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Brookesy

December in New England

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With the weather still very mild and the air pressure dropping significantly over the last few days I was desperate to get back to my Fall area. However, work and family conspired and as I could only spare 4-5 hours I instead went to one of my favorite winter spots to see if the carp were in the mood for some food.

I arrived about 11am armed with a couple of feeder rods, a net, unhooking mat, a tackle bag and some bait. My tactics were very simple. One 9ft feeder rod, one 12ft feeder rod; both spooled with 8lb line. Both rods were made up with a 5/8 oz bomb/lead (fished paternoster style) with 2-3 foot hook-links attached to a size 12 hook. This set-up allows great bite registration with little resistance, which is important for this area as the fish are very, very aware you are fishing for them!!

Bait was also simple. Hook-baits were two grains of sweetcorn, directly onto the hook. Molded onto the bomb was a golf ball size of groundbait, which I introduced for the first hour or so to get some feed into the water. With this bait and method the key is to feed little and often, feeding a small palm full of sweetcorn and pellets every cast or 5 minutes.

As expected the first hour was fairly slow with only 3-4 fish with these being all commons like these two:

post-7695-0-69783600-1449190632_thumb.jp

post-7695-0-56137500-1449190649_thumb.jp

It was nice to see Dave Pickering who showed up shortly after I started fishing, and the fish were obviously feeding as he was also getting into plenty carp.

The next few hours the fishing got hotter and at times I was only fishing with one rod as the bites were fairly instant. Again, I kept feeding every 5 minutes to keep the fish active. Here's a couple of nice mirrors that came to shore:

post-7695-0-96356800-1449190826_thumb.jp

post-7695-0-61646300-1449190833_thumb.jp

Most of the fish were 6-8lbs but I did catch a few low doubles and my best fish of the day was also the prettiest.

post-7695-0-49035900-1449190912_thumb.jp

As the action started to slow down I stuck to one rod and changed tactics as I was sure the fish were still feeding but very cautiously. I replaced the 5/8 oz bomb with two swan shot and instead of using a rod rest I kept the rod in my hand and touch ledgered. The result was another half dozen fish that gave only a small 'pull' but with the change in tactics I was able to connect with them.

My final tally for 5 hours fishing was around 25 fish which was lots of fun and a change of pace after targeting big fish all fall.

post-7695-0-33190000-1449191188_thumb.jp

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LOL, I am pretty sure I know where you guys were fishing! :lol:

I did good as well at this spot a few days ago. Brave of you to keep going while the weather is getting more challenging, and thanks for sharing the tips.

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LOL, I am pretty sure I know where you guys were fishing! :lol:

I did good as well at this spot a few days ago. Brave of you to keep going while the weather is getting more challenging, and thanks for sharing the tips.

Jerome, I'm pretty sure you and about another 100 know the spot!! Unfortunately, social media posts have made this area very, very busy. This is my 6th winter fishing the area, although the last 2 winters I have fished it only a couple of times.

Not that I want the spot to myself, but it was nice when NO ONE else fished in the winter (apart from you!!) and only one or two other carpers ever fished this spot. Unfortunately, the area sees a lot of bad fishing practices with treble hooks, litter and lac of carp care being displayed. At least the carp have grown smarter which makes the fishing more challenging, which I really like :)

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Yep, I hear you. This was actually the 2nd time ever I fished this spot, but yes, it is now very well-known. This is the trouble with winter honey holes, there are so few of them, it doesn't take that long for not-so-careful anglers to raid them. Which is the exact reason for which I can't make videos any more (my own winter honey hole got destroyed). Social media can be a wonderful thing, but also a very evil thing...

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Did you find this spot yourselves? Or did someone share it with you in the first place? You miserable old toadies...

Nice to see a few fish still coming out anyway..venturing out myself on Sunday...

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Did you find this spot yourselves? Or did someone share it with you in the first place? You miserable old toadies...

Nice to see a few fish still coming out anyway..venturing out myself on Sunday...

I found it on myself Mark. I lived next to the river for 2 years before ever fishing for carp before I got the bug again. The spot was not a secret but only one other person I know of fished it in the winter. Like I said I rarely fish it nowadays as it's can resemble a match lake at times :) Not to worry, I have a few other winter spots to explore and a couple of trips south :)

Good luck on Sunday.

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Thanks Dean...I have no idea where you are talking about by the way...

You are in the minority then Mark :) I want to find a nice winter spot on the Merrimack, but not sure I want to fish with a drop net!!

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Looks like a great outing and some beautiful fish!!!

I am getting very frustrated trying to find a winter spot, here in NH. I have blanked the last 6-7 outings and am considering packing up the rods until spring. I have tried everywhere I can think of where they could be and have read and tried all the accepted/preferred methods. I am really looking forward to the warmer weather already.

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Looks like a great outing and some beautiful fish!!!

I am getting very frustrated trying to find a winter spot, here in NH. I have blanked the last 6-7 outings and am considering packing up the rods until spring. I have tried everywhere I can think of where they could be and have read and tried all the accepted/preferred methods. I am really looking forward to the warmer weather already.

Jeff,

It's not really winter yet, with the current mild weather. If you are looking at river spots, I would be looking for areas off the main channel or flow with a decent depth of water. However, a common misconception is that the carp will be in the deepest water, which is not always the case. Once the water temps get below 40 degrees or so they will look for the most comfortable temperatures. This might be at 8ft in 12ft of water or 14ft in 20ft of water etc. The carp may sit in this depth for most of the day or night but will move when they decide to feed. During the day this will usually be to shallower water (as this warms up the quickest).

Once you have found the fish, the key to keeping them feeding all the way through the winter is to keep a trickle of bait going in regularly. I would start my search on the river at any bridges, behind the structures and then start to look for eddies and slack sections.

Good luck

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Jeff,

It's not really winter yet, with the current mild weather. If you are looking at river spots, I would be looking for areas off the main channel or flow with a decent depth of water. However, a common misconception is that the carp will be in the deepest water, which is not always the case. Once the water temps get below 40 degrees or so they will look for the most comfortable temperatures. This might be at 8ft in 12ft of water or 14ft in 20ft of water etc. The carp may sit in this depth for most of the day or night but will move when they decide to feed. During the day this will usually be to shallower water (as this warms up the quickest).

Once you have found the fish, the key to keeping them feeding all the way through the winter is to keep a trickle of bait going in regularly. I would start my search on the river at any bridges, behind the structures and then start to look for eddies and slack sections.

Good luck

Thank you, I will keep looking in the areas you mentioned. Your articles have been very helpful also, thanks again.

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The Blackstone River fishes well in winter Jeff...I'm trying a new spot on a different River on Sunday...message me if you want to meet up...

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Looking to get out one day this weekend as well, may even make the trip back to RI possibly on the Blackstone.

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A great late fall days fishing, with plenty of captures - excellent ! :swimminfish:

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Excellent spot but getting way over crowded I'm on the search for a similar spot thats a bit more secretive I know Erik is pretty bummed about all the people there.

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