We can often have some preconceived ideas about fishing especially for carp in the winter. It is a good idea to have these fact-checked as it could mean that we are doing things incorrectly and therefore not making the most of our fishing opportunities. It Is good to make sure that we understand these facts so that we do not make mistakes as a result of misunderstanding them.
Carp Do Not Hibernate
There are many people that believe that fish and especially carp will hibernate in the winter. It is easy to understand why as they are seen less and as the water is cold or even has ice forming around it you would imagine that hibernating would be a good idea. However, they do not hibernate but merely slow down. Their bodies will be doing what they can to reduce energy use so that they stay warm and so they will have a slower metabolism and digestion and they will not swim or move very much. This does mean that they will be less likely to be found and be caught but it is not impossible. You will have to hunt them down and be a lot more deliberate in your techniques so that it is easier to catch them. It can be quite a challenge but for some people, that makes it much more fun catching them.
Carps Still Feed in the Winter
Some people believe that carps do not feed at all in the winter. Although they do slow down, as mentioned above they will still feed to some extent. They will have filled up on protein-rich food in the autumn and so will not need so much of this. They take it in when food is easier to find and the warmer water helps their enzymes to break it down. They can then store fat to sustain them in the cold which is more energy-efficient than easting. They will still feed some of the time though, just less often than in warmer weather. This means that it is possible but you may need to make it much more tempting for them.
Carps do not Always Stay in The Same Deep Water in Winter
It is thought by some that carps will seek deep water and then stay there all winter. It is true that water will be at different temperatures and it would be favourable for them to stay in the warmest one. However, there will be safety concerns as well and they will want to make sure that they feel comfortable in their location. They may tend to stay in groups as well and so if you can find a group of them then you will be more likely to be able to catch one of them. If the lake they are in is about to freeze over they will notice by the change in density of the water and will feed a lot and so it can be good to take advantage of this.
Wind will be an Important Factor
Some people believe that if there is a strong cold north-easterly wind then it will help you to have more success when you fish in the winter. This is probably not really going to help you. If it is really cold then carp will probably be conserving energy rather than feeding and so you are probably less likely to catch any. They are probably more likely to feed if you pick a sunny day and you will feel more comfortable than sitting on the bank freezing cold!
Free Bait Should not be Avoided
Many people feel that if you use free bait then fish will eat that, be satisfied and then not bite. However, they can still be used, but you will have to choose what you pick carefully. You will want to see if you can temp them but you need to make sure that you choose something that will be suitable for the fish. In the winter high protein boilies will not be good as they will take too long for them to digest. However, ones with low protein will be a lot less filling. Choose hook bait too, that will be more easily be digested in the winter. Fish will be more wary and less hungry in the winter and so you will need to tempt them with something and so if you do not use a ground bait at all, they may just not be attracted to you. It can be tempting to use less bait so that they do not fill up on it but then you could risk that all being eaten by other occupants of the water and there being one left to attract the carp, so you could find that you will need as much as at other times of the year.