Fishless four weeks of February

13:29 17 February 2012

Sea Angling

Sea Angling

Archant

Some anglers may refer to February as - four weeks, freezing and fishless. Others as fireside fishing with a good angling book! However, unless both lakes and rivers are completely frozen over, there are always fish to be caught, writes Mike Winter.

There has been a population explosion of carp anglers, more than any other type of angler. Most will probably be sat twiddling their thumbs, or inventing new deadly baits or infallible rigs until the warmer weather arrives.

But carp can be caught during the winter as Gerry Savage, Jim Gibbinson and I proved back in the late 1950s and early 60s. In fact, I recently wrote an article for Tim Paisley in an autumn edition of Carpworld magazine about the early days of winter carp fishing.

Keep a close eye on your local waters. If you see any signs of carp moving, they will be using energy which can only be replaced by feeding. Try a big bunch of good quality red maggots for bait.

Pike are the only other big fish into double figures feeding throughout the winter. Try a wobbled sprat as I described in a previous column in the Herald.

The Tiverton, and in particular the Exeter, Canal hold big pike, but location is the problem. The Exeter Club stretches of the delightful R Culm were a wonderful pike fishery where they grew up to 20lbs. But I fear Otter predation has ruined that.

Chub are a fish that grow to good sizes and feed throughout the winter. The little R. Isle below Ilminster holds three to four+ pounders. But if you want five to six +pounders it is necessary to travel to the Bristol Avon, Hampshire Avon or Dorset Stour. A small cube of fresh bread crust fished on a sliding shot link leger is a good way to catch them in winter. I have also had the occasional 2lb + roach using this method.

Dace are a river fish I seldom seek, but they do feed during the winter. My one and only best catch of big dace came by pure chance. I had worked my way along the stretch of the R Exe, dropping float fished bread flake into all my favourite roach swims but without a bite.

Eventually, I came to a place where a fast- flowing shallow side stream entered the river and its bottom shelved away into deep water. As I sat down and poured a welcome cup of hot coffee from my flask, I thought I saw a dull silver flash in the deep water at the mouth of the side stream. I put on my polaroids which gave me a much better view of a large shoal of big dace.

To finish this article properly I will run way past my words limit, so I fear you will have to wait until next month to discover what happened with the dace and with some big perch – another fish that can be caught during the winter.

So remember, there are plenty of big fish to be caught during the winter, and no bad fishing weather – just bad clothing!

Other Sport Stories

Yesterday, 20:37

William Tidball is seemingly in the fast lane to success.

Read more
Yesterday, 20:37

Sidmouth RFC is staging a Girls Rugby Fun Day early next month.

Read more
Yesterday, 20:36

Withycombe Under-13s returned from a visit to Tavistock with a richly deserved 35-5 victory.

Read more
Yesterday, 14:52

Eleven Exmouth Harriers travelled sea to sea for the latest Westward Cross Country League fixture at Westward Ho!, writes Dave Eveleigh.

Read more
Yesterday, 14:54

Withycombe Under-15s were good value for a 22-5 win on their visit to Tavistock.

Read more
Yesterday, 14:54

The decorations are all down, the tree recycled and twelfth night just a distant memory, but down at Madeira sleeves are rolled up as it were with County matches, friendlies and club competitions to play, writes Jude Latta.

Read more
Yesterday, 14:53

Withycombe made it four wins in a row with a 39-14 success over Plymouth Albion Oaks.

Read more
Yesterday, 14:52

Night racing seems to be the ‘must do’ running challenge of 2017 with an increasing number of national and local events, writes Cathy Newman.

Read more
Yesterday, 14:50

Since I last put pen to paper I have spent the time coughing every few minutes, as have many of you no doubt, writes John Bridgman.

Read more
Yesterday, 14:50

The brave seniors (well, not all of them!) played a Singles Stableford Qualifier last Monday, writes Paul Willoughby.

Read more

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 5°C

min temp: 2°C

Most Read Sport

Useful Links

Advertise in the Paper
Submit a Story
Subscriptions Order
Competitions
Photo Orders
Family notices
iwitness24
Google Plus
Facebook
Twitter
Reader Travel

Family Notices 24

Read Online

Image
Read the Exmouth Journal e-edition E-edition

Newsletter Sign Up

Local business directory

Exmouth's trusted business finder


Show Job Lists

Find planning applications