<p>Autumn/winter have been some of the best times of the year for me as I’ve had some great results around this time. One thing that has led to success is finding a hotspot that the fish will visit frequently, there are a few ways you can do this and my favourite way is simply by observation, I do this by climbing a tree and getting an elevated view over the lake so I can see down through the water layers while wearing my polarised sunglasses, polarised glasses are a must have when observing fish because they cut through the surface glare and enable you to see into the layers of the water that you wouldn’t be able to see without them, by being up a tree you get such a better view and it becomes a lot easier to observe the patrol routs and feeding areas the carp are choosing to visit. Also you can let the fish tell you where they are by watching the water constantly you will often see the carp “head and shoulder” which gives away where they are and you can then move on to them.
With this information you can start to create your own hotspot by the steady introduction of bait, this doesn’t have to always be just boilies, it can be done with pellet or particles also but I will always put some of the boilies that I will be using over the chosen area so the carp gain confidence in feeding on my bait. I will then try and bait this area as often as I can for the next few weeks in hope of the fish gaining confidence in feeding on the area it doesn’t have to be a huge amount of bait either just as long as there is a steady supply of free food with no lines in the water it can make the world of difference.
It always pays off to know what you are fishing over i.e. Weed, gravel, silt, or clay And it is something that so many people pay no or very little attention to and can be the difference between a red letter day and a blank, I do this simply by using a bare lead on my marker rod and simply cast past my chosen area and draw the lead back in across the lake bed which in turn gives you different sensations on the rod tip enabling me to differentiate what I am fishing over and then I can adjust my approach to suit the situation in front of me.
When it comes to winter fishing this is probably the most obvious tip but one of the most important, you should always wrap up warm and have a spare change of clothes just in case you get cold or wet because as soon as you get cold it can make you loose motivation and can often make you become lazy and not prepared to put as much effort into your fishing, also with the winter comes the dark a lot earlier so to help you with this I would strongly recommend you use your time wisely and prepare everything ready so when it is dark your not rummaging around your bag trying to find stuff to tie a rig that you could of had to hand if you had taken a few minutes to prepare during the day or even before your session.