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The Frozen North
t’s not that cold up here,
despite the odd bit of banter
that you get on the grapevine
between the north and south.
There are times where the
weather up our way does
seem a little more unsettled, and
changes in weather patterns seem
more frequent, or maybe that’s just
something I tell myself after blanking
for a month while reading catch
reports from up and down the country
in the weeklies! Then again maybe
i t ’s p a r t l y d u e t o b e i n g l o c a t e d
between the Pennies, the Irish Sea
and the Lake District where confronting weather systems collide.
Despite a few recent milder winters, a lot of anglers “up ‘ere” still hang
their rods up from say November to
the end of February, preferring not to
warp their minds with endless blank
sessions between the constant thawing and re-freezing of their finger tips
and toes. However there seems to be
a growing number of anglers braving
it right through the season nationwide, putting serious effort in to try
and wind in a winter carp, and fair
play to all these people, as the old saying goes “you won’t catch ‘em sat at
home”. How true is that? In recent
years I’ve tried my best to become a
dedicated winter angler, and come
September I’m planning my winter
campaign and really looking forward
to it, even more than I look forward to
the spring now. Long nights and bad
w e a t h e r d o e s n ’t d e t e r m e, t h e
thought of very quiet banks and
beautifully coloured, semi-dormant,
tricky to fool carp keeps my fire burning hot enough to carry on going.
Most people I talk to about the
weather share a similar view to me in
that the most recent winter months
have been no more than an extension
of the autumn months, and that if any
winter exists at all its only really for a
short space of time between Christmas and the end of January, give or
take one or two cold snaps where the
lakes may freeze momentarily, lasting
only a day or two at the longest. I
think that some waters have
responded well to the mildness of
recent winters and others have not,
this being dependent on various factors within the water-world where our
beloved quarry resides. For example,
weed-free waters seem to generally
fish better through the milder winters
now, whereas waters with a lot of
weed tend not to, as without prolonged frosts weedy waters stay
exactly as they are – weedy. The
weed may reduce slightly, maybe
even reducing to say 50%, but compared to when the winters would be
cold enough to kill the majority of it
off by November at the latest, it’s not
really noticeable, not on the waters
around my area anyway. This winter
has had the added bad effects of copious amounts of cold rain coming
down for days on end, which definitely does the fishing no good
(excuses, excuses, hey!).
During the colder months where
weed continues to flourish, natural
food is still available, and the cover
that weed provides semi-dormant
carp is second to none. Now don’t get
me wrong, there’s nowhere near as
much food available in the weed as
there is in the spring, summer and
autumn, but like a lot of our preferred
human foods, such as various fruits
and vegetables, natural carp-fodder is
“seasonal” too. I’m not going to turn
all David Attenborough here and list
to you all the different types of naturals that are available at any given
time of year, because I don’t know
them all by name – I’m just merely
just pointing out why the weed is so
attractive to our fish stocks. I love a
weedy water in the warmer parts of
the season; it keeps the fish in good
25.14 Late winter/early spring, Bantons.


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