Winter Carping.

Written by
Liam Postle, Carp Angler.

Myself and Frosty set off for our first adventure to Blackthorn Fishery Oswestry for a 24 hour session. It was a cold and windy day which the weather could have worked in our favour or against us. We arrived at blackthorn around 8.30, and took a quick walk around the lake to see if we could spot any fish showing, with there being a ripple on the water and having cold north winds it was pretty hard to see any and decided to both double up and the second double peg 7&8.


Setting up camp was the first priority with the weather looking like I was about to turn worse, so the bivvys went up and it was time to set up the rods. I positioned myself to the right of the swim where I had 3 areas I was going to fish to see if I could find what area the fish were holding up in and on 3 different types of rigs. On my left hand rod I fished into the central area of the lake on a patch of silk weed on this I fished maggots popped up with foam just so I had a bit of movement to try and grab a carp’s attention. Middle rod was fished towards a point around 20 yards out on a hard clay bottom, on this I fished a critically balanced snowman rig. Finally my right rod was fished about 10/15yards towards my own little island fished on a naked style chod as it was patchy with weed and clay so I just wanted it to be fishing perfect with any bottom it sat on.


Getting later on into the day the weather was getting worse and looking at met office on my phone it showed that there was no signs of it clearing and all we could do is sit tight and hope that the fish got on the feed with a storm coming in. I just kept sprinkling bait in all day little and often trying to build up a good spread so fish would just move small amounts to pick up bait to bait and hopefully come across my hookbait. With night drawing in and weather still getting worse, having 50Mph winds and heavy on and off downpours of rain. We had a small window where the wind died down and this was the time were I could re-cast all my rods with fresh bait and small pva bags on the bottom bait rigs. With all the rigs sitting perfect I knew that if a fish picked up my hookbait I had a good chance of getting the fish on the bank. All I was thinking just before getting my head down for the night was hopefully a big scaly 20lb mirror would make the trip. However morning soon come around where the wind dropped down to around 10Mph and it looked totally different to getting a bite, could I have a fish just before the session came to an end. Sadly after battling through the weather the session ended and it was time to head back home. I found Blackthorn a great place to fish with Charlie the owner really helpful with telling you how the lake is dug out and just is really pleasant. I can’t wait to go back there again soon, if I’m ever there and you see me don’t be afraid to come have a chat, kettles always on.


The maggot rig was a blow back rig made up from korda soft supple 20lb coated braid in weedy green, Gardner mugga size 6 curve shank barbless hooks, korda small rig ring and some shrink tube. The maggots were threaded onto some bait floss and tied by two overhand knots to create the maggot ball and some white foam used just to pop them up off the bottom.

Snowman rig was a blowback combi-rig made up from IQD2 and korda soft supple 20lb coated braid in weedy green stripped to the braid , Gardner mugga size 6 curve shank barbless hooks, korda small rig ring and some shrink tube and also with a long hair. The baits used were a size 16mm entice bottom bait in red and a small 10mm milky toffee pop up which makes the bait critically balanced.

Note I used a slightly longer bit of shrink tubing on both bottom bait rigs just to give the hook a bit of a better hold in the carps mouth which I have found with experience as barbless ruled apply at Blackthorn.

Chod was made up of 25lb korda mouth trap, size 6 korda choddy hook, korda small rig ring and a big look swivel, which I fished naked style between two 4mm beads around 4ft apart with a weak small boom section with a 1oz lead. The bait used was a mainline fruitella 10mm popup fished about 1.1/2 up off the deck.

Small pva bags were used whilst casting bottom baits out just to give extra attraction to the hookbait and to help aid of casting, on the maggot rig: crumb entice and maggots, and on the snowman rig: crumb and chops of entice.

Regarding baits recommended tippers and pop ups are white and pinks but always try something you feel confident in. 

By Liam Postle.