TOP11 Short Tips for Carp Fishing in Winter

Tips for Carp Fishing in Winter

Fishing for carp is considered a challenge and even experienced fishermen look for effective tips and tricks to improve their fishing skills when it comes to catching carp.

This type of fish is found in freshwater ponds and lakes but it usually lives in turbid or unclear water.

It is difficult to study its movements inside the water so it's important to find the right spot for fishing. It is possible to catch carp in winter but experienced anglers advise on considering your baiting strategy in order to be successful.

When the water temperature falls in the winter, carp becomes inactive and sluggish. This is because its rate of metabolism drops, which means it would be feeding less frequently and with less vigor. But still it will be attracted to anything that looks unusual and tasty.

The single most important tip is to have confidence in your existing fishing skills and use gear you're most comfortable with, However, some strategies need to change a little bit for success when it comes to winter carp fishing.

In this post, we will have a look at some of the most effective and useful tips for anglers who plan on winter fishing for carp.

These tips are helpful to beginner as well as expert fishermen. It has been found that there is no need to stay there for hours if you really want to catch and get a big carp in your hands. Sometimes when you are well prepared, you can very well be successful in a short time. So, let's get started...



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Tips for Carp Fishing in Winter

If you have decided to fish carp in winter, here are a few tips to make your experience more worthwhile.

TIP #1: Wear comfortable and warm clothes because you're likely to spend hours outdoors fishing for carp in that cold and freezing weather. Many people suffer from cold feet, which can become a hurdle in your fishing experience. Thermal-lined boots and thick socks are particularly useful.

TIP #2: It is recommended to fish for one fish at a time and use ground-bait to catch carp fish in the winter. Many fishermen consider it a rather useless method in the summer but it can work quite well in the winter. This type of bait will break up fast in warm water but in cold water it will take some time to dissolve. Moreover, as the fish feeds on it, it will spend a good amount of time on the location and make it easier for the fisherman to catch it.

TIP #3: It is also a good idea to use plenty of liquid to bring out the best flavor and smell in the food. Even if you're using fake bait, evolution oils have the ability to make it tasty and attractive.

TIP #4: Large carp can be fooled easily by using PVA bag traps. Use boilies that are PVA friendly and you will be good to go.

TIP #5: The choice of location for carp fishing is very important and its value is increased manifold in the colder months. Carp fish tend to move towards shallow venues in the winter because they warm up quickly. Because of the same reason, carp can also be found in rivers and canals during the cold months.

TIP #6: Experienced anglers have reported that carp is attracted to white color more than any other color in the winter. Look for some white pop-ups or other similar boilies if you want to be successful. Since waters are normally clear in the winter, white becomes very visible and attractive. Get rid of all those fancy bait and stick with simple, plain white.

TIP #7: When it comes to choosing the rigs, it is recommended to stick with those that you have already tried. Checking out new rigs or methods will only leave you disappointed because of lack of experience and skill. Use the same rig that you do in summer months.

TIP #8: Choose the right time for fishing. Seasoned anglers have found early morning to be the best time to fish for carp during the winter. But dusk can be equally productive if you know where to find the action. And if there is a lot of sun in the sky, don’t forget your polarized fishing sunglasses.

TIP #9: Carp usually spend their time in the mid-water than the bottom. So, it's only rational to use a rig that floats, which is also known as zig-rig. It will make your adventure easier by sitting at a length you decide. With this kind of zig, it is recommended to use a light weight line. A line weighing about 8-10 lbs would work great ...

TIP #10: A zig line is also helpful in experimenting with different depths until you encounter an action. With other types of methods, you will have to wait for hours and sometimes even days to be able to catch carp in winter!

TIP #11: The line needs to be camouflaged usually with a green shade so that it appears to be almost invisible in sub-surface.

Some of the above-mentioned tips sound very obvious but many people underestimate their value and hence return home disappointed.

Some tricks are considered useless under normal conditions but during those cold months, the same strategies work beautifully.

Carp Fishing in Winter Tips - Best Bait Boilies

Other FAQ's about Carp Fishing in Winter:

Many anglers have a lot of questions about carp fishing in winter, so, here I will answer the most common ones.

