Winter face of a carp

Published by: Marcin Wieczorek

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February 12, 2019

Winter face of a carp

For people unfamiliar with the carp fishing, winter may seem just like a completely dead season – a total stagnation. They could not be more wrong, though! There is no space for stagnation in carp fishing glossary. Carp season does not end – it merely evolves, making homo cyprinus active in other areas, strictly connected to their main field of interest. There are some among us that cannot be stopped by a cold weather. They migrate south to Portuguese Ebro river and popular reservoirs of Italy in pursuit of their prey. Actually, even in Poland, there is a place where you can angle for carps during the snowy season; Rybnicki dam lake – as this is the venue mentioned, only attracts a few carp-lovers, as the conditions remain quite extreme. I am more than certain, however, that everyone spends this period on many activities linked to the carp fishing.

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Let’s start with the end-of-season routine. I am talking about the check-up of the gear used. Surely every carp angler, after finishing his last fishing trip at the end of a season, thoroughly checks his equipment, looking for any technical issues. Check-up usually includes more than just the regular fishing equipment (rods, reels, signallers, rod pods etc.), covering protective accessories such as tents, umbrellas, chairs, beds and more. Conclusions of that activity may vary. Some equipment may require minor fixing and preserving, while other might even need to be replaced.

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Replacement might be needed due to loss of utility value or due to a simple craving to try something new. In that second case, our thoughts are usually drifting towards new products; new products mean lots of time spent on browsing the Internet, going through reviews, analysing parameters of similar items made by different brands – it takes countless hours. Let me just add here, that both manufacturers and distributors won’t make it any easier for us. Literally everywhere we can find price reductions, sales, promotions, special offers and… new products. I have to admit, however, that such a situation makes us – carp anglers rather happy. Proper competition among fishing brands allows us to test innovative solutions, to learn more about fish and to get to know new technologies, learning how to use them. Before you decide to spent your cash on a great looking item, it is great to run a hands-on test. That is where fishing expos organized all-over the Poland, new products launches and product shows come in handy. During those events we can easily meet people from our own world, just as passionate as we are and understanding (bilaterally), our needs. In such crowd gaining new peers to exchange knowledge and best practices comes naturally.

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Yet another way to spend your time during winter is to – as I call it, ‘spy on the competition’. In reality I would not honestly call them competition; these are people with a certain amount of experience. Most of the movies that I watch in the internet are not instructional for me, nonetheless I carefully study technique of my fellow anglers and learn. When it comes to a technical or formal knowledge, I prefer to use angling press as its source. Over the years we manged to grow a few specialized carp magazines to a very high level. They can easily be counted as a professional literature in carp fishing area, these days; I believe that for many carp anglers they are a main evening, winter read.

New knowledge and learning of new techniques, along with application of innovative technology is not only supposed to give us certain advantage over potential prey, but mostly it supposed to help us to make sure that the fish caught gets back to water safe and sound. Speaking of low-season activities that require a bit more effort, there are always new spots to be found in places that we already know and new reservoirs to be discovered. This year I managed to get accepted to the Mrągowo Angling Association. They oversee four lakes, that – through their rich and diverse fish stock, can provide lots of active entertainment to many anglers. Głębokie lake is a paradise for spinning anglers. It has been populated with an impressive number of large pikes last year. Long-distance and feeder anglers will find their spots by Kociołek and Głębokie lakes. First one lures anglers with virtually unlimited supply of golden breams, while the second one is filled with beautiful, often exceeding 2 kg of weight, tenches.  Although, in any of the listed lakes you can fix a carp-spot, my deepest fantasy and goal for next season is to angle at the special fishery of the Mrągowo Angling Association – Średnie lake. It is populated with an immense number of carps – both common and mirror ones. Vitality and power of those fish, along with their spectacular colour, will satisfy even the pickiest carp angler. The fact, that there is no upper limit of a size of carps living in that lake stated yet, only spices up the adventure. Getting ready to next season, I decided to check banks of that lake both in terms of logistics of moving heavy equipment and in aspect of comfort, of time spent by the water. Sometimes winter time can actually be our ally during such expeditions, as some places are easily accessible only in sub-zero temperatures. In some cases, you can only reach the spot through the ice or using an off-road vehicle.

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Using thick layer of ice, we can also improve our spots by building new decks or fixing the old ones. If the weather is really unwelcoming, some carp anglers spent their time making new rigs and manufacturing bait-balls. The amount of joy and pride coming from catching a carp, using bait-balls of own production is known to any person that invested their time to actually produce some.

As you can see, in my subjective, though close to truth, I reckon, opinion - no homo Cyprinus complains about lack of activities, even in low-season. Besides that, I personally know many carp anglers that have other hobbies as well and know how to keep themselves entertained while waiting for a spring. I am not talking only about the ice-fishing. Among us, there are hunters, winter sport lovers, martial arts adepts, collationers, volunteers and many, many more. We are all connected, however, by one passion, called carp fishing, hence we are all making plans for a first carp fishing trip of next season.

Marcin Wieczorek
Mikado Fishing Team

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