Myles Gibson highlights the importance of extra effort during the late autumn/early winter to help maintain your catch rate!

Myles Gibson highlights the importance of extra effort during the late autumn/early winter to help maintain your catch rate!

If you wound back the calendar a few months, to the late summer, the carp in your chosen venue will have been super active. They always are at that time of year, and more often than not, location isn’t quite as important, they tend to get about the lake fairly quickly. This is a total contrast to this time of year, as we fast approach winter, the carp seek out the last of the natural food larders. These tend to be super localised and it’s your job to find them!

Of course, when I am at the lake, I spend every second I can looking at the water. Your eyes really are your most valuable asset. Even when I am not at the lake, I always try to keep in touch with it. Ringing mates who are fishing and all sorts, I am a bugger for it at times; the lake really does never leave my mind!

Having finished on the Snaggy Pit for the summer, I recently turned my attentions back to Black Swan on the Dinton complex. I made the long trek down to the lake, made even longer by a closed bit of motorway. I made a quick brew, before setting off for a lap, just as the sun broke through the horizon. The bowl closest the car park had seen a lot of pressure of late, and the carp had been seen there, but there’d been very little to show in terms of captures. I spotted a few shows on arrival as the lake was flat calm, almost like a pane of glass on the surface, so any disturbance was easily seen. The shows didn’t really signal feeding fish though, until shortly after when a few more stuck their heads out, but with fizzing before and afterwards. The fizzing then continued throughout the morning period and I knew I could access the water from a particular swim to the right. I was stood in a swim which looked over a fair bit of water to give me the best chance of spotting them, so I quickly got myself round to where I saw the activity with the binoculars and got a rough clip sorted on the leading rod. By this point I’d made my decision on swim location, at least for the first day of the session, unless activity somewhere else lured me away.

After grabbing the gear, I decided to flick the marker out and get the boat ready to give them a good hit of bait in the hope of holding them in the swim. I knew some of the guys had been fishing with a variety of bits like maggots etc, and I just felt like giving them a real good hit of bait; whether others had been doing this I’m not too sure, but it was worth trying. I’d already crushed up at least half of a five-kilo bag of Krill Active, and with the lake being pretty much dominated by Krill, I knew it would be a winning formula. The more halved/crushed baits down there the better, it helps keep them grubbing for far longer thus holding them too. The rods went out as sweet as possible, back on the Claws and little Mulbz with two on the spot, and one slightly off the baited area to try pick those warier carp which could’ve been lurking on the edge of a group like the bigger ones tend to do.

The night soon came, and the confidence was sky high. It didn’t take long into darkness to get my first take of the trip, which ended up being a really nice 36lb 8oz common. Nothing else came after that but it was evident the fish were still in the area. Although they’d seen that first hit of bait on the previous morning, I couldn’t help but think they’d cleaned me out pretty quickly. People reading this might think 5kg of bait is a lot to put in, but when a few thirty-pounders get on the munch, it soon disappears!

With that thought firmly in my mind, I reeled in and hopped into the boat once more to give them another hit of Krill Active and it certainly did the trick. The next night saw me land another three fish, two smaller mirrors which I slipped back and then a nice 29lb 15oz mirror too. My location couldn’t have been any better, and it was literally a case of repeating the process for the final night ahead.

Like clockwork, another few came my way but all in quick succession before first light; 31lb 2oz, 35lb 2oz, topped off with a 39lb 4oz common with white tips on its tail, a mega carp and one you can put on a billboard and shout the reasons why Dinton is worth its weight in gold.

At this time of the year, your location and effort levels need to be at the top of your priority list if you’re going to be successful in your angling. Choose the rig and bait that you have confidence in and channel those efforts into finding the carp. Like on this session, where the fish were more active at night, you may need to stay up for that first night and listen out for them when most anglers are tucked up in bed. Staying one step ahead of everyone else will put you in good stead, and undoubtably bring results.