Baiting Tactics to Catch Carp During the Winter
These days many anglers seem
to prefer fishing for carp in the
autumn seasons of the
year. There are very few that will try to
target large carp in the winter.
Maybe it’s the cold weather, or it could be that some believe the carp will
be hibernating in the deeper water and will not want to feed much. Well,
this is not always the case; in fact, most carp will still feed regularly
during winter, albeit in smaller quantities!
So if carp are still available to catch in the cold of winter, what baiting
strategies should we employ to be successful at catching carp during the
Firstly, one thing I will say here, we should be careful with the amount of
bait we use during winter. It can be so easy to over bait a swim at this
time of year. Actually,
heavy baiting can work during winter, but it
requires the right circumstances - if a large group of carp are feeding in
one area, then it’s possible to get away with piling in the bait. However,
this will be a rare occurrence so it’s best to under feed carp rather than
over bait in winter.
Here we list a number of effective baiting tactics that can be used in
1. Use PVA Stringers More Than PVA Bags
The use of PVA bags is a very effective baiting tactic. However, in winter
you should be looking to reduce the amount of bait you put out into the swim
overall. Therefore, it makes perfect sense to use a PVA stringer of 2 or 3
boilies for each cast instead of PVA bags. This is more important if you
intend to use one rod for roaming around the swim fishing for bites or a
single fish. If a bag full of bait was attached for each cast, imagine how
many baits would be going out in just half a day!
2. Use Small Baits
Carp will probably feed more often if the food is small and easily digested.
The cold water temperature affects the digestive enzymes in a carp’s gut so
some fats/oils are harder for them to digest. Using smaller baits or
chopping up boilies can help a
carp’s digestive process. Therefore, a carp
may be more inclined to take a few smaller baits over one big, monster boilie!
Chopped boilies also give the advantage of leaking out more scent to attract
carp towards the hookbait.
3. Try Using Rapid Breakdown Pellets
Carp will still be attracted to the smell of food signals in the winter.
Although, creating a large food signal without piling in too much bait can
be tricky. Using baits that breakdown rapidly into a mush is a great way to
send out a food signal without over-doing the bait. Many different types of
breakdown pellets can be bought from all leading tackle shops online.
4. Don’t Neglect Method-Based Mixes
For the same reasons as for number 3, a method mix using breadcrumb can help
send out a big food signal. The trick is not to include any food items when
mixing up the groundbait. Add in plenty of liquid attractants, but leave out
the food items, well maybe add just a few! This way you’re sending out
plenty of food signals without the fillers!
5. Why Not Use Singles!
Try using single hookbaits in winter. Single hookbaits can be one of the
best baiting tactics of all. There are many benefits to using singles.
Firstly, the carp cannot become too full on any freebies before getting to
your hook bait, simply because there are none! Plus, many carp in UK waters
are becoming accustomed to the safety associated with finding a single, odd
bait on its own. This could be because the angler has usually gone home, and
groups of fish may have polished off the majority of bait leaving just one
or two in the area without the danger of rigs. The result is one or two
baits have been left dotted around the swim. Eating these single baits
without a resulting capture means carp have learned to associate these
situations as safe. Therefore, fishing with single hookbaits can be very
effective at any time of the year. However, in the winter it just makes
more sense to use them!
6. Little and Often Bait Tactics (If Carp Do Start Feeding)
If you manage to get some carp feeding, then don’t be afraid to get the bait
in. You want to give them a reason to stay around. The trick is to use
little-and-often baiting tactics in this situation, then there’s always the
chance one will take your hookbait at any time.
7. Bait Scatter Approach
When you do drop in some free baits, try scattering them about more. In the
winter, carp seem to prefer picking up one or two items at a time. Maybe
they analyse the contents of each item in order to see if their
can cope with the ingredients. I'm really not sure here, but whatever the
reason, scatter a few baits around the swim rather than creating big, tight
clusters of baits. It’ll also help keep the fish on the move allowing them
to build up an appetite.
8. Maggots & Worms –WOW!!
Don’t forget to try maggots or worms for catching big carp. Using real live
bait is probably one of the best baiting tactics one can use in the
wintertime. They will move about on the bottom which encourages fish to take
them at any time of the year. Do not neglect their effectiveness!
9. Use Flavour Combinations in Winter
Some flavours are less soluble in cold water. Some tend to clump together
while others can float. A few are soluble and disperse evenly in cold water.
I believe the latter are best to use in winter because the flavour stands
more chance of reaching a passing carp. If your attractant sinks to the
bottom and clumps, there’s less chance it’ll be effective for attracting
carp in the vicinity. However, I have read that very good winter baits
use a combination of all flavours. The floating types will travel
upwards, the dispersing type will travel outwards, and the clumping types
will stay in the area until it becomes disturbed. Sounds like the best for
winter carping to me!
is a list of Baits for Catching Big Fish
Applying a New Carp Bait
Fishing for Carp in Rivers
Big Carp in the Spring
Location in the Summertime
Large Carp in the Cold Winter
of Most Carp in Autumn
Case for Quality Carp Bait
Fishing Tactics for Snags & Trees
Boilie Placement on the Hair rig
Different types of carp rigs to use
Attempting to Catch Wary Carp
A Carp's Digestive System in Detail
Baiting Tactics When Fishing
The Various Carp Bait
used to Catch Bigger Carp
When to use Pop-ups or Bottom Bait for Carp Fishing
complete a Baiting
Campaign on Lakes & Ponds
Basic Carp Fishing
Baits Used to Catch Large Carp
Fishing Tactics when Fishing for Carp during Long-stay Sessions
Advice & Articles on How to Fish for Big Carp