S R E P R A C D AVI FREE Volume 7 13 November/December 20
F R EE B I-MONT
MAGAZ HLY INE
Find out how Team Avid continue to catch through the winter.
A WINTER’S TALE
PLUS: TOP TIPS FOR WINTER SUCCEED WITH LIMITED TIME
Dave Magalhaes reflects on a very rewarding winter campaign
IMPROVE YOUR HOOKBAITS
Jon ‘Shoes’ Jones lifts the lid on his secret winter hookbaits
INSIDE: IAN RUSSELL JON ‘SHOES’ JONES DAVE MAGALHAES CHRIS LOWE JON FINCH
C O N TENTS
ome c l e w d n a o “Hell er/ b m e v o N e to th ue of s s i r e b m e Dec rs.” Avid Carpe
Follow us on Twitter @avidcarpers @Jon_AvidCarp @Jason_AvidCarp @chemo_AvidCarp @Nigel_AvidCarp
Like us on Facebook /avidcarppage
For more articles and videos check out the following... http://www.craftycarper.co
04 RIG CLINIC
Ian Russell reveals a super-simple rig that’s absolutely devastating through the colder months.
10 IMPROVE YOUR HOOKBAITS
14 BEAT THE FREEZE
Jon ‘Shoes’ Jones lifts the lid on his secret winter hookbaits.
Want to fish more effectively this winter? The key is keeping warm...
NOVEMBE R / D E C E M BE R 2013
With winter now in full swing, it means that va rious carp show s will be taking pl ace up and down the country. We’ll be attending The Carp Society Win ter Show on Sat 30th Nov & Sun 1st Dec.
Come and see
Hello and welcome to the November/December issue of Avid Carpers. Where has the year gone? It only seems like yesterday when the sun was shining and the carp were slurping mixers off the surface. Well, unfortunately, winter is here and with temperatures starting to plummet across the UK and Europe, we have decided to make this magazine a cold-water special.
Although winter is a tough time of the year, it’s actually one of my favourite times of the year to be on the bank. While lots of anglers hang up their rods until the spring, I actually like to fish straight through, as long as the lakes don’t freeze of course. At this time of year, carp are usually at their biggest weights, displaying their full winter colours and the banks are often quieter than ever. So what’s the key to success during the winter? Well, that’s what we’re going to reveal in this winter special. We’ve got a whole host of winter tips from our experienced team of consultants that should help you catch carp straight through the winter, regardless how cold it gets.
16 IN SESSION
We challenge carpangling machine Chris Lowe to catch a winter whacker live for the cameras.
22 THE WINTER METHOD Are Method feeders the ultimate winter tactic? Nige Williams thinks so...
First up, Ian Russell has revealed his favourite rig for targeting carp during the winter months. It’s super-simple, easy to tie and extremely effective for nailing the most cautious of winter carp. As well as this, I’ve written an article about improving the effectiveness of your winter hookbaits. Plus, there’s a feature with big-fish expert Dave Magalhaes about targeting large carp in the winter, and a live article with carp-angling machine Chris Lowe on RH Fisheries’ The Monument.
Jon ‘Shoes’ Jones
27 TOP TIPS
30 A WINTER’S TALE
Jon Finch gives his top five tips for catching through the winter.
Dave Magalhaes reflects on a very rewarding winter campaign.
R I G C LINIC
Although these rigs are super-simple, they’re Ian’s first choice regardless of where he is fishing.
