Having read Spencer’s post from last week it occurred to me just how many anglers probably have hung their rods up over this particularly difficult and frustrating winter of frozen lakes and snow blocked tracks.
Well, a word of warning here, nature is starting to wake up again along with the carp becoming more active. 6am this morning the birds were singing their hearts out as I sat drinking my wakening cup of coffee. I strolled outside, lean’t against the bridge of my garden pool and couldn’t help but smile. Nature was telling me that everything is starting to return from the winter slumber.
It really is time for you to be thinking about dusting the gear down if you want to tempt yourself one of those gorgeous late winter carp still sporting the beautiful reddy orange tinge they develop during the winter months.
Winter carp usually look as though they are in their full peak of health as well as usually being up in weight, which is total evidence that they still carry on rooting around and feeding all through the winter.
I used to find it most frustrating when we used to have the old 3 month close season on our waters. By the end of February you would start to get many more liners and start to pick up the fish more consistently. By the last week of the season the carp would appear to be feeding everywhere I fished regardless of what the weather was doing.
I remember one last day of the season capture I made at Patshul Church Pool in real shallow water in the teeth of a biting wind during a ferocious shower of sleet. That fish turned out to be a common of 28lb which at the time was a very big fish – it earned colour pictures in the weeklies when there only used to be the cover and page 3 in colour!
That capture left me wondering why on earth the carp had been in the spot it had been in during such extreme weather. I must admit I had a test cast there because I had spotted something flatten the surface a few hours before and had only left the bait there because the weather had turned so diabolical and I was struggling to keep warm.
It was several years later when the penny started to drop after several other captures in real poor conditions in late February, early March. I now believe that with the nights shortening and daylight hours lengthening, most of nature including the carp start to move around much more.
I for one pay much less attention to what the weather is doing or going to do once we are into the middle of February as everything appears so much more active anyway. The big light switch is starting to happen so if you haven’t already, now is the time to start thinking about replenishing your stocks of bait and getting that gear ready to be able to get out there once again.
Believe me there is some great fishing to be had before the crowds start to re-surface.