My New Year’s Resolution was to do more winter carp fishing in Virginia, where I live. It 8:30 am, Jan 1st in Northern Virginia and the weather is in the mid 30’s so I decided to get an early jump on my resolution. Mission accomplished! Within 30 minutes I have a 12 lb common on the bank and the bite alarms are going off again while I am unhooking it.
Winter carp fishing in Virginia can be just as fast and furious as spring and fall. Winter carp fishing in Virginia is not tougher, its just different. In the winter time the fish are hungrier, they get fewer disturbances from fisherman and the tend to run in larger schools. This means that is you can find where the fish are holding, then winter carp fishing here in Virginia can be amazing.
So as the water temperature drops here are some tips to help encourage you to get out in the cold.
Winter Carp Fishing in Virginia Tip #1: Spend More Time Looking For the Fish Before You Begin.
First, spend more time looking for the fish and less time sitting by your rods waiting. In Va. if you find the carp in the winter time you will catch them, so worry more about finding the carp than anything else. To find the carp, look for warmer water. Heat is the scarce commodity in winter time. Anything that raises the water temperature even a single degree can make a difference. For example: A pond aerator, a warmer stream or river dumping into the lake, an underground hot spring, a shallow flat that gets lots of sun on those rare warm days, or even a water treatment plant effluence can make the difference.
If you find something that you believe will attract carp, don’t just cast and hope. Observe the area, spend some time walking around the lake or river watching before you even get your rods out. No matter how good a spot is in theory, cast to the place where you can see the carp before you cast anywhere else.
Winter Carp Fishing in Virginia Tip #2: Use Less Chum.
A second tip for winter carp fishing in Virginia, don’t use as much chum as you would in the summer time. The cold water slows down the carp’s metabolism and makes it harder for them to digest food. Additionally, when your are winter carp fishing in Virginia the carp have much fewer food available so you don’t need huge piles of bait to convince a carp to come and feed.
Winter Carp Fishing in Virginia Tip #3: Keep a Zig Rig Handy.
My third tip for winter carp fishing in Virginia, also keep a zig rig handy. Often, seeking warmer waters means the carp are picking a specific depth not just a specific location. It is not uncommon to find a school of winter carp holding in the middle or just bellow the surface. If that is the cast, pull out the zig rig.
Winter Carp Fishing in Virginia Tip #4: Dress for Success.
My final suggestion for winter carp fishing in Virginia, invest in some decent gear so that you are comfortable in the cold. If you are freezing your butt off it takes a lot more fish to make your trip a success. Having warm gear will get you out then door in the winter and will keep you from packing it in before your time. If you ware going winter carp fishing in Virginia, your trip is more likely to be a success if you succumbing to hypothermia.
To see a short video about winter carp fishing in Virginia check out this Youtube video about my Jan 1 winter carp fishing in Virginia.