I A N R US S E LL
Ian Russell reveals the super-simple rig that he uses to snare the wariest of carp during the colder months. When the temperature drops and the cold weather sets in, carp slow down somewhat and start feeding with a little more caution, and a lot less frequently. As you can imagine, for the anglers out there braving the cold weather, this can make things a lot more difficult, so it’s no wonder we spend a lot of time blanking and struggling for bites. So how can we increase our chances of catching during the winter? Well it’s simple really. We must use a rig that’s strong, reliable and extremely effective. With pick ups being a lot harder to come by when the temperature drops, it’s absolutely essential that you use a rig that gives you the best chance of nailing the carp first time. You may get one chance to hook the fish, so it’s imperative you convert the pick up into a capture. Simple. I’ve tried a whole host of weird and wonderful rigs over the years, but it’s my trusty longshank blow-back rig that I find myself chucking into the pond most frequently these days. It’s caught me countless large carp from a whole host of venues and the hook holds tend to be brilliant. When constructing this rig, I always use it with an Avid LSK hook. These strong, super-sharp hooks boast a straight point, so the hook really drives home into the www.facebook.com/avidcarppage
carp’s mouth when the weight of the lead comes into play. What’s more, due to a unique green non-glare finish, the hooks are virtually invisible on the lake bed, which is great because the water clarity tends to improve tenfold during the colder months. I’ve tried tubing over the years, instead of a blow-back ring, but the rig doesn’t reset itself after it’s been ejected, so I tend to stick with a ring instead. When a carp sucks in the hookbait and tries to eject it, the hookbait and hair will slide down the shank of the hook on the rig ring, leaving the hook in place to take hold in the carp’s mouth. Although a shrink tube kicker isn’t essential for this rig to work, I’m certain it adds an extra dimension and improves how quickly the hook flips and turns in the carp’s mouth. Lot of anglers use shrink tubing the conventional way, but I much prefer to set it up line-aligner style. By altering the way the hooklink exits the tubing, it creates a much more aggressive angle, which makes the hook flip even quicker. The great thing about this rig is the fact that it can be used for bottom baits, pop-ups and balanced baits. By adding a small split shot to the hooklink, you can transform the rig from a standard bottom-bait presentation to a pop-up ring in a matter of seconds.
R I G C LINIC
HOW TO TIE IAN’S WINTER RIG
01 Strip some coating from a length of Captive Coated Hooklink and tie a small loop in the end.
Using a splicing needle, pull the hooklink through a piece of shrink tubing.
Now tie a small rig ring onto the hooklink material a couple of centimetres away from the hair loop.
03 Carefully pass an Avid LSK hook through the middle of the rig ring like this.
05 Slide the shrink tubing down the hooklink and push it over the eye of the hook.
06 After attaching the hookbait of your choice, the rig is ready to cast. It’s that simple!
The rig can be tied from pretty much any hooklink material, but I tend to always use the 15lb Captive Coated Hooklink. I’ve tried it with a whole host of different lead arrangements over the years too, but I always find myself switching back to a simple lead clip arrangement. I don’t see the point in changing from something that I have complete confidence in! Regardless of where you’re fishing, what size carp you’re targeting and what bait you’re using, it’s imperative that you use an effective rig at this time of the year. If you’re struggling and your confidence is low, give my trusty blow-back rig a try. I’ve caught countless carp on it and it’s now the rig I use for 95% of my winter carping.
I A N R US S E LL
This awesome 40lbplus mirror, known as Spike, was caught using Ian’s winter rig.
ANGLER PROFILE NAME: Ian Russell AGE: 51 UK PB: 57lb 8oz OCCUPATION: Full Time Angler
Ian has found lead clips to be most effective with the rig. www.facebook.com/avidcarppage
Avid LSK hooks in size 6 are the perfect pattern. They’re mega sharp! www.avidcarp.com/Home
The presentation can be used with bottom baits or pop-ups.
Captive Coated Hooklink is perfect. Supple, strong and reliable.
T R I F ORM
triform adjective 1.
Formed of three parts.
Separated in three divisions.
Combining three different forms.
As well as holding three rods inside, the Trifrom will hold two rods on the outside of the bag.
Boasting lots of padding, the Triform will keep your rods and reels protected at all times.
IN S IZ E S
12â€™ & 13â€™
P R O D UC TS It will easily accommodate big pit reels and rods with 50mm butt rings.
The Triform boasts strong zips.
The Triform will accommodate two rods, with or without sleeves, on the outside of the bag. Please note - it is not supplied with sleeves.
Made using a hardwearing material
Will hold rods with 50mm butt rings
Internal divide keeps reels protected and apart
Lead pouch on outside of bag
Padded shoulder strap
Landing net pocket
Can hold five made up rods in total
When designing the Triform holdall we wanted to create a luggage solution that gave anglers the best of both worlds. The idea was to design a full protection holdall that would comfortably hold three made up rods in the padded inner compartments, as well as a net and landing net handle in the outer compartment. In this form, the holdall is light, compact and absolutely perfect for short sessions and day trips when spod and marker rods aren’t needed. There’s nothing worse than having to carry around a holdall containing rods you don’t need and, even if the rods are www.avidcarp.com/Home
taken out for the session, lots of holdalls can still be quite bulky and awkward to carry. If you want to convert the Triform from a streamlined short-session piece of luggage to a holdall more suited to longer sessions, you can utilise the additional quiver-style pockets on the outside of the bag. These allow you to store your spod and marker rod, with or without padded sleeves, on the outside of the bag. This means anglers can convert the rod holdall from a compact rod bag for short sessions into an all-singing alldancing rod bag that will hold five made up rods for longer sessions.
