Well who’s had enough of winter yet? The cold dark mornings, the cold dark evenings and oh did I mention the cold miserable days. I must say I am longing for a bit of warm sunshine, the chance to go outside in just a