Do Fishmeal Baits Work In Winter?

If you listen to the experts you would never use a fishmeal boilie over the winter months. My thinking was the same, however over the years my views have changed drastically.

For the past 2 years I have continued to fish through the Winter months, feeding and fishing with Squid and Orange from Quality Baits. My results have proved that fish meals do work.

carp caught in cold weather

The day before I caught this carp there was a thin ice covering on the lake. Squid and Orange of course. It weighed in at 26lb 6oz.

Let’s look at the reasons given. In the early days of the boilie, the few carp anglers that were about, including me, applied lots of oils to our self-rolled baits. Not being satisfied with oils in the bait we also glugged them in oil afterwards. When it came to Winter, then out went the salmon and fish oils and in came the Nodd oil. It was still oil but thinner and purer. However, fish are cold blooded creatures and oil can congeal in very cold conditions.

So why do we need oils? We don’t! Squid and Orange is oil free. A fish meal, yes, but it is still digestible over the colder winter months and is not detrimental to the carp’s welfare but a good food source.

Another February carp, caught a couple of days ago in freezing cold conditions at 24lb+

Another February carp, caught a couple of days ago in freezing cold conditions at 24lb+

 So how do I approach the winter period? Firstly I have to decide on a venue that produces good sized carp in Winter. I do not want to sit out in all weathers for singles or doubles so a water with reasonably sized carp is my target. I limit my time down to short sessions of 2 to 4 hours and try to be selective with the weather – low pressure and mild temps are the obvious. The secret is a steady trickle of boilies spread over the lake. I rarely fish the same swim so the baiting is easy. As I pack up I put in around 1/2 a kilo of boilies in the swim I have just vacated. It might be a couple of weeks before I return to that swim but every so often it works.

The secret is a steady trickle of boilies spread over the lake. I rarely fish the same swim so the baiting is easy. As I pack up I put in around 1/2 a kilo of boilies in the swim I have just vacated. It might be a couple of weeks before I return to that swim but every so often it works.

My hook baits are 12 or 14 mil bottom baits to a size 6 or 8 hook with extra short hook links. The bites are sometimes very timid so just a single bleep on the indicator and a slight rod knock is a run which I will hit.

The 2016/2017 Winter has been a hard one, however I have still managed to put 5 carp on the bank in some very difficult conditions. The 2015/2016 Winter was a very productive one which resulted in 10 carp to 32lb 4oz for me. For both winters I have applied the same methods and bait.

The Winter is not over yet and there are still a few opportunities around the corner to bank another winter carp. Roll on March and a new spring. I will be continuing this year once again with my old faithful, Quality Baits Squid and Orange.

Paul Cooper

Find more articles on winter carp fishing here – Cold Weather Carp Fishing

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