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Autumn/winter carping


dalej2014
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Hi guys,

I fish the spring/summer of neccessity, as my work has me on call from October through April, however this year I'd like to try and fish through the colder months when I can. I'm looking for advice on the neccesaries to do so.

Clothing - I'm looking at a Quantum winter suit and Skeetex boots. Good enough? Anyone have any experience with them?

Bait - I'm looking to roll an HNV superseed/peanut/vanilla boilie (like Manilla), and use with hemp and corn/maize. I may go the full "Adam Penning" and use condensed milk and Bailey's too! Again, anyone have any experience or tips? I'm also thinking gradually trickling in the "winter" baits, with my fishmeals,. When do I need to start that? Now?

Rigs/tactics. Will be baiting lightly, with singles or one or two boilie stringers. Am also thinking flouro pop-ups or wafters, casting often to to try to find the slowing shoals.

Gear - I've got a stove now, and ordered a small kettle for coffee, soup and so on. (Do those gas bottle sleeves help in the cold?). I probably won't do many nights, more evenings and the odd day at weekends. Anyhting else a must have?

Anyhitng else I need to know or think about? Any tips, tricks, advice or thoughts appreciated. CHeers, and tight lines!

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Here's my quick thoughts on winter fishing.

Layer up. A good base layer (preferably long enough to go well past your waist.) Wear a belt. I've seen enough builder's cleavages in my time and also it exposes your skin to the elements every time you bend down.

For my goretex over trousers, I bought a set of braces from Woolworths and they also stop the aforementioned condition. My winter suit has salopettes i.e trousers that already have loop over clips that go over the shoulder and the higher cut doubly protects your core.

Wear a hat. Actually I wear 2 in really cold conditions. One's a tighter fitting woolen hat and the 2nd a larger tea cozy style and nobody knows I'm doing it!. Who says you only to wear one?

Gloves are essential. Most woolen or nylon style gloves when wet will make your hands feel colder. Divers use neoprene and wet suits work by trapping a layer of water and your body heats that up and you stay warm.

https://www.prologicfishing.com/products/clothing/gloves/neoprene-grip-glove

I've used a similar pair (prologic) and the fold able finger and thumbs mean you don't have to take them off to rebait or tie knots.

A scarf or neck gaiter to seal your neck area to stop heat escaping.

Like you mentioned, a good pair of moon boots because your feet will be in contact with the ground and the cold will travel up.

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10 hours ago, dalej2014 said:

Hi guys,

I fish the spring/summer of neccessity, as my work has me on call from October through April, however this year I'd like to try and fish through the colder months when I can. I'm looking for advice on the neccesaries to do so.

Clothing - I'm looking at a Quantum winter suit and Skeetex boots. Good enough? Anyone have any experience with them?

Bait - I'm looking to roll an HNV superseed/peanut/vanilla boilie (like Manilla), and use with hemp and corn/maize. I may go the full "Adam Penning" and use condensed milk and Bailey's too! Again, anyone have any experience or tips? I'm also thinking gradually trickling in the "winter" baits, with my fishmeals,. When do I need to start that? Now?

Rigs/tactics. Will be baiting lightly, with singles or one or two boilie stringers. Am also thinking flouro pop-ups or wafters, casting often to to try to find the slowing shoals.

Gear - I've got a stove now, and ordered a small kettle for coffee, soup and so on. (Do those gas bottle sleeves help in the cold?). I probably won't do many nights, more evenings and the odd day at weekends. Anyhting else a must have?

Anyhitng else I need to know or think about? Any tips, tricks, advice or thoughts appreciated. CHeers, and tight lines!

I regularly fish through the winter, days and nights so here is my take on it.

My bait doesn't change, the same bait summer and winter, although 1 rod tends to have a hi-vis high attract pop-up on it. No added bits and pieces, and fished over Vitalin and crushed pellets in a bag or mesh. Baiting up is done when I leave. I don't use particles much in winter except sweetcorn, which will get used sometimes if it feels right on the hook as well.

