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The 6 Best Winter Carp Baits For Cold Water Success

Date

November 21st, 2023

Category

Article

Written by

Rob Warburton

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Winter is often seen as the most challenging season for carp anglers.

Unlike the summer months where the action can be thick and fast, the cold water temperatures slow down the carp’s metabolism and feeding activity, leaving us sitting behind often motionless buzzers.

But they are still catchable when the conditions are right and they’re up for a feed. It’s just that we’ve got smaller windows of opportunity to capitalise on.

That’s why your baiting strategy has to be bang on, and more specifically, what baits you have in your armoury. Here are 7 of the best that you should have in your mix this winter:

OG Fruit & Nut Chops/Crumbs

No matter the time of year, it’s always worth having high-quality boilies in your mix. As soon as the winter temperatures come in, I like to switch from a fishmeal boilie to a nut based bait such as the OG Fruit & Nut. 

The OG Fruit & Nut is a low-oil carp bait that’s high in protein. It’s very soluble and highly digestible, which is key to a successful winter bait.

At this time of year, you don’t want to be filling carp up easily with heavy, stodgy baits. They’re already feeding sparingly, so anything you use needs to be highly digestible and pass through them quickly so that we can keep them feeding for longer periods.

The OG Fruit & Nut Chops/Crumb are perfect for keeping carp grubbing around on your spot. They’re super versatile from a fishing perspective too. You can add them to your spod mix or fish small mesh bags and sticks if a lighter baiting approach is required. 

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A chunky Norton Disney mirror caught over a load of OG Fruit & Nut.

Maggots

It wouldn’t be a proper winter carp bait mix without the addition of maggots would it?!

Maggots are a popular carp bait all year round, but they are particularly effective in winter.

Even in harsh conditions and low temperatures, carp can’t resist them. Like most natural baits, it’s that movement that helps to stimulate the interest of lethargic carp, encouraging them to feed even when their metabolism is low.

Maggots work well on their own or as addition to more food items in a spod mix. They’re highly visual, and more importantly, digestible. If the fish are on them, you’ll know about it as any fish you land will be passing them on the mat.

Carp can’t get enough of them in the winter months, so if your venue allows them, be sure to take a few pints with you on your next session!

Magic Bean Wafters

The Magic Bean Wafters haven’t been around for long but they’re already showing excellent cold water form as we head into the back end of autumn.

And if you’re looking for more proof that these baits work, you only need to check out David Macca’s recent capture of 48lb 7oz lake record from Oxlease Lake at Linear Fisheries,

These super-vibrant baits are perfect for fishing over siltier areas which often produce the goods at this time of year. I’d be equally happy fishing these as single hook baits to showing fish or over a baited spot when you don’t want something as blatant as a pop up sitting inches above the deck.

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Magic Bean Wafters are perfect for tempting a bite in cold conditions.

Sweetcorn

Sweetcorn is a classic carp bait that really comes into its own during the winter months. In fact, I’ll rarely knock up a spod mix without sweetcorn in it these days.

Like all of the best winter carp baits, it’s highly digestible and carp can eat this stuff all day without getting full. It’s naturally sweet and there isn’t a carp in the land that doesn’t like the stuff.

But the real benefit of corn for me is the colour. As lakes become clearer in the winter, sweetcorn gives you that visual element that’s often just what you need to tempt a carp down for a feed. I’m convinced that having visual baits can lead to more bites. You’ve only got to watch the Korda Underwater films to see how carp often single out a vibrant topper on a bait.

Worms

It seems everyone is using worms at the moment. They’ve always been a quality winter bait but I’m guessing their rise in popularity is to do with how much they’re in the media, with the likes of Tom Maker and Ali Hamidi sharing plenty of info about their worm rigs.

Like maggots, worms can really be the difference between a fish on the bank and a blank session. It’s that liveliness that can really catch a carp’s attention, even when they’re not properly on the feed.

Worms are also naturally rich in amino acids, so if you do use them it’s best to chop a few of them up and add them to your spod mix. In terms of hookbait, I’d recommend topping a piece of Flat Spot soaked foam or a whittled down Washed Out OG Fish Pop Up. That should do the trick!

OG Mini Mix Pellets

Over the years I’ve found myself using solid bags more in my fishing. When you’ve got limited time on the bank, it’s all about maximising your bait presentation, and 99% of the time I’m confident that a solid bag is fishing correctly.

But equally as important is having a small parcel of attraction around the hookbait, and that’s where the OG Mini Mix Pellets come into play for me.

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OG Mini Mix Pellets are perfect for solid bag fishing in winter.

I like the fact that you’ve got multiple pellet sizes in there, with varying degrees of protein content, which is vital as we move into autumn winter. The pellets break down at different times, oozing attraction and this is often just enough to tempt a bite in the coldest conditions.

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