Original article published in English.


Winter fishing is normally associated with targeting the deeper water on commercial venues or fishing the long pole to features. However, I’ve enjoyed a lot of success fishing the edges here at Colemans Cottage, even on the coldest of days. It seems like the fish hug the near slope and you can often catch here when you can’t get a bite elsewhere. There are a few key differences to summer edge fishing which make all the difference. 


The first thing I’m looking for with my edge fishing is depth. This varies depending on the temperature, water clarity and how active I expect the fish to be but around 3-feet (one metre) seems to be a good starting point. Generally, this will be found on a nice gradual slope so you can really pick and choose your depth by moving up or down the slope. As with any pole fishing, plumbing up accurately is essential to present your bait correctly on the slope without it hanging off bottom or laying on excessively. I like to just slightly lay on to make the bait sit naturally. If I’m foul hooking fish then I will look to move up the slope, if I don’t get any indications then I may look to move further down – a few inches either way can make a big difference.

Cenex Classic Mono is my choice for hook lengths.

Xitan Stretch 7 Yellow is ideal for the plodding fights of winter carp.

I use a dink float for margin fishing.

Bait choice

My approach centres on groundbait and live maggots. This may seem unusual in 3-feet of water, but because the fish are less active in winter foul hookers are much less of a problem. Groundbait offers just enough attraction to get me a bite, but washes away and doesn’t overfeed the peg. I normally feed it loose and very cautiously through a pole mounted pot, but sometimes a handful of crumb in a big pot can spark life into a peg which it appears devoid of fish. I very rarely feed maggots which means I get a faster bite as the fish snatch at the only food particle in the peg. In milder weather I will use the Formula Fish groundbait, but in the depths of winter this changes to a pure crushed expander mix with minimal food content. The groundbait itself must be as damp as possible and pushed through a riddle so that it settles quickly on the slope and doesn’t waft up easily.


Rig wise, I normally use a 4 x 12 carp dink with the float dotted right down. I may step up a size if the wind is affecting the presentation. This is tied to 0.16mm Cenex Hybrid Power mainline and a 4-inch 0.10mm or 0.12mm Cenex Hybrid Power hooklength to an 18 or 20 hook depending on how hard I expect the fishing to be. Elastic wise, the yellow Xitan Stretch 7 is perfect; soft enough for the fish to glide out of the swim, but with enough power to land double-figure fish. Shotting would be a bulk or strung bulk of no.9s, again depending how active the fish are. I use a fairly long line to my float and use back shot to control the rig to avoid spooking fish in the clear water.

Formula Fish attracts without feeding.

Big carp can still be caught down the edge in winter on many venues.

Often, I will feed groundbait with no feed, and then use a maggot hookbait over the top.

"Always leave yourself somewhere to go when the fish back off."


Another key difference from summer time is the fish will back-off from one spot very quickly. Changing depth or re-plumbing a new line where the fish feel safe will often get a crucial few extra bites. For this reason I always leave myself somewhere to go and never fish to the limit of my peg early on. I find about half-way to the next platform to be a good starting point, but it is always dependant on depth more than anything. One of the most important things is to never give up! You might not get a bite down the edge until late in the match but you can then put together a winning catch in no time. Hopefully this helps give you the confidence to fish your edges through the winter, you might be surprised at the results!

Alex Reynolds