Top 5 Winter Tips

Winter should mark the end of your fishing and the start of long nights watching TV waiting for the spring. With less anglers on the banks and still a whole multitude of piscatorial perfection to chase, the following tips will help you make the most of this time of year.

In your comfort zone
Nothing can kill your enthusiasm and angling ability than being freezing cold and soaking wet. Invest in good quality insulating clothing, waterproofs, footwear and, in the case of anyone spending the night on the bank, a good bivvy and sleeping bag are essential. You fish so much more effectively when you are comfortable. Things like warm drinks and warming food also help keep you motivated to continue on your winter quest.

Go with the flow
Rivers can be awesome waters to target in winter. The fact they hold a multitude of species means that you can fish for them all, increasing your chances of a bite and expanding your angling skill set. Species such as pike, perch, chub, barbel, dace, grayling and roach are all great targets and more then attainable in the winter. The added bonus to rivers is that as the water is flowing even when stillwaters are frozen there’s a chance you will still find the rivers fishable. Chub in particular are my best friends in winter as they are willing to feed even in crazy sub-zero temperatures.

Scale down
With water clarity better in the winter and with most species feeding less and more subtly when compared to summer, fine tuning your tackle is the way to ensure you keep bites coming. Use thinner diameter lines, pay more attention to smaller baits, and generally fish with a more sensitive bite indication; for example, thinner bristled floats. It’s amazing how these minor adjustments - as long as they are done sensibly e.g. so that you can still land what you hook - can make all the difference between catching and blanking.

Natural is best
In the winter for all species natural baits such as maggots, worms and castors are winners. Their natural scent, amino acids (in the case of worms) and movement help to trigger bites from the largest of carp to the smallest of roach. Don’t neglect to use them in your feed as well as on the hook, they can get you a bite when even the best boilies or pellets can’t.

Eyes on your target
It’s easy to lose motivation, especially if you are blanking. I always find setting a winter target will keep you motivated, as you have something to aim for. Couple this with a keen eye on the water and weather to find opportunities such as where fish are showing and warmer milder spells when your target fish may be on the feed and this all leads to increasing your chances of winter bites.

If you’re still on the fence about fishing as much in winter, go out there, take into account these tips, and I guarantee you won’t ever miss a winter again!

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