W I N T E R H OOKBAI TS
The smallest tweak can totally transform the effectiveness of your hookbaits.
JO N JO N E S
Hookbaits If you want to improve your catch rate this winter, Jon ‘Shoes’ Jones reckons you should think two-dimensional. I make no secret of the fact I’m a huge fan of using two-toned hookbaits. Why fish a different coloured bait on every rod, when you can use more colours per rod by simply using more colours in your hookbait? Back in my Birch Grove days, it was an orange/white combination that proved most effective. Never to this day will I know whether it was the orange or the white that appealed to the carp – all I know is that it beat standard one-colour hookbaits every time I fished.
It’s easy to dismiss colour when you’re talking about hookbaits, but my experiences tell me that a quick change of colour can suddenly get the bobbins dancing. The most pronounced incidence of this came in a match situation, where I was fishing against the inimitable Ian Russell. We had loads of fish in front of us, but he was getting a lot more bites. In the end I went over to see him unhooking a fish and as soon as I clocked his bright pink hookbait, I put the same coloured bait on my rods and soon caught him up with fish after fish.
W I N T E R H OOKBAI TS
HOW TO CREATE A TWO TONE HOOKBAIT
01 It’s important that you pick a rig that is reliable and effective.
Carefully trim the top off a boilie using a pair of scissors.
03 Atttach the boilie to the hair and pass the hook on a Mega Sight Stop through the loop like this.
04 Now pull the boilie against the Stop like this and it’s done. A perfectly balanced two-tone hookbait.
Avid Stops are available in a variety of vibrant colours.
The usual orange/whites I’d done so well on elsewhere were no match to the pink that day. Whether it was pink pop-ups, bottom baits, or plastic corn. Pink was the key.
that we shouldn’t over look. By combining a dull bait with a bright one, I’m certain that we are going to catch more carp. We are potentially appealing to two sets of feeders after all.
You’ll have no doubt experienced this sort of thing in your own fishing, where a particular colour seems to be out fishing everything else. For whatever reason, the ‘going’ colour can change year to year, day to day and even every hour.
As well as allowing us to add a new fleck of colour and an extra dimension to your hookbaits in seconds, the Avid Floating Stops also allow you to create perfectly balanced hookbaits. So don’t hesitate. Stop settling for monotone hookbaits and spice them up a bit! In winter we need to pull out all the stops, so stack the odds in your favour!
Although I’ve caught extremely well over the years using a combination of two bright colours, I’ve recently been very successful using subtlecoloured bottom baits with a bright Floating Mega Sight Stop. You hear it time and time again when anglers say a certain big fish only gets caught on dull coloured hookbaits, while other big’uns seem to get nailed mostly on high-vis hookbaits. Like humans, I’m certain carp have a preference to what they eat and it makes total sense that fish have certain characteristics
Using High Lites, you can create three-tone hookbaits!
JO N JO N E S
Jon nailed this 44lb mirror on a boilie hookbait tipped with a Floating Mega Sight Stop.
ANGLER PROFILE NAME: Jon Jones AGE: 43 UK PB: 47lb OCCUPATION: Brand Manager of Avid Carp
B E AT TH E FREE ZE
To utilise the clothing you are wearing on the bank it’s a good idea to wear a series of layers. When you wear layers, you create small pockets of air between each item of clothing. Air is a brilliant insulator and will ensure that you stay warm and comfortable throughout your session. The best way to do this is to opt for a three-layer system. This system should protect your body from the elements, whilst allowing for the maximum heat retention. We recommend wearing the Avid Lightweight T-shirt, a hoodie and a Windproof Fleece over the top. If you require more warmth and a waterproof layer, you can wear the Avid Thermal Suit over the top.
If you want the ultimate piece of clothing for cold-water carping, take a look at the Avid Thermal Suit. It’s that warm, you don’t need to wear countless layers to keep you protected. The thermal lining traps your body heat with maximum efficiency, yet doesn’t impede movement. Combining the jacket and trousers, you have the ultimate combination for cold-water carping.
P R O D UC TS
USE YOUR HEAD
When the temperature plummets, you loose heat through areas of your body that aren’t covered. If you’re cold, you won’t fish as effectively so you won’t catch as many fish. A hat can make all the difference, so make sure that you own one if you’re planning on spending any time on the bank this winter. The new Avid Winter Hat is perfect because it boasts a synthetic fur lining, as well as ear flaps and a stylish design. If you fancy something a little subtler, take a look at the more conventional Avid Beanie.
