. Try out a single hook bait in those natural food areas if you are ever stuck as to where to fish.
Snags & Reed Beds
Snags can be one of the best places to locate carp. During the cold they are dormant so they prefer to feel safe in snags and tree lined areas. I love fishing next to reed beds. I find the fish love to get in amongst them to search for food items and get some cover. In the winter reed beds can be productive as I think they offer some cushion from the cold temperatures, plus, they provide a quiet cover for carp. I also think that because many anglers won’t target margins reed beds, they associate these as safe to eat from.
Islands can be a great place to locate carp in the winter. They tend to offer varying contours and depths where the temperature can vary. This means they can adjust to the most comfortable depths without expending much energy.
In the middle of winter when the water temperature settles to about 6 degrees, you may well find carp present in mid-water. If there is a supply of fresh water to the lake, such as a spring, then they could well be settled in mid-water. This is because the fresh water will be above 6 degrees and will rise up making warmer areas in the middle of a lake’s depth. I think it really depends on the depth of the new lake as to exactly where they will settle. If the lake is very deep, then the fish may be located just off the bottom.
When it is very cold, that is below 4 degrees, the water will rise to the surface where it will form ice if the air temperature is minus 1 degree C. This means the bottom of the lake will stay around 4 degrees, and this is where the carp will settle for longer periods.