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, 20:28
Cricket - generic picture

The Budleigh Salterton Cricket Club Community League continued over the Bank holiday weekend and saw victories for The Gentlemen, who defeated Withy Dads and also for the Robins, who saw off The Doctors.

Read more
Yesterday, 20:07
Speedway. Somerset Rebels versus Berwick.

On Friday it took until the last third of the meeting before the ‘Cases’ Somerset Rebels eventually broke free of the Scunthorpe Scorpions, before finally going on to record what appeared to be a relatively comfortable victory, writes Dave Thompson.

Read more
Yesterday, 16:15
The Centenary Vase at East Devon

The Centenary Vase was the trophy played for at East Devon on Bank Holiday Monday, writes Paul Willoughby.

Read more
Yesterday, 16:14

The seniors played their monthly stableford last Monday, writes Paul Willoughby.

Read more
Yesterday, 16:14
Cricket - generic picture

Following a chastening two-run defeat to Exwick the previous Saturday, Topsham St James headed to the beautiful ground at Stokeinteignhead for the first time for the first time in a Saturday match, writes Matt Williams.

Read more
Yesterday, 16:14
Kite surfing competition in Exmouth on Saturday. Photo by Simon Horn. Rerf exsp 5377-26-12SH To order your copy of this photograph visit www.exmouthjournal.co.uk and click on myphotos24

Exmouth is going to be awash with some of the world’s top kit surfers heading to the Town to take part in an annual kitesurfing competition organised by Edge Watersports.

Read more
Yesterday, 16:14
golf generic picture

Time to give special mention to two of Woodbury’s top golfers and their progress of late.

Read more
Yesterday, 16:12
East Devon Hunt's Point to Point event. Photo by Simon Horn. Ref shsp 10 1192-10-11SH

The stunning location of Bratton Down is the location for this weekends Point-to-Point horse racing, where the Exmoor hold their fixture this Sunday (May 31), writes Donna Harris.

Read more
Yesterday, 16:11

At the fourth time of asking Topsham St James 2nds finally got their season under way, only to fall foul of a very competent Feniton II side.

Read more
Yesterday, 14:48
Football generic picture

Exmouth Town are busy preparing for the next South West Peninsula League season and the ambitious Southern Road Club are now seeking a commercial manager to make the most of what look unlimited opportunities to raise revenue and the profile of Town.

Read more

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 16°C

min temp: 9°C

Most Read Sport

Great British Life


Great British Life
Advertise in the Paper
Submit a Story
Subscriptions Order
Competitions
Photo Orders
Family notices
iwitness24
Google Plus
Facebook
Twitter
Family Notices 24

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Exmouth Journal e-edition today E-edition



Exmouth's trusted business finder