Attracting carp with a banquet of food is fine in the summer. Come the cooler weather though the fish are far less active. Instead of a banquet, offer just one plate of food on a micro feeder.
As an amateur angler fishing on the weekends, my favourite technique for catching carp is the method feeder. As a way of fishing it’s easy use and catches plenty of carp especially in the summer. Come autumn and winter though, carp become less inclined to feed and forage for food. This means two thing for an angler, careful feeding and locating the fish.
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Micro feeder after first frost
Recently I fished a small lake following the first frost of 2020. Some anglers were already fishing when I arrived, so I settled for a peg on the far side. It looked a good peg with a clean margin, the remains of a lily bed in the corner and an easy cast to any part of the long island down the middle.
I loaded a micro feeder with my favourite Hinders Little Gemz and a bayoneted 6mm wafter to a size 16 guru QM1 on a 4” hook length. My first cast I dropped about a yard away from the right hand end of the island. I left the feeder in for exactly ten minutes, but didn’t see a single sign of fish. Safe to assume no fish there. On the next cast I landed the feeder a couple of yards to the left of the first spot. Once again I watched the tip closely for ten minutes, but still no signs of life.
Moving along the island one cast at a time, I finally found some fish at the far left hand end. Here the tip was alive with twitches and liners, no doubt caused by small fish eating my Little Gemz off the feeder.
The micro feeder plate of food I put out for the carp was quickly picked clean by tiddlers in just seven or eight minutes. No point in leaving an empty feeder on the lake bed. I pulled in and reloaded the micro feeder every time I felt it had been emptied by the small fish. Eventually a carp was lured in, resulting in the first full blooded pull on the tip. A podgy, pasty looking example, but still a welcome fish. I eventually had six pulls that day landing four of them, not bad considering nobody else I could see fishing that day caught any carp at all.
The small lake I fished is stocked mainly with carp of between one and three pounds. Ideal for targeting with a micro method feeder or micro pellet feeder. Interestingly, the lake next door is quite different. It has many more carp of five to ten pounds and they respond better to a bomb and pellet approach.
Finding the fish and feeding them carefully are the two important elements in winter fishing. Finding the fish can be a matter of trial and error, but once a hot spot is found, the fish can often be found in that same hot spot year after year.
Weather I use groundbait or micros on the feeder and which hook bait can only be decided on the day. If I want to make some noise to attract fish, I will loose feed small amounts of the dampened Little Gemz over the top. Anything loose fed should not be filling or difficult to digest. Maggots, caster and softened pellets are good, but no hard pellets. Finally, make sure the feeder is not left empty for any length of time, carp will not be interested in an empty feeder.