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Low dose essential oils are worth
including in winter.
ties. I always lose two or three fish
each year though, but provided that is
all it is, I’m never overly bothered, as
there are plenty of others coming on.
Perhaps the very unfortunate thing is
that it is usually some of the older fish
that perish, a bit like humans really.
The older you get then the more vulnerable you are as your immune system ceases to be as efficient as it was
when you were younger. I’m just
wondering what’s in store for this
coming spring, because generally it’s
been very mild therefore a lot of the
waterborne nasties might not have
been killed off. I think that maybe the
carp on waters that don’t fish in the
winter have therefore been more dormant and could be more at risk than
on waters where the carp have been
more mobile. I know from my experience of keeping pond fish, when it’s
cold they just lay dormant on the
pond floor, and I’m told that’s when
the parasites strike. In a pond environment it’s possible to treat the
water with salt or a low concentration
of potassium permanganate at the
beginning and then again at the end
of the winter to rid the pond of any
nasties. On an average sized lake
however, because of the volume of
water, in most cases this wouldn’t be
possible, which is a pity.
Another thing that can cause a
problem, which is something we
touched on a few issues back, is the
type of baits that some anglers use in
winter, and the FACT that the carp
just can’t digest them or pass the food
through their bodies. Although carp
haven’t got a stomach like us as such
but instead a long intestine, can you
imagine how we would suffer if food
remained in our stomachs for three
months or more – we’d probably end
up dying of septicaemia or stomach
cancer! Trouble is, we can preach all
we like but some people just won’t
listen, so it’s just going to be an escalating problem I suppose. I do know of
one fairly well known syndicate water
in Essex where the guy that runs the
syndicate vets the baits that the
anglers use on the water, and then if
h e d o e s n ’t l i k e i t t h e n t h e y a r e
banned from using it or politely asked
to leave. Fair play and good on him I
say; he’s only got the welfare of his
carp at heart. Just look at what happened when it was publicised that
peanuts could possibly cause damage
to carp, a lot of clubs immediately
banned all nuts, and fair enough I
Looking forward to some more of these this spring.
suppose because it’s better to be safe
than sorry. I’m not for one minute
suggesting that boilies should be
banned because by and large the carp
gain benefit from eating them when
water temperatures are up above
around 55°F (12.8°C). When they drop
below that however, all I hope is that
anglers be a bit vigilant of the baits
that they use, and then if in doubt,
don’t use them for the sake of the
welfare of the carp.
Well that’s about it from me for this
time – it’s Valentine’s Day evening, so
I’d better climb down off of my soapbox and spend a bit of time sitting on
the sofa with the wife. With any luck
you never know what that might lead
to! n
Dave Lane
Question 1
With the mild temperatures that we
had for most of the winter, up until
January at any rate, I think it throws
the fish out of kilter a bit. Like all animals they are used to a certain pattern to the weather at certain times of
year and I do not think that the air or
water temperature is the medium
they use to determine exactly what
part of the calendar we are in. For
example, if we have a mild winter that
continues on from a mild autumn
then it could be argued that the carp
do not realise that winter has arrived,
but they do, and I personally think
that the hours of daylight play a far
bigger part in the carp’s behavior and
understanding of the four seasons.
As for poor catches during mild
winters well, from my results and
those of the close friends I keep in
contact with, we have not found this
to be so this year. I think that it’s easy
to fall into the trap of expecting your
catches to match the weather conditions – mild autumn-like temperatures should provide an autumnal
type catch – rate but, as I have
already pointed out, the carp still
know it is winter and feed accordingly. Personally I have caught far
more this winter than during the previous two extremely cold ones, but I
have had to adapt a little bit and keep
on the move more than usual.
I think that the main difference
between a mild and a cold winter is
that the fish do not shoal up so tightly
and they are still willing to move
around the lake a lot more, making
location trickier and the usual winter
haunts not quite so productive. On


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