During the winter, it’s important that you wear breathable clothing so that you don’t sweat when moving around and setting up. Although you may feel warm at the time, sweating can quickly lead cold and chills. If you want breathable clothing, take a look at the Avid Lightweight T Shirt and Soft Shell Smock.
GET THE RIGHT BAG
If you’re planning on spending a night on the bank this winter, it’s important that you use a sleeping bag that’s going to keep you warm and protected. There are several sleeping bags in the Arctic Series range, but the Five Season and Extreme Down are more suited for the colder months. The Extreme Down bag contains 90% white duck down like the sleeping bags used by mountaineers in extreme conditions, so it will take anything Mother Nature throws at you. The Five Season Bag is more of a yearround bag and features a removable extreme layer, which can be added or removed depending on the temperature.
I N S E SSION
IN SESSION Chris Lowe visits RH Fisheriesâ€™ The Monument for 24 hours to see if he can bag a winter whacker.
C HR I S LO W E As the sun slowly disappears behind the distant tree line, Chris Lowe pulls into the car park at The Monument Carp Fishery in Shifnal, Shropshire. With freezing temperatures gripping the nation, this prolific fishery still has the potential to produce a proper winter whacker. Covering approximately eight acres and boasting a mouth-watering stock of thirties and forties, it’s the perfect venue to try and bag a chunk live for the cameras. “Although the lake does hold a good head of carp, like most pressured day-ticket venues, it can sometimes be quite difficult to catch them. Fortunately, Rob Hales, the owner of the lake, has informed me that maggots have been producing most of the bites recently, so I’ve come armed with a gallon of the wriggly critters.” You have to book your pegs in advance on The Monument and, after some careful deliberation, Chris opted to reserve peg seven a few weeks prior. There are a couple of lovely features on the lake bed in front of the swim, which are apparently carp hot spots during the colder months, so it’s looking good for some action.
After being dropped off in the swim by Alex Lister, the head bailiff, Chris peers across the lake. It looks like the cold weather has deterred a lot of anglers because the lake is extremely quiet. As Chris starts to unload his barrow at the back of the swim, a huge carp lunges out of the water causing a massive eruption in the lake. “Did you see that!” he exclaims, pointing towards the swell left behind. Making a note of where the fish has shown, Chris flicks his marker float out towards it. It quickly becomes apparent that the fish has crashed directly over the top of some humps that Chris read about in the map that’s on the wall in the lake’s lodge earlier. After finding a soft silty area between the humps, he reels down the float until it hits the lead and places his Depth Gauge main line in the clip. Making a note of the far bank marker, he retrieves the float and then begins wrapping it around the Avid Yard Sticks until his line hits the clip. Having established that the spot is 18 turns from the bank, he goes on to wrap his fishing rods and spod rod around the sticks and clips them.
I N S E SSION
HOW TO MAKE CHRIS’ SPOD MIX
The rig couldn’t be simpler.
Start by adding a tin of Sonubaits Hemp ‘N’ Crushed Tigers.
A large tin of sweetcorn is added to add a bit of colour to the mix.
“When I’m using maggots I absolutely love the MagAligner rig because it’s easy to tie and absolutely devastating for targeting large carp. A buoyant rubber maggot is threaded over the eye of the hook to create a line-aligner effect. The buoyant maggot makes the hook much lighter and ensures that it flips and catches hold in the carp’s bottom lip.” With two rods on the silt area between the humps, Chris starts introducing his spod mix over the top. Rather than spod it all out in one go, he puts out 15 spodfuls to start, with the intention of introducing a couple of spodfuls ever hour or so on a little-andoften basis. This keeps the swim active, increases attraction in the area and ensures he’s always got bait around his rigs.
Add a kilo of 4mm Sonubaits Elliptical pellets.
04 Maggots are one of the key ingredients of Chris’ winter spod mix.
With everything sorted for the night ahead, Chris sits back and pops the kettle on. It’s a clear night, the air pressure is high and the conditions look far from ideal but, with such a decent head of large carp, Chris is fairly confident of forthcoming action. At around 9pm, just as Chris is getting ready to jump into his bag, his left-hand bobbin twitches ever so Here’s Chris’ ultimate winter presentation.
05 Hemp & Spicy Sausage liquid gives the mix a real kick.
The finished mix looks like this. What winter carp could resist?