One rod on a bit of bait, one just off and a rover, then when you find the fish with the rover, another one in the same area.

A cast 3metres away from the fish may be too much for them to move onto it.

 

My rigs are the same, i dont even drop the line breaking strain.

 

Clothing for me is from Hoggs of Fife, a decent jacket and overtrousers over my combat trousers, and Norgi top. While bib and brace is good, getting it out for a pee is awkward...

Boots, I have both combat boots and cold weather boots, shop around because TFG boots are obviously no longer available. Lace ups keep feet warmer than welly type slip ons.

Walk to your swim in combats, change your socks and boots when you get there to prevent sweaty damp feet getting cold.

 

A stove bottle sleeve is not brilliant, although if the canister is warm it slows down it cooling down. Use a decent canister, iso-butane, butane propane mix. (

)

 

Coffee, soup and warm meals!

 

 

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10 hours ago, dalej2014 said:

Hi guys,

I fish the spring/summer of neccessity, as my work has me on call from October through April, however this year I'd like to try and fish through the colder months when I can. I'm looking for advice on the neccesaries to do so.

Clothing - I'm looking at a Quantum winter suit and Skeetex boots. Good enough? Anyone have any experience with them?

Bait - I'm looking to roll an HNV superseed/peanut/vanilla boilie (like Manilla), and use with hemp and corn/maize. I may go the full "Adam Penning" and use condensed milk and Bailey's too! Again, anyone have any experience or tips? I'm also thinking gradually trickling in the "winter" baits, with my fishmeals,. When do I need to start that? Now?

Rigs/tactics. Will be baiting lightly, with singles or one or two boilie stringers. Am also thinking flouro pop-ups or wafters, casting often to to try to find the slowing shoals.

Gear - I've got a stove now, and ordered a small kettle for coffee, soup and so on. (Do those gas bottle sleeves help in the cold?). I probably won't do many nights, more evenings and the odd day at weekends. Anyhting else a must have?

Anyhitng else I need to know or think about? Any tips, tricks, advice or thoughts appreciated. CHeers, and tight lines!

Bait wise - start adding it now to the fishmeals. slowly change the ratio. start with 20% and gradually get higher 40, 60, 80%. Either go fully on to the winter bait or personally I like to keep at least 10-15% fishmeal. They'll still eat them.  Also I would recommend the baileys over the bait, I have used it for a good few years now whenever im using nut or birdfood based baits. It'll work all year round. Buy the cheap stuff from Aldi or Lidl, it works the same. Also great in coffee on a winters day! 

Tactics - remember the fish wont be slowing down anytime soon, the weather isnt cold enough yet. Normally looking at late october/early november when they start really slowing down. All depends on the weather, we had a mild winter last year and they never really stopped for long. They'll be looking to pack on weight before winter so heavy baiting could pay off at the moment. 

Gear - The gas sleeves are actually worse, they'll keep the gas cold! I normally take mine out and tuck it at the bottom of my sleeping bag overnight. It's usually warm enough to work properly come morning. I also would say a small hot water bottle is essential! it'll keep you warm for ages and handy for cold feet when tucked in the bottom of a sleeping bag!

Clothing - plenty of socks, changing in to dry socks has a big effect on your body temp and mentally too. Feet sweat in the heavy boots and no matter how good the socks are meant to be at wicking away moisture they'll inevitably be damp to some degree. Use the layering system to keep warm. It really helps if you have to barrow to swims and when setting up. As soon as you sweat youll be cold and its hard to keep warm. 

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I've enjoyed December sessions in recent years, lots of fish in short spells of feeding activity.

