December carp fishing tips to boost your catch rate

Looking for some seasonal tips for carp fishing? Then read on, as these short and sharp pointers could make or break your winter.

Thomas Petch shares some December carp fishing tips in this article. They work for him…give them a go!

DECEMBER carp fishing is not always for the faint-hearted, but many Angler’s Mail fans will be out of the bank. We know that’s especially true during the various bonus days off over the festive season.

Make no mistake about it, carp fishing can be tricky during a typical British winter. The fish can slow down, and some waters really can seem impossible to crack for days, if not weeks, on end.

But there’s still plenty of action to had, especially on well stocked waters.

So think really carefully about where you’re going to head for during December, January and February.

The so-called ‘runs waters’ can be brilliant for catching a carp in the colder months. On a good day, you can still enjoy good hits of double-figure fish… and bigger.

Here are some suggestions to increase your chances of success…

December carp fishing tips

1. Boilies, especially well dipped or proven winter catchers like frozen Richworth Tutti Frutti boilies, can be deadly.

2. Both fishmeals and fruity boilies can work – experiment to see what they’re on at your water.

3. Single hookbaits are deadly, and yes some anglers go down in bait size (like the Tutti minis below). But don’t be afraid to feed the odd bait or two, especially when packing up so the fish are feeding on them when you’re not there. It could pay next time you’re out.

4. Carp will still go into shallower swims when mild and in strong sunshine, but deeper swims are normally the best bet.

5. Carp have been caught all year so do try a different hookbait to what they have been offered in the months gone by. I’ve often had good December carp fishing success offering two 15 mm boilies baits on the hook. I fish them in a standard style or as a ‘snowman’ with one bottom bait and one pop-up.

6. If you are NOT fishing snaggy swims, refine your terminal tackle and go for 8-10 lb long nylon traces. Match your bait to the hook size, always keeping it as fine as practical. A size 8 wide gape hook is normally fine for double 15 mm hookbaits, but go down to size 10 and 12s for smaller offerings.

7. It might be hard to do, but discard big heavy semi-fixed bolt rigs over the weeks ahead. Try 1-2 oz running leads instead, depending on your distance fished.

8. Give your hookbait a boost by adding PVA bags of boilies, and break them up. Not everyone will agree, but I suggest you don’t add pellets as you don’t want the carp starting to favour those.

9. Bottom debris can start to be a pain, with dead weed and washed-in leaves, so pop-up boilies can start coming into their own now.

10. I’ve found carp on well-stocked waters often leave the margins as it gets colder, unless it’s a deep venue. Be aware that you can find the odd bigger fish later on in the day or at night close in.

These quick December carp fishing tips were provided by Angler’s Mail news editor Thomas Petch. He works on the most on-the-ball weekly news and catch reports section in UK angling.

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