Winter Carp Fishing: Tips & Fishing Advice

Carp fish is smart and can be elusive to newbie carp anglers. When it is winter, even experienced anglers can use some tips and tactics to catch carp. Winter fishing comes with some challenges, given the weather conditions and fish behavior. 

This article helps you with essential winter carp fishing tips to catch carp. It will help you keep the bite traffic all through the year. This article also answers the common questions many anglers ask on how to catch carp in winter.

winter carp fishing
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Tips for Fishing Carp in Winter 

Many fishers think that they can only fish for carp in the summer. However, the case is that carp adapt to their environment easily. Therefore, you can fish them year-round. 

There are some advantages that come with the winter season. Catching carp during winter can be as successful as at other times if you know baiting strategy and maneuvers that will improve your chances. Here are some helpful tips and strategies for winter fishing:

Use Comfortable Gear

Catching carp in shallow water might seem easy, but it can really be easy if you use the gear you already use. You won’t have to deal with the discomfort of new gear. 

Dress for the Occasion

Carp fishing during winter calls for the right gear. Unlike the sunny days, you need to be totally clad to keep from extreme cold. 

With the weather freezing, you ought to dress to protect yourself from the cold. It will enable you to have a smooth outing. It is advisable to go with thermal-lined boots to keep your feet warm.

Thick socks and jackets are also advisable. If it does not impact your effectiveness in handling things, go with thick hand gloves.

Use the Right Bait

Ground bait is advisable because it will buy you some time. The bait will not dissolve on time, and it will keep the fish at it while you work out catching it. It will give you ample time to trap it.

Use Tasty and Attractive Baits

Making the bait tasty, flavored, and attractive will draw the carp to it. This tactic is applicable to other fish species.

However, given the weather, it will be helpful. You can use water to make the aroma and flavor more dominant. 

Use PVA Bag Traps

Experienced anglers know that PVA traps come in handy in attracting carp. There are boilies you can use with them more effectively.

Tactics for Winter Carp Fishing

If you know how to fish for carp in the winter, you will successfully keep the bites coming in around the year. Fishing in warmer weather becomes the specialty of even newbies in a short while. 

However, even expert fishers can use some advice and tactics when winter comes along.

With colder days, shorter times, and the need to reorganize your kit, you sure can use some tactics to keep fish supply traffic regular at all times of the year.

Fish at the Right Location

The first tactic to ensure you get a good catch is locating the right location. When it comes to fishing for carp in cold weather, you should target shallow waters, even in big fish waters.

The carps move from the deep waters, where it is colder, towards the surface to shallow waters, where the sun gets the water warm when it visits. Also, during the cold waters, you can fish for carp in rivers, lakes, and canals. 

Fish at the Right Time 

It is one thing to get the location. It is another thing to get the time right. Target carp in the lake during the evenings. When the weather is colder, early mornings and dusk are productive. 

Adopt a Pre Baiting Method

Having got the location and timing right, you should work on attracting the fish. Prebaiting is essential in fishing carp in winter. The best method is to watch the water to see if you spot a carp.

If you see a carp, chances are there are lots of carp in that area, as carp tend to stay together more during the colder months. 

Give them food like sweet corn or boilies regularly for just a couple of days at the same spot. It will build their expectancy of food in that location and their confidence in a safe spot when there is no tackle in the area.

After you have earned their trust and got more fish in that spot, you launch. 

Attract Them with Light Colors

Since the carp frequent shallow waters, you can turn that more to your advantage by using light-colored baits. For instance, you can use white, pink, yellow, or orange-colored boilies to attract the carp. 

Use Your Usual Rigs

Using rigs that you are familiar with will help you catch carp better in the winter. Given the peculiarity of the time, it becomes helpful when you stick to the method and rigs that you have been using. 

If your rig floats, that is, it is a zig-rig, it will be better. It is pertinent to add here that zig-rigs work better with light lines.

You will be making your outing much easier and more productive if you use the zig line because it will help you try out different depths until you notice activity. It will spare the stress of having to wait extremely long. 

Camouflage Your Line

Carps are smart and will detect any attempt to catch them. To make your outing successful, make the line less visible when submerged by using a green shade to camouflage it.

Cast Regularly

Casting regularly will improve your chances of having lots of carp moving towards you. During winter and the waters are colder, carps stay together in numbers than in warmer water.

Recast several spaces around carp holding areas to drive them into activity and unto you.

Prepare for the Night

At some point in fishing carp, you may need to fish overnight. It is advisable to opt for a shelter with a zip at the front. You can zip to view the water as you watch for carp.

It is also advisable to choose a shelter with a second skin to secure you better from the weather and also prevent condensation.

Pack for the Night

You will need an elevated sleeping bag. Ensure to dry it when needed to keep you comfortable. A bivvy light is essential.

It is rechargeable and controllable with a remote. Keep your light close to you; you might need to make a swift move. 

A head torch is also essential. A good tip for night fishing is to go with a power pack for charging your phone, torches, and what have you. You can also take some spare batteries for your torches.

Common Questions on Fishing for Carp in Winter

Newbie fishers and seasoned fishermen ask lots of questions in a bid to understand carp fishing in winter. Some questions are recurring because they are central to carp fishing in cold water.

This chapter answers these questions to help fishers have smooth outings even when the season is not warm.

Does Carp Stop Feeding in Winter?

Carps do not necessarily stop feeding totally in winter. However, as the weather gets colder, the carp’s metabolism is slow, and they will become dormant, especially when the weather is between 3.00 to 5.00 degrees Celsius. 

What is the Best Bait to Catch Carp?

To catch carp, you can use boilies. Since aroma and sweet flavor attract carp, you can use strawberry or coat your baits with similar flavors.


Fishing for winter carp requires some tips. Prebaiting with sweet corn or other baits is an essential step to getting more carp at a location. Giving them smaller baits for some time will help you guide them against overfeeding them. 

You should use PVA-friendly baits. Casting regularly and using attractive hook bait will help your bottom fishing. Implementing the winter tips in this article will guide you in night fishing for winter fish. 

Diana Nadim
Fishing Expert
Diana began fishing at the age of seven, as it has been a long-time family tradition. From catching small bullheads to catching strippers on the backwaters of Bighorn, she loves to get out in the wild and have a marvelous day on the water. Her dad was an expert angler, and he taught her fishing along with her two siblings. They used to go to the Bighorn River in Montana and Henry’s fork, Idaho. As a pragmatic person, she is obsessed with creating well-researched and practical guides and reviews of the best fishing methods and gear.
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