Observation is absolutely key in winter as they are not moving about, find the fizzers and fish bang where they are, probably just the one rod will go off time and time again, regardless of how near you get the other rods, real accurate spot fishing.  Just a handful of washed out baits that I break up and a handful of low oil pellets and a few grains of corn - works for me, cant wait until this December to have a go on the usually busy day ticket big fish waters - I may also be going France then as well coz I like it so much.

Good waterproofs are essential as is spare clothes just in case and a hanger for your coat so your not dropping it on the floor or on your bed whilst its still wet.

Good food is key, eat well and you'll be happy.  Very long nights so you might want something to read or watch.

Back to observation, if you do manage to find the fish it is most likely they will stay there all winter and do this every year!

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17 hours ago, dalej2014 said:

I'd like to try and fish through the colder months when I can.

A lot of it is water dependent but on the water I fish:

Location is always the most important bit but in winter more so as they're far more tricky to find. As we head into Autumn and temps drop they'll stop showing in the day and start showing at night, this is normally near where they'll end up for winter. Areas near (not in) the deepest water and central areas are worth keeping an eye on. Do a couple of nights when the temps start to drop and you should see/hear them if you're prepared to stay up late (very late in some cases).

As soon as you think you know where they'll end up start putting a bit of bait in. Don't leave it too late as once they shut up shop for winter there's no getting them going again unless you get some seriously good conditions. If you can get the bait in before they shut up shop you can keep them going right through winter with consistent light baiting.

Tactics/rigs etc are not that important imo, just don't go crazy with bait. The important bit is being on them and keeping them going with a little bait in the right area.

Don't ignore zigs. Even if you keep them going with bait they'll likely only feed for an hour a day so zigs can increase your chances, especially during the day, significantly.

For clothing, the Snugpak stuff was a massive game changer for me. SJ6 or SJ9 jacket and Sleeka salopettes are the ones. It's like wearing a sleeping bag, you can get away with just a T-shirt underneath. That Quantum winter suit is no good, it'll protect you from the wind but that's about it. DO NOT skimp on the clothing, spend proper money on proper gear (most fishing branded stuff is not what I consider to be proper winter gear). A decent sleeping bag is obviously a must of you do decide to do nights.

Take plenty of tea.

Enjoy yourself.

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1 hour ago, yonny said:

A lot of it is water dependent but on the water I fish:

Location is always the most important bit but in winter more so as they're far more tricky to find. As we head into Autumn and temps drop they'll stop showing in the day and start showing at night, this is normally near where they'll end up for winter. Areas near (not in) the deepest water and central areas are worth keeping an eye on. Do a couple of nights when the temps start to drop and you should see/hear them if you're prepared to stay up late (very late in some cases).

As soon as you think you know where they'll end up start putting a bit of bait in. Don't leave it too late as once they shut up shop for winter there's no getting them going again unless you get some seriously good conditions. If you can get the bait in before they shut up shop you can keep them going right through winter with consistent light baiting.

Tactics/rigs etc are not that important imo, just don't go crazy with bait. The important bit is being on them and keeping them going with a little bait in the right area.

Don't ignore zigs. Even if you keep them going with bait they'll likely only feed for an hour a day so zigs can increase your chances, especially during the day, significantly.

For clothing, the Snugpak stuff was a massive game changer for me. SJ6 or SJ9 jacket and Sleeka salopettes are the ones. It's like wearing a sleeping bag, you can get away with just a T-shirt underneath. That Quantum winter suit is no good, it'll protect you from the wind but that's about it. DO NOT skimp on the clothing, spend proper money on proper gear (most fishing branded stuff is not what I consider to be proper winter gear). A decent sleeping bag is obviously a must of you do decide to do nights.

Take plenty of tea.

Enjoy yourself.

Agree 100% with all this. 

Location is everything in all  fishing but winter especially as in summer they are mobile and winter not so, so you need to be "on them". In my experiences the only times they were mobile in winter was when the winters were very mild. 

I'll also second the snugpak gear as well. I've got the softie shirt and sasquatch coats. The Antarctica sleeping bag and special forces 2 sleeping bag and you are literally like toast. 

