Location : This is probably the biggest part of winter fishing, so when turning up to your chosen water, make sure you have a good look around the lake and try to find some fish before setting down in a swim. Any sign, even just a few bubbles, or a small flat spot could be vital in locating your quarry. If you can’t find any signs of fish choose a swim that you know can produce. Once settled in your chosen swim, stay vigilant and keep looking for signs. Use all of your swim and recast every couple of hours. If you see any sign of a fish eg a fish top, a flat spot, or just a few bubbles, cast to it. Personally, I’m not opposed to casting Straight to where I’ve seen sign and another cast in the same area, doubling the chances of getting a bite. Don’t be afraid that you will spook the fish, as at this time of year they are more lethargic. I would have one on a pop-up and another on a wafter or bottom bait. During the winter months the chances are that if you find one fish you will find a few.
Bait: make sure you have a few PVA bags or sticks tied and ready to go. I like to use a mixture of crumbed and chopped boilies , pellet and 12mm boilies preferably milk protein, such as vita-lac. To this I add a few grains of corn for a visual effect. Also a few maggots don’t go amiss at this time of the year. Once your PVA bags are tied give them a good dose of liquid attraction. For hook baits hi vis pop-ups such as seven till elevens or currant and spice are a good bet in the winter months. Lastly and probably most importantly, stay vigilant even through the night. I make a brew watch the water for a while, then back in the bag for a couple of hour’s. Also be prepared to move at any given moment in almost any conditions. This could be the difference between a fish on the bank or a blank. For me, winter fishing is about the peace and tranquility, enjoying and embracing the weather conditions what ever they may be. If you’re not enjoying it why are you there?