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Carp Fishing in the Winter When it's White Over
With the days getting warmer and lighter nights drawing out, I needed to get out on the bank and get a bend in my rod. So into the garage to find my rig box submerged underneath my gear from last time session. Once I found it, I got started in getting some rigs tied up for my next carp fishing session. I use a standard hair rig putting a small piece of rig tubing, around 3mm long on the shank of the hook. I use rig tubing instead of silicone tubing because I find it can move easier and doesn't trap the hair. The other great thing about using this rig, is you can see if you've been done, as the piece of tubing on the hook shank will slip back to the knot if the bait has been ejected. I make this rig with Nash Combi Link which is a coated hook link braid and my hook choose is the ever faithful Nash Fang Twister. Also I never tie a swivel on the end of the rig, I always tie a figure of eight loop knot so I can change the rig quickly also the two lengths of rig material in the loop of the knot helps kick the bait out instead of using an anti tangle sleeve.
Anyway, the morning comes and I'm expecting about 4 to 5 degrees but NO its white over outside and the thermometer is saying -1!! Oh well, the car is packed so its off to the lake. When I get there, there is a slight ripple on the water blowing down to the shallow's, I know the sun will be shining on there in a few hours so its worth getting a rod down there. Carp are cold blooded which means they are the same temperature as the water but they will seek the warmer layer's, so I know they will defiantly visit the shallow water sometime when the sun is on it and I will hopefully be able to snare one. To the left of me is a big reed bed that protrudes into the water about 5 meters, so I drop a bait in front of them. Carp love the safety that reeds offer, so I'm hoping there one or two in there. All's very quite for the first couple of hours and the sun is just starting to light up the shallows, which make the ripples glisten like thousands of sparkling diamonds. After another hour or so, I notice a bit of a flat spot just of the corner of the island. This is the shallower side and the sun has been warming it up for a couple of hours now, so I quickly move the bait off the reed spot and it takes two a temps to drop it on the spot. Knowing there's a very good chance I spooked the fish off, I get my catty and start firing a couple of baits in the area every ten minutes or so. The noise of baits hitting the water can bring carp into the area as they can be very inquisitive. After about 40 minutes, I just noticed a difference in the ripple on the island spot so I stopped the bait going in because I just had a feeling the carp were back and I was right.
The Nash Siren R3 gave out one bleep, so I got down and stared at the roller wheel and saw it was ever so slightly rocking, then it gave out another bleep and I hit it, fish on!! The carp shot straight around the back of the island, so with rod in hand I ran down to my right and coxed the fish back around to my side. I knew it wasn't a big fish because I could control its fight without the fish taking much line. Within a couple of minutes I had a beautiful, black backed common carp in the net, only about 10lbs but in conditions like this and when they are as stunning as this was, they are all welcome.
One thing I would like to point out was the bite, I was fishing a tight line even though it was shallow, if I was fishing a slack line would I of caught that fish because the bite was very slight and I got the indication because of the tight line also I could see the roller wheel rocking and I'm sure that's the carp shaking its head trying to rid the lead. Just like if you are using Delkim alarms, the line would of made the reed vibrate alerting you quicker. Slack lining can be devastating in certain situations but you need to know when to use them. If you always slack line, just try one rod tight and see if you notice a difference in bite indication. I'm not saying my way of fishing is right, I myself tried always slack lining in my fishing but my catch rate went down. I feel slack lining has become a fashion of carp fishing and its not always needed, sometimes it better to be different.