C HR I S LO W E
Maggots! Devastating in winter.
slightly. To begin with, it looks like it’s just a liner but, a few seconds later, line begins tearing from the spool. Chris is on the rod in an instant and, after lifting into the fish, the angry carp ploughs into open water, tearing line from his reel in the process. After a nervous couple of minutes, Chris eventually manages to bundle a deep-framed mirror into his landing net. With the fish secured in the margins, he dampens his Safeguad XL cradle, zeros the scales, and then hoists the fish out of the water. “It’s 27lb on the nose,” he says, after waiting for the needle to stop bouncing. After a couple of trophy shots, Chris cradles the fish in the ice-cold margins until it’s ready to swim away. That night passes without any action and it’s time for Chris to pack away the following morning. Even in sub-zero conditions and with limited time, Chris has managed to bag one of the lake’s sought-after residents. If you’re looking for a cold-water edge, get on the wrigglers.
A cracking winter mirror. Job done!
ANGLER PROFILE NAME: Chris Lowe AGE: 42 UK PB: 56lb OCCUPATION: Angling Tutor
G I F T IDEA S
Looking for some Christmas gift inspiration? Read on... MARKER FLOAT KIT
Containing everything you need to create a marker float arrangement, this would make a great stocking filler.
Now recognised as one of the best tools for anglers that want to fish accurately, these Yard Sticks make a great gift.
SUPER HAIR STOPS
This neat little stops allow you to change your hookbait quicker and easier than ever.
PIN DOWN HOOKLINK
Based on our popular Pin Down unleaded leader material, this is the ultimate hooklink material.
P R O D UC TS
TRANSFER BAG LOADING
Containing everything you need to create a solid PVA bag, this kit will make a great present.
Designed specifically for storing Zigs, this is the perfect present for anglers serious about Zigging.
A warm stylish hat that would make a great gift for any angler who fishes through the colder months.
Forget cheesy Christmas jumpers! Get yourself one of these warm, trendy fleeces.
W I N T E R M ETH ODS
R E T N I W E TH
D O H T E M is arp th c e r mo sâ€™ catch el William o t t u wan ut Nig Do yo Check o ctic. r? ta winte te winter i r favou
NI G E L W I LLI A M S Until recently, if I had to pick one presentation to use through the winter months, I’d have certainly opted for solid PVA bags. I’ve used them lots over the last couple of years and have found them absolutely devastating when the water temperature drops, especially on pressured day-ticket venues where the carp can be very cagey. A soon as the Avid Method Feeders were released a few months back, I knew that they would become a massive part of my carp fishing armoury during the winter months. I’ve used solid bags with great success over the last couple of winters and, although they’ve served me very well, I genuinely believe Method feeders are more beneficial for catching winter carp.
Although pellets are absolutely incredible when used with a Method feeder...
...groundbait can be just as good if it’s used correctly on the right venue.
Although solid bags are incredibly effective, they can be quite time consuming to tie – not ideal if you’re fishing a short session. Even if you tie half a dozen or so bags at home, it doesn’t take long to get through them, especially if you cast on a regular basis. The great thing about the new Method feeders is that you can construct a presentation exactly the same as a solid PVA bag in a matter of seconds. This is brilliant for me because I like to travel light, move regularly and keep casting until I find the fish. Carp shoal up during the colder months in areas where they feel comfortable and they may not move very far for the duration of the winter. If you can locate these areas you can dramatically increase your chances of catching and there’s no reason
why you will not receive action every time you visit the lake. When I’m fishing with the feeders, because I’m using small parcels of grub, I like to ensure my bait is rammed with attraction. Method feeders are great because you can use a whole host of baits with them, including those that aren’t PVA friendly. Personally though, although they may seem a little boring and bland, I simply love using pellets. Lots of carp are reared on them, they are full of attraction and carp simply love them. Some of you may be wondering how I use pellets with my feeders but it’s really simple. I either use Sonubaits Stiki Pellets, which is a special binder, or I scald them to soften them up with boiling water. The great thing about the Stiki Pellet powder is that you can customise your mix so that it suits the venue you are targeting. By altering the amount of powder you add to the pellets, you can pre determine how quickly they are going to break down on the deck. So, if you’re fishing a mega deep water, you can make the mix super firm or, alternatively, on shallow venues, you can make the mix softer. I think it’s essential that you select the correct hookbait whenever you’re fishing and I’m certain colour and flavour can massively affect our results. As a general rule of thumb, when using feeders in the winter, I tend to use hi-viz pop-ups or wafters. I generally fish a different coloured hookbait on each rod and if one seems to be producing more than the others, I’ll quickly swap the other rods to suit using the Super Hair Stops.
