Catching carp in winter: choosing tackle and bait

Earlier, when winters were really harsh, it was believed that carp was not caught at this time of year. But bites began to occur more and more often, and fishermen thought about purposeful fishing from the ice for this strong and beautiful fish. They learned how to find her on the pond, select effective baits and enjoy the struggle with a worthy rival. Now it is one of the most exciting types of winter fishing, which differs from fishing the same roach or borer only by more durable tackle and great patience.

Catching a carp in winter means growing up in the eyes of your colleagues, confirming your professionalism, and raising self-esteem. There is no limit to the pride of winter fishermen who manage to extract the bronze handsome man to the surface. Everyone dreams of such a catch. But to become one of the lucky ones, you need to know some of the nuances of catching carp in winter.

Place and time

Finding a carp in summer is not easy, but in the cold season it becomes a very difficult task, which sometimes takes weeks to complete. Like many other underwater inhabitants, it prefers to wait for spring at depths, in places with high oxygen levels, while avoiding areas with strong currents. Even such a powerful and hardy fish with its special physical characteristics find it difficult to resist the water flow in a time of hunger.

Fishermen also noticed that wild carp are often hooked where crucian carp are usually kept. So far, there is no explanation for what attracts him to the crucian carp, but the relationship of these two species is clearly traced.

On a familiar pond, where every unevenness on the bottom has been studied over the years, finding a suitable place to catch carp from the ice will not take long. An unfamiliar river or reservoir is another matter. Here it will be much more difficult to determine a promising site, especially for beginners who have not previously been fond of hunting for carp. Let’s try to help them. So, where does the object of the catch winter? You can find it:

  • Carp in the holein deep pits called wintering pits;
  • at the boundaries of the current and “still” water;
  • on river bends, or rather immediately behind them, where the water stream washes out depressions and brings a lot of different food there (plant residues, small animals, etc.),
  • at overgrown or snagged depths, located at a decent distance from the coastline.
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In any other areas, wild carp can only be accidentally, so drilling holes at random is unlikely to be successful. Although, of course, you can try to attract him with bait. If you’re lucky and it comes up with an attractive smell, fun fishing and an adrenaline rush are guaranteed.

Winter carp fishing can take place throughout the long winter, but its activity is not always the same. At very low temperatures, this heat-loving fish does not feel comfortable, therefore it practically does not bite. But immediately after the formation of ice, closer to spring and during periods of prolonged thaws, fishing can be very effective. Especially in March, when there is already a steady plus on the thermometer, but the ice is still strong. On such days, the carp leaves the pits for the first time and starts looking for food, so it makes sense to rely on groundbait. It is important not to overdo it here, you need to serve the nutrient mixture in limited quantities, but constantly. In winter, he does not eat much, however, he does not move far from the “bread place”.

If everything is done correctly, you can hold it at the point for a whole week, or even longer. The main thing is to lure the fish secretly, without telling or showing the fishermen in the neighborhood. Otherwise, the next visit to the pond can be very disappointing – someone will already sit over the lured holes and enjoy the active bites.

Tackle for catching carp in winter

It’s no secret that this monster can spoil the mood by cutting off the rig or breaking the rod, so the tackle for catching it must have a certain margin of safety. A sturdy winter fishing rod equipped with a baitcasting reel or spinning rod is suitable for damping jerks. The first option is preferable, since the spinning coil in the cold is a lot of inconvenience.

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Winter fishing rodAs for the main line, it can be either monofilament with a thickness of up to 0.25 mm, or a braided cord of a smaller diameter (for example, 0.1 mm). If fishing is carried out in a snag, it is advisable to use a thicker line – from 0.3 mm. The carp never gives up immediately, he will pull to the side, make powerful jerks, try to get away from a dangerous place as far as possible, so you need some supply of fishing line. This will avoid the annoying break in the first minutes of the game.

You can fish with or without a float. In warm weather, it is better to use a small sliding waggler 3-4 cm long, and for frosty days, a flat-shaped “tablet” float is more suitable, which can be submerged a little and not be afraid that it will freeze into the ice. If the tackle is not equipped with a float, then a sensitive nod will perform its function.

The requirements for the hooks are minimal: a sharp sting, a short forend, high-quality metal that does not break or unbend. In the open water season, carp is caught with fairly large hooks, but in winter this is not necessary. As a rule, the size ranges from 0.8-0.12 according to the international classification.

Lures and baits

On the issue of choosing a catchy winter bait for carp, the opinions of the angler were divided. Some argue that in cold weather it mainly feeds on living creatures, therefore, it is necessary to catch it on worms, maggots or bloodworms, while others prove the effectiveness of summer baits of plant origin with their catches. Perhaps it all depends on the taste preferences of this fish in each individual reservoir. And if so, then it is advisable to take several different options with you and in the process determine the worker. What can wild carp peck on in winter? The list is pretty impressive. It:

  • Feeding into the holeworm;
  • maggot;
  • two or three bloodworms on one hook;
  • shrimp meat;
  • canned corn or peas;
  • a slice of boiled potatoes;
  • bread crust;
  • pearl barley;
  • mastic;
  • protein-based boilie.
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I must say that sometimes problems arise with bloodworms when they are actively interested in small fish. Do not have time to put this bait into the hole, as someone brazenly pulls it, and obviously not the one to whom it is intended. But boilies are too tough for small fish, besides, with them there is every chance of catching a trophy specimen. Well, or at least feel all its power, sacrifice the equipment and still be satisfied, because after such an event there will be something to tell your friends.

It is best to lure carp to the point of fishing using store mixes designed for catching carp and crucian carp in cold water. It can also be a universal groundbait like “Carp”. If the object of fishing is found and bites without feeding, then it is better to refuse any bait at all, so as not to attract small fish and spoil the whole fishing.


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