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Arktis coat thin micro fleece and a thermal vest

crag hopper winter lined trousers if it’s really cold long johns under

or a pair of trakker bib and brace if it’s raining 

shoes are a big issue for me as I suffer with cold feet so 

Moreno wool socks and either my ankle muck boots if it’s not too cold or long chore boots if it’s really cold and likely to be flooded 

a woollen hat as fleece makes your head sweat.

icant remember what gloves I wear but probably just a wooden pair and if it’s cold a liner pair under.

I think fishmeal baits have changed over the years and not as bad for locking up as they used to be but I favour either a hi viz and leakage pop up and a small bag of something what ever is in the bucket. Or as said a zig 

I can’t be bothered to night fish in the cold conditions anymore age does that to ya in the end but will work harder on shorter day sessions.

 Sarnie from the shop and a bottle of water will do me on the days 

I do also carry a burner etc for a cuppa but it’s usually powdered milk and a coffee 

I will  say though make sure your burner has a pre heat pipe or is a Coleman many a time waiting for an hour to boil a kettle because the gas is too cold…

 

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6 hours ago, framey said:

Provided you don’t have to walk far they are great boots and it doesn’t matter what foot they go on as they are ambidextrous hahaha

Well , as Nick said above , I’d be changing into em on arrival rather than hiking in ‘em 🤣

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I like winter fishing as the banks are a lot quieter but they are for a good reason! If you read some of the match reports, a competent field of anglers regularly struggle and often they are won with ounces of fish using 1lb bottoms, size 20 hooks and maggots.

Fishing is supposed to an enjoyment, not an endurance test. Fish a local runs water with a PVA bag or stringer. Do either an early morning or evening session although in the depths of winter we only get about 8 hours of daylight anyway. I probably wouldn't do an all nighter as the returns wouldn't justify it. Clean your tackle, tie some rigs, read a good book or even talk to the missus!

Watch the weather forecast, they are pretty good these days even up to 14 days in advance. Look for that window when a South Westerly blows in with some heavy rain and plan to get out a few days after it has kicked in.

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Thank you all for your replies.

I have taken your good advice to heart, looked at various options and placed an order for some Fortis salopettes and an FJ6 jacket along with some Skeetex boots.

That should keep me nice and warm in the worst of winter!

I'll order some seed based base mix and pop up mix next and start introducing a winter boilie.

Roll on autumn!

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4 hours ago, dalej2014 said:

along with some Skeetex boots.

Worth a look at the lightweight boot too, I use those also, you can actually walk round in them, not as much sweat going on.

Game changer/life saver for me was a heated gilet from Amazon - battery powered, I bought it purely for my winter boat predator fishing on Rutland and Grafham which can be a bit extreme at times, I take it winter carping and use it without the battery just for a nice extra layer.

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As an aside , I woke up in the ICU yesterday morning, seems I’d fainted and lost consciousness.

When my Mrs asked what had happened I said “I dunno love , last thing I remember I was on EBay looking at the price of Snugpak jackets & sleeping bags “….

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2 hours ago, newmarket said:

As an aside , I woke up in the ICU yesterday morning, seems I’d fainted and lost consciousness.

When my Mrs asked what had happened I said “I dunno love , last thing I remember I was on EBay looking at the price of Snugpak jackets & sleeping bags “….

They're not cheap I'll grant you. I fell over looking at prices too.

Having tried winter carping once many years ago, and freezing my wotsits off, I was willing to pay to keep warm though.

Got to be the biggest factor in going I reckon. If I'm cold, I'll soon wish I wasn't there, stop enjoying it and lose interest.

So for me, to keep going through the colder months, worth it I hope. If I put a fish on the bank in winter it will be. 🎣❄️

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3 hours ago, dalej2014 said:

They're not cheap I'll grant you. I fell over looking at prices too.