Some were partially answered in the previous chapter, but in case you need more details, read the following answers ...

Is Carp Fishing Good in Winter?

Generally speaking, winter is not the best time to fish for carp, but you can still catch it.

Unlike some other fish species, carp will slow down in winter and you will have to present your bait close by, on the bottom, or near the bottom, if the lake is deep. If there are currents, springs, or running water sources in the lake, carp could be positioned in mid layer.

Prebaiting is mandatory if you want to be successful. And if you can, start prebaiting the night before you decide to fish. It is very helpful if you are fishing on a familiar location and know where carp is. You can use simple prebaiting mixture, such as corn spiced up with some additives.

As already mentioned, carp will slow down in winter, and that means that you will have to use weather into your advantages.

Warmer days, especially those with unusually warm winds, after a really cold and still period, are the best.

In bright and sunny days, which are a bit warmer than average winter days, carp will move to a bit shallower area, or higher up the water column, to warm up in the sun. If you can, follow the weather forecast and adjust your technique accordingly.

What's the Best Carp Bait in Winter?

As already mentioned, you can’t go wrong with boilies.

In winter, carp will react to sweet flavours, so try options like strawberry or similar. You can even try to make some homemade boilies for carp.

For prebaiting, you can use sweet corn with molasses or some commercial additives to attract the fish.

When it comes to size of boilie, use smaller ones. Large boilies should be used when carp is feeding aggressively, and winter is not the time for those. Size should be 10-12 millimetres, and that is more than enough, even for larger specimens.

In winter, carp can be unpredictable. If nothing works, try with maggots. Some angers find it quite good for winter carp fishing, but make sure to spice them up with some strong additives. Maggots are a good spare option to try when carp is not interested in other baits.

Don’t forget to recast. If there is no action, try casting again, in the similar location, but not the same spot. Carp is lazy in winter and waiting in one spot for too long won’t have good results. By recasting, you have a better chance that your bait lands near a hungry carp.

Where do Carp Go in Winter?

Locating carp in winter is the hardest part.

The exact location depends on a certain body of water, nearby streams or springs, local weather and temperatures in general in a certain area which influence the water temperature. Some areas have a mild winter, while other are below freezing for the most part of the season.

I will explain in general, but you will have to adjust a bit on your fishing location.

Zig rigs, as mentioned in the tips section, are useful. In very cold days, carp will be in shoals in the deeper areas, where temperatures are constant and they are protected from outside elements and temperature fluctuations. Those areas should have some kind of covers and structures where carp feel safe.

You will get the best results if you fish in the bottom third of a water column.

All locations that have running water will give good results in mid-layer. Because running water cools and freezes slower than still water, carp will be comfortable higher up the column.

Shallows are a good place for winter carp fishing in certain weather conditions, already mentioned in the first FAQ. In sunny days you can also try fishing in the upper layer of a deeper location, where carp usually spend their time.

A good tell-tale sign of a carp is a clean bottom. As they frequently spend time on the bottom, their regular locations will be free of small branches, leaves and impurities.

What Temperature do Carp STOP Feeding?

As the temperatures drop, carp metabolism will slow down significantly. The lower the water temperature, the slower they will be.

Although carp feed 12 months a year, they will have short periods where they are dormant, and that is usually below 3.88 degrees Celsius (39 degrees Fahrenheit).

Again, this will also depend on a location, and in some areas, anglers say that they have a hard time catching a carp below 5 degrees, while other had a bit of success in just over 3 degrees.

The problem is that anglers will rarely measure the exact temperature and their catch may have been caught in warmer water.

In my opinion, catching carp in such a cold water will rarely, if ever, be productive and it is better to wait for a warm-up, or switch to other fish species that are more likely to bite in winter.


Winter fishing can be fun but when it comes to carp, the experience may as well turn into a disappointment especially if you fail to follow some proven tips for carp fishing in winter.

While it is important to stay comfortable and keep your nerves in check throughout your adventure, more important is to use the right strategy to fish carp in the colder months.

From finding the perfect location to choosing fishing tools that you're most comfortable with, there are excellent tips to improve your chances of success.

Follow the tips for carp fishing in winter that have been discussed here to be prepared for the exciting adventure that awaits you!

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