Kick Start Your Winter!
Darrell Peck explains how he approaches the first few months of winter fishing - a bite at a time!
During the first four months of the year I very rarely fish over much bait, and what this means is the actual hookbait presentation has to be exactly right. Obviously, location is THE most important bit, but once located its often a case of helping them find and accept what we put in front of them. I'm afraid I don't have anything too revolutionary but I'll cover a couple of my preferred tactics that I like to employ during these first four months of the year.
In cold clear water often, my initial go to method is a well-placed pop-up. Yellow is generally a great starting point with Hi-Visual Pineapple Juice, Essential IB and Essential Cell pop-ups all having scored extremely well for me. It may sound too obvious, or old hat but when they aren't really feeding they can often still be tempted into picking something up if its placed underneath them or directly in their path. The key to this method's timeless success is its constant visibility. Just standing there constantly available. With no free offerings though I would suggest a single pop-up is really at its best during daylight hours. When its possible to introduce feed discreetly without spooking the fish I find just a handful of 10mm baits or sweetcorn is enough to help them find the hookbait during darkness or just to help spark a reaction.
Another favourite of mine is the PVA Stick. I find this method much more effective than bright pop-ups when the water has colour to it. Take away a pop-ups visibility and they just don't have that same pulling power of crumbed-up boilies. I have always found boilie crumb the best ingredient for these with a small matching Wafter being absolutely deadly. In the situation where I think the fish can be coaxed into feeding then the key is not to fill them up. Essential Cell and sweetcorn mixed 50/50 then put through a blender is a great base feed. I really like to add the matching Stick Mix Liquid to this to boost the attraction further, and where permitted you'll not go wrong mixing in a few maggots or casters.