Having tried winter carping once many years ago, and freezing my wotsits off, I was willing to pay to keep warm though.

Got to be the biggest factor in going I reckon. If I'm cold, I'll soon wish I wasn't there, stop enjoying it and lose interest.

So for me, to keep going through the colder months, worth it I hope. If I put a fish on the bank in winter it will be. 🎣❄️

OK as you've said that maybe check this company out 'Geoff Anderson', fishing clothing made purposely for fishing in the cold - pricey but this is top end gear, you get what you pay for - absolutely no regrets buying this gear I am having more when I've saved up. 👍

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On 13/09/2022 at 07:40, Golden Paws said:

I like winter fishing as the banks are a lot quieter but they are for a good reason! If you read some of the match reports, a competent field of anglers regularly struggle and often they are won with ounces of fish using 1lb bottoms, size 20 hooks and maggots.

Fishing is supposed to an enjoyment, not an endurance test. Fish a local runs water with a PVA bag or stringer. Do either an early morning or evening session although in the depths of winter we only get about 8 hours of daylight anyway. I probably wouldn't do an all nighter as the returns wouldn't justify it. Clean your tackle, tie some rigs, read a good book or even talk to the missus!

Watch the weather forecast, they are pretty good these days even up to 14 days in advance. Look for that window when a South Westerly blows in with some heavy rain and plan to get out a few days after it has kicked in.

Different waters Different results.

For some reason some of the waters I've fished have still been night time waters, even in the depths of winter. Yet others the takes do switch to coming during the day, or at any time.

Earith Virgina Water was very much a night water, all of my winter fish coming at night between 8pm and 8am. We had some cold wet nights when I was fishing there, and I was still doing 2night sessions.

Nazeing Brackens produced fish between midday and 9pm, yet the lagoons could be anytime.

Those big Southwesterlies can be very good to fish in, a proper system that seems to get the fish moving again, yet a steady period of high pressure, cold, no rain or snow can have the fish switch off.

The carp can really hold tight in one area, so takes can come at anytime if you can find them. Near weed, snags, drop-offs and as @yonny mentioned, not always the deepest water.

It's weird seeing 20carp huddled together in the rushes in water only 1metre deep.

Again on Earith I had a lot of my fish in winter from a bloodworm bed in silt next to the base of islands. Catching plenty of upper doubles saw me getting noticed, and when another angler started fishing the spot, I moved areas, and found a few bigger fish from a snag at the other end of the island.

Even in winter fish will show, at any time, although I've noticed it more from lunchtime until just after dark. Hearing big fish jump in the dark at 6pm, looking for the origin of the ripples...

It is that showing that saw me catch some very good fish from the Nazeing Central lagoon, just after a thaw. So much water coming in the inlet that a 3oz lead wouldn't hold bottom near it. I walked around, and 'thought' I saw a roll or show, so set up on it. Over the next 4 days I had 26, 26, 20 and 16lb fish, and all on one rod. The middle rod fished metres away produced nothing, same bait, same rig, but the fish were tight to the end of the gravel bar on Bower bank Long Island swim.

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https://www.geoffanderson.com/keep-warm-a-guide-to-dress-correct-3-layer-principle/

Had a look at the Site Kev recommended. The top range stuff might need a lottery win but the link explains the layering system well.

I used to barbel fish on the Lower Severn in the winter quite a few years ago and it often required a long walk to get to the river. When the Severn floods, it literally can be a mile wide. It used to take me 15 minutes to yomp across the fields with a pack on my back, rod quiver and bait bucket. Even if it was cold, when I got out of the car I would strip down to my base layer and goretex jacket. When I got to the swims, I would be pretty warm from the exertion but once I cooled down, I would put on my jumper and then later on if the temperature started to plummet, put on a fleece. Once packed up, I would strip back down again for the long walk back to the car.

