freeline-22 - Page 103



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Sod this.
pose one possibility could be that the
carp somehow sensed that we were
in for a cold spell so were therefore
feeding up in readiness. Unlike us, a
lot of animals and creatures in the
natural world seem to be able to look
into the future and sense changes in
conditions and make provisions
accordingly. In all probability they are
a lot more aware than we are of air
pressure changes, moon phases and
things like that, whereas about the
only thing we sense is what the
weather man tells us, and they often
get that wrong, or what we can see
with our eyes.
Another possibility for poor winter
catches could be constantly changing
temperatures, as this must play havoc
with a carp’s digestive system and
general bodily functions. In my experience I think carp like a bit of consistency during the winter months, and
far better for it to be consistently cold
Roll on this.
with the occasional milder day than
the other way round in my opinion.
What I mean by this is that if it’s cold
they will feed occasionally and react
favourably if there is a little bit of low
pressure and a milder spell, but the
other way round when it’s mild during the day but gets cold at night, I
just think it switches them off. I think
I’ve said this before but I’m sure that
winter fishing was a lot more productive when it got cold in mid-November and stayed that way until the end
of February. Remember those winter
days on The Lawn, Rob? They were
catchable every single day, but nowadays nothing much happens all winter on that water. Well as I write this
(11th February), we’ve just had the
coldest night of the winter so far, with
temperatures down to as low as
minus 18 degrees in some parts of the
country, and as a result, most still
waters have got a lid on now so that
will probably put the fishing off for a
couple of weeks. Roll on
spring I say, although
w e a t h e r - w i s e, w h o
knows what that it will
bring?
It’s perhaps relevant
to give my views on
increasing light levels at
this point. Personally I
think increasing daylight
hours, unless of course
we have a very cold spell
like we’re going through
now, is the wake-up call
for the carp and a lot of
creatures in the living
world. The sound of birdsong in the morning has
been a lot more noticeable recently and plants
like the crocus are startRobin and Bob, two of the successful Wilton crew.
ing to sprout, all of which indicates
that the end of winter is near and that
spring is on its way. Dependant on
weather conditions and air and water
temperatures of course, in normal circumstances I always think that we
are ‘out of the woods’ by around midMarch, and that spring is well and
truly here when the clocks get put forward an hour at the end of the month.
Likewise, when they go back by an
hour in late autumn that is when I
always think winter is here – brrr.
Increasing light hours is the key
factor for steadily increasing water
temperatures in my opinion, and it
doesn’t take a big increase for the
carp to suddenly wake up and start
dusting off the leeches. Everybody
knows (I think), that fresh water has a
freezing point of 32°F (0°C), although
what they probably don’t all know is
that on normal depth lakes, when the
surface is frozen, the temperature on
the bottom WILL be 39.4°F (approx
4°C). In fact, the only way bottom
temperatures can drop below this is if
the surface is not frozen due to being
ruffled by a cold, normally easterly
direction wind. In my view the wakeup point for carp is around 46°F
(approx 8°C), so as you can see, it
doesn’t take a big increase in temperature for them to be mobile again and
on the lookout for food, so roll on that
time!
Winter flavours? Undoubtedly
Tutti-Frutti is a superb cold-water
attractor and I’ve caught loads of
winter carp on Richworth frozen Tuttis over the years. A lot of people think
that fruity type flavours are the best
type of flavours to be using in the
winter, which to a degree I can agree
with, but that doesn’t mean that they
are the only types that work well.
FREE LINE 103

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