MY GO-TO WINTER TACTICS
There is no doubt about it, winter fishing is something that takes a lot of effort. The Baltic days and nights leave you fighting for warmth and, at times, has you wanting to return to the comfort of your own home. Consequently, keeping warm is a key factor when it comes to winter fishing, because let’s face it, the more comfortable you are, the more likely you are to stick it out during the long, dark months.
In the majority of lakes, fish tend to shut up shop, so depending on what your goal is, this needs to be taken into account when it comes to deciding what sort of venue to spend your winter sessions. So, whether you choose to spend the winter on your syndicate, or travel around fishing different day-ticket waters, you ideally want to ensure it has winter form, or you could be in for a long few months!
Locating fish in the winter can sometimes seem like an impossible task, but walking lakes, looking in snags and keeping your eyes open can really pay off in the long run. Even the smallest of hints, such as a single bubble on the surface, can be enough to give their location away, and from there they can be caught.
When it comes to bait and wherever I can get away with it, maggots are my number one choice. However, I like to give my maggots a little boost. Rather than covering them in maize, I like to cover mine in the S7 Base Mix for added attraction. I feel this brings fish to the area, and once they’ve started on the maggots, they don’t tend to stop. A golf ball-sized mesh bag of maggots is a great tactic for quick bites, and once the fish are feeding, a few Spombs over the top will keep fish feeding in the area for long periods of time.
Hookbait-wise, I like to add buoyancy, and this is where 10mm fluoro pop-ups come into their own. With my mix of maggots consisting of whites and reds, my choice of pop-up tends to be a Milky Malt. Being white in colour, I then tip it with red maggots, which matches what I’m fishing over and sits perfectly like a wafter, with the hook flat to the deck.
Winter fishing requires that little bit more effort and dedication. You may go blank after blank, but with fish at their best weights and colours, there is definitely rewards to be had. These are my go-to tactics for the winter months, so get out on the bank and give them a go, as you won’t catch them sitting at home!