 

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49 minutes ago, Golden Paws said:

https://www.geoffanderson.com/keep-warm-a-guide-to-dress-correct-3-layer-principle/

Had a look at the Site Kev recommended. The top range stuff might need a lottery win but the link explains the layering system well.

I used to barbel fish on the Lower Severn in the winter quite a few years ago and it often required a long walk to get to the river. When the Severn floods, it literally can be a mile wide. It used to take me 15 minutes to yomp across the fields with a pack on my back, rod quiver and bait bucket. Even if it was cold, when I got out of the car I would strip down to my base layer and goretex jacket. When I got to the swims, I would be pretty warm from the exertion but once I cooled down, I would put on my jumper and then later on if the temperature started to plummet, put on a fleece. Once packed up, I would strip back down again for the long walk back to the car.

 

That's the thing buddy walking along the river and being out all day like you do you absolutely need dry and warm clothing to put on as and when you need it, being out in the boats you cant just say oh I'm cold and wet and not enjoying it very much can we go home?  NO you've paid quite a lot to do this activity - make the most of it.

I also saw the advantage for my carping, I can be out looking, baiting up, moving swims in all weathers whilst almost everyone else is tucked up inside bivvies.

Money well spent IMO

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Tips for keeping warm...

Eliminate gaps... gaps cause draughts, tuck joggers into socks, wear long sleeved tee shirts pulled down to the wrists, wear a scarf or neck warmer, and a good hat... the Trapper style is very good at keeping your head warm, and Neoprene gloves will keep hands warm, if you don't like gloves buy a Muff,  and put a hand warmer in... brill at keeping hands toasty

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So regarding a stove, it looks like the Coleman petrol will work down to freezing (and beyond with alcohol or gel to preheat?). I realise these have to be used outside the bivvy, but since most of my Autumn/Winter will be daytime or early morning/evening, a better bet?

Again, not a small investment, but warm tea/coffeee/chocolate by the bankside. Worth it? Several of you have mentioned hot drinks, so seems to be an idea.

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Not coffee... it'll make you pee more as its an emetic, tea or chocolate is good, but soup is more warming for longer... take a flask of soup, loads of food flasks about so a chunky soup with bread and butter is a warming meal, pots of porridge are also good warmers with a slow energy release... you can buy the pots in tescos ets... get the ones you just add water to, boil up the kettle pour in the water leave for a minute and stir... good warming brekky (or dinner if you prefer)

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44 minutes ago, dalej2014 said:

So regarding a stove, it looks like the Coleman petrol will work down to freezing (and beyond with alcohol or gel to preheat?). I realise these have to be used outside the bivvy, but since most of my Autumn/Winter will be daytime or early morning/evening, a better bet?

Again, not a small investment, but warm tea/coffeee/chocolate by the bankside. Worth it? Several of you have mentioned hot drinks, so seems to be an idea.

You can use any stove inside the bivvy mate it warms everything up - key is to leave lots of ventilation, maybe letter box the door, people do use bivvy heaters - I borrowed my mates it was ace putting it on to warm your hands back up after a fish or something but the dangers are obvious, don't leave unattended, well ventilated and don't fall asleep with anything on.  There is a candle and tin style heater that will make a significant difference.  I generally don't bother but there are options.

I use gas - has to be a propane/butane mix for winter and in the morning it still will be a bit poor with a low flame - which is why people put them in their sleeping bags as mentioned.  I found my mates antics with his Coleman a bit scary, - he put me right off lol  But in the right hands I'm sure they work perfectly.

If you mean will the bites be morning/evening?  December and beyond I've found late morning through to late afternoon to be the time on a few venues I can think of.  Autumn seems more evening and early morning - but everywhere has the potential to be completely different.  December I also had spells of bites again between 11pm and 1am so 2 feeding windows then nothing until 11 the next morning.

On a lake we fished years back from Dec onwards we wouldn't have to get there until 10am - bites were generally from 2pm until 4pm then we went home - doing nights was almost pointless.

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