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Rotary Letter
Dave Lane joins the Rotary Letter this month, a little later than
the other contributors. Here are Dave’s responses to the
questions that you the readers emailed in issue 184.
1) H. Bannister from Derbyshire: What type and quantity of bait
would you use for the winter months?
2) Ian Stott, Big Carp contributor: Wind directions with both
shallow and deep water?
3) Steve Brooks, Middlesex: Are there any new fish coming along to
replace the big names?
4) I Childs, Hampshire: How do the old school carpers feel about
today’s carp fishing scene?
5) M. Selby, Yorkshire: What will the next record fish be?
Dave Lane
Firstly I’d just like to hi, and also sorry
for my late appearance in the Rotary
letter, but those who already know
me will appreciate that I am late for
everything, and those that don’t will
soon get used to the fact.
In answer to Mr Bannister’s question about baiting levels for the winter… Rob suggested steering away
from fishmeal based baits or reducing
the amount you put in, but it’s important to realise that commercially prepared fishmeal baits from a reputable
company will, nowadays, already
have been adjusted to work in all
water temperatures. The company
you buy from can supply all the information you need on what will work
effectively; after all their aim is for you
to catch as much as possible at all
times of the year. A lot of baits that
appear to be fishmeals may only contain a small percentage of actual fish
ingredients and be balanced by milk
proteins and other triggering agents
that will work right throughout the
year. I would never consider changing
my main ‘feed’ bait in the winter; after
all the idea of introducing it throughout the year would have been to guarantee they accepted it willingly, especially when the going gets a bit
tougher. If you make your own baits
then this is something you need to
take into account in the first instance
– make sure it will work all year round
before you start.
Personally, I use Mainline Baits for
ALL of my boilie fishing and I haven’t
found one yet that suffers in the winter; in fact I carried out a significant
amount of testing on the Cell during
138 FREE LINE
Every morning between ten and eleven this little swim gave me a fish –
prebaiting at its best.
freezing conditions and caught stacks
of carp on it. Bites are always going to
be harder to come by in the winter as
the feeding spells are so much
shorter, but over recent years I have
started to figure out just why this is.
Especially on deeper pits, I firmly
believe that the carp are only physically comfortable in the bottom layers
for very small periods of time, hence
the exact bite times that emerge all
over the lake. During the ‘other times’
I have been searching through the
layers using zig rigs, which has totally
changed my whole thinking and
approach to winter fishing, and it’s
also pushed my catch rate up beyond
all expectations. I am now more confident to sit there behind three rods all
fishing zigs than I am fishing on the
bottom, particularly at the ‘non-bite
time’ periods. I just wish I’d realised it
years ago and saved myself entire
winters without so much as a sniff
using conventional methods twentyfour hours a day. It adds a totally new
dimension to winter carp angling, as
it is no longer just about where and
when, but also about what level in
that water column will be most effect i v e, a n d t h a t v a r i a b l e c h a n g e s
throughout the day, and indeed night
as well.
If my assumptions are correct and
the short feeding spells are due to the
fish not being near the bottom for
most of every twenty-four hour
period, then this obviously has a huge
effect on any prebaiting plans you
may have. It must be far more sensible and effective to bait an area regularly rather than heavily to get the fish
used to finding bait there on every
visit, but only give them enough to
last through the ‘comfort period’. Take
this a step further and you can see

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