WI N T ER M ETH OD
HOW TO PREPARE STIKI PELLETS
01 Sprinkle one kilo of Sonubaits 2mm S-Pellets into a bucket or tub.
02 The next step is to add
03 Dry the spoon and
04 It’s important to mix
05 Now simply leave the
06 The pellets will turn ‘sticky’ to bind around the feeder perfectly.
the pellets thoroughly and evenly like so.
ten spoonfuls of water to the pellets.
mix to stand for about twenty minutes.
add one capful of Stiki Pellet powder.
The action can come think and fast with feeders, even in the winter.
NI G E L W I LLI A M S The biggest tip I can give any angler when using feeders is to ensure they bury the hookbait in the feeder before they cast. As well as making the presentation more streamlined for fishing at range, I genuinely believe the rig is much more effective when buried inside the freebies. When fishing a short, supple hooklink, that’s coiled up in the mix, the increased movement will ensure the hookbait shoots into the carp’s mouth. The great thing about feeders is the fact that you can get away with using super-simple rigs. Regardless of where I’m fishing and the size of carp I’m targeting, I will generally just use a conventional knotless knot tied using an Avid CRV hook. Rather than worrying about the
rig, I put much more emphasis on the hooklink material and the buoyancy of the hookbait. I always use super-supple hooklinks so I can coil them up inside the feeder and, as far as I’m concerned, you simply can’t compete with the Pin Down Hooklink. The key to success during this time of year is certainly finding the fish. I generally travel extremely light, move frequently and cast regularly. Although it can be hard locating the fish during the winter, it’s certainly not impossible and bubbles, fizzing and showing carp are all good signs. If I can’t find the fish, I will settle in an area that looks the most promising.
Bright hookbaits full of attraction are Nige’s first choice.
HOW TO USE A METHOD MOULD
01 Sprinkle some prepared pellets into the Method Mould.
02 Place your hookbait inside the mould like this.
03 You can now add another handful of pellets to the Mould.
04 Push and compress
05 Now push the spring-loaded
06 The perfectly loaded feeder is now ready to cast.
the feeder into mould.
button on the back of the mould.
W I N T E R M ETH OD A stunning mirror banked on the tactics outlined in this feature.
ANGLER PROFILE NAME: Nigel Williams AGE: 37 UK PB: 41lb 10oz OCCUPATION: Self Employed
I will fish the swim for an hour or so and, if I don’t see signs of carp in the swim, I will up sticks and move to another swim. I will do this on a regular basis until I catch a fish, or spot positive signs of them in another area of the lake. Due to the nature of the feeders and the fact that you can knock one up in a matter of seconds, I’ve found the results can be extremely quick if you’re on fish, especially if you’ve boosted your pellets or groundbait with oil-based liquids.
Feeders are simple, quick and very effective.
TO P TI P S
s p i t p o T
SUPER HAIR sTOPS
I’ve always been a firm believer that tweaking your approach can get the bobbins twitching during the winter months. For that reason, if I’m struggling for bites, I won’t think twice about changing the colour of my hookbait on a regular basis. I’ve lost count of the amount of times a small change in colour has resulted in a bonus take. The new Super Hair Stops are brilliant for this because they allow you to change your hookbait in a matter of seconds.
FISH FOR A BITE
When the temperature plummets and the carp start feeding less frequently, there’s really no need to be introducing kilos of bait. Instead, it’s often a very good idea to fish with small parcels of food in a bid to nick a bite or two. As far as I’m concerned, the new Avid Method Feeders are perfect for this because they allow you to present a parcel of grub, with your hookbait hidden inside, perfectly on the lake bed.
zig lites& zigclips
methodfeeders CAST REGULARLY
As the water temperature starts to drop, carp tend to shoal up in groups and can become localized for weeks on end. Therefore, it’s a very good idea to cast on a regular basis, especially if bites are hard to come by. If you keep repositioning your rods every hour or so, trying to cover as much water as possible, you should eventually drop onto the fish. Then, once you’ve found them, there’s no reason why you won’t continue catching them through the whole winter.
GET THE ZIGS OUT
How many anglers try zig rigs during the winter? I’d hazard a guess on hardly any! When the sun does eventually come out during the winter, it’s always the upper layers of the lake that warm up the quickest. For this reason, carp can often be found up in the water column a few feet below the surface. Next time the sun makes an appearance during the winter, try chucking a zig out. You may be surprised.
dskrods& 12000cc reels BEAT THE FREEZE
Anglers that are warm catch more carp in the winter. Fact! If you’re freezing cold, you’re less likely to move onto showing carp and fish to your full potential. For this reason, it’s absolutely imperative that you keep warm for the duration of your session. Wearing plenty of warm clothing, having a good-quality sleeping bag and drinking plenty of warm drinks will all help you beat the freeze. Take a look at the Arctic Series clothing NAME: Jon Finch and sleeping bags.
arCticseries range www.facebook.com/avidcarppage
AGE: 31 UK PB: 45lb 9oz OCCUPATION: Owner of Bankside Tackle
EX T R E M E DOWN BAG
The Extreme Down Bag follows the profile of the standard Restbite bedchair.
The bag is spacious at the foot end to improve comfort.
Top quality crash zips are used on the bag to ensure you can get out of it quickly and easily.
Unique baffles on the zips eliminate drafts and ensure you stay warm at all times.
duck down feathers. Duck down is a natural thermal-insulation product and is grown by birds in cold climates, enabling them to survive in sever weather conditions. When it comes to sleeping bags, there really is no better insulator for keeping you warm and toasty on the bank.
So what makes this bag different than others? Well, unlike lots of carp fishing sleeping bags, this one is filled with 90% white
One of the main reasons duck down bags are used by mountaineers is because they are extremely light and compressible.
30cm x 25cm
1.8kg Duck Down
T H G TI
Based on the feather down sleeping bags used by mountaineers and climbers that are facing sub-zero temperatures and high altitude conditions, the Extreme Down bag will keep you warm and protected regardless of what Mother Nature throws at you.
P E E
Compressed Bag Size
P R O D UC TS
The Extreme Down bag is no different and once it’s inside the stuff sack it’s half the size of most synthetic bags on the market and weighs just 1.8kg. Unlike the other sleeping bags in the Artic Series range, the Extreme Down boasts a mummyshaped design to improve heat retention. If you look at any sleeping bag sold for extreme use, you will notice that they all have this shape.
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T HI N K BIG
A WINTERâ€™S TALE Big-fish expert Dave Magalhaes reveals how he banked a very special common from an intimate lake last winter.
DAV E M AG A LHA E S I’d known about this little lake for a long time and, if I’m honest, I’d overlooked it for many years. In fact, I’d totally disregarded it because I thought it was a small fish venue, such was my ignorance. The lake had always held an old common in the low-30lb bracket, along with a reasonable head of smaller carp. But it wasn’t until a friend banked the lake’s largest resident at over 38lb, that it suddenly grabbed my attention. After speaking in depth with James who I work with at Gerry’s Of Wimbledon, the two of us decided to make it a joint effort. We did a short recce trip with a marker rod and had a good lead around. The first thing that struck us was how small the venue was. With a 4oz lead on my marker rod, I could virtually cover the whole lake from the swim I was stood in! Secondly, it was similar to a garden pond, with a shelf running all the way around the margins, then dropping away into a fairly uniform bottom around 12ft to14ft. Our first trip came at the very end of November. We arrived early, just as the
gates were opening, and soon found ourselves setting up in one of the middle swims. With the lake being so small and four rods between us, we soon had much of the open water covered. Once the rods were out, we sat back, brew in hand and watched the water intently. Conditions were typical of late autumn with dark overcast skies and an occasional light drizzle of rain. It wasn’t long before a carp stuck its head out and as it went down, a trail of bubbles rose to the surface. Thinking quickly, I skipped a rod in and recast to the bubbles. Before I’d even set my bobbin, another fish showed in a different area altogether. The water fizzed as the carp smashed into the silt on the bottom and, unable to contain myself, I flicked my other rod onto the area. To cut a long story short, that first day was a real eye opener. The fish were active all day long, repeatedly crashing out all over the lake. It got to the point where I felt like I was spinning for them, repeatedly reeling in and casting out. In the end, I just left the rigs where they were in the hope that the fish would just stumble across them.
T HI N K BIG
From this swim, Dave could target the whole lake.
We packed away at the end of the day scratching our heads, vowing to come back and get our revenge. Before leaving, I put out a good helping of bait on the spot Iâ€™d seen the fish show the most. We returned a few days later. Conditions this time were very different from our previous visit. The sky was clear and the wind was biting. Once the rods were cast out, we jumped under a brolly to get out of the wind. Like the first trip, the fish were active from the off, only this time we could see them clearly cruising around just below the surface. Reluctantly, we both climbed a tree and watched with interest.
There were a couple of different groups of fish and they were slowly making their way around the lake. Every so often, one would excitedly crash out. What was interesting, was the fish would leave a trail of bubbles, but would be no more than a foot below the surface. I switched over to zigs on both my rods but, like my first trip, I reeled in fishless at the end of the day. Although the fish were very active, we wondered if they actually ate anything and even questioned if they dropped down from the surface at all! A few days later, James and I were soon back down on the lake once again and, like normal, the
fish continued to be extremely active. This time our friend Luke had joined for a bit of a social and, in fine form, on his first trip, he banked the lakeâ€™s largest mirror at 31lb. This was a huge confidence boost for all of us and we hoped that things were about to change. We soon found ourselves back scratching our heads when, after a couple more trips, we were still to catch a carp. In fact, I personally felt as though I was getting further away from catching one! Trying to maintain motivation, I assured James that it only takes one bite and it could be the big common. I have to admit, even I was a little shocked when 10 minutes after turning up at the
DAVE MAGALHAES lake the next session, James had his first take and we were soon looking down at the big common. At 39.04, it was a new lake record and new PB for him. After James’ success, we decided to leave the lake alone for a few weeks. On New Years Eve, I asked him if he fancied joining me for a day trip. The weather was very mild for the time of year and with nothing else to do, he agreed to join me. Today, I wanted to try something a little different. The fish were obviously spending much of their time in the upper layers, so I wanted to try and draw them down to the bottom if possible. I made up some large PVA bags which contained a mixture of krill groundbait, Krill Flavour Shaker and some stick mix, then poured a large amount of Nut and Hemp Oil in as well. Knowing that the bottom in front of the swim I was fishing was a little choddy, I wanted to keep with a chod rig, so I ended up putting the lead inside the PVA mesh and adding the mix around it. I then tied the PVA off above the lead and very carefully nicked the hook just on the edge of the bag. Fortunately, it didn’t take long for another fish to show. With the rings still gently rolling away,
I cast just right of where it had shown. Quickly grabbing the other rod, I cast that one slightly left. Feeling satisfied with both casts, I sat back and made a cup of tea. Every so often, large slicks would appear on the surface above my rigs and every time I’d urge the rods to burst into life, but nothing would happen. As the day wore on, the fish went through a quiet spell before once again becoming very active. As I watched, a better fish showed a little more left than the others before it. A few minutes later, it showed again. As fast as I could, I reeled in my right hand rod and quickly made up an oily bag. After checking the hook was still sharp, I recast to the few remaining bubbles. With a little more than two hours left before it was time to pack away, I anxiously willed the rod to rattle off. My friend Sam turned up shortly after and I filled him in on what had been happening. I expressed my frustration and how I couldn’t work out what the fish were doing. We chatted, as anglers do, about the trials and tribulations of carp fishing. As we talked, the left-hand buzzer let out a short flurry of bleeps. Instantly, our gaze was on the bobbin. It rose slowly, before the line pulled from the clip.
Avid CHD hooks are Dave’s number one choice.
The Chod Bead Kits are perfect for creating super-safe leader arrangements.
Hi-viz hook baits work well for nicking a bite when conditions are tough.
T HI N K BIG Lifting into the fish, I could feel a dead weight and its head gently knocking. In the back of my mind, I already had a good idea what it was. “Does it feel like a good’un mate?” Sam asked. “No, it’s only small. Probably a tench,” I replied. Slowly, slowly, I drew it closer. The fish replying with slow, heavy nods. By now, James had walked over from his swim. We all stood in silence. The atmosphere tense with expectation. Ten yards out, the fish surfaced and we all got a good view of its back and flank. I walked back a few steps and guided the fish towards us. Sam stepped forward and waited with the net. The next time the fish surfaced, he pushed the net under it and lifted. We all peered forward and let out a little cheer. The big common was mine!
The scales settled on 38lb 12oz.
With time running out, we quickly got everything ready for the pictures. Having last been out to The hook was James nearly 4 weeks previous never going at over 39lb, we braced ourselves to fall out. as the fish went up on the scales. It wasn’t Dave’s campaign as big as we was over after thought it might just one bite! be, but at 38lb 12oz I was still delighted with the result. As I’d said repeatedly to James throughout our little winter campaign, it only takes a bite at this time of year and more often than not, it will be the biggest.
ANGLER PROFILE NAME: Dave Magalhaes AGE: 31 UK PB: 49lb 10oz OCCUPATION: Tackle Shop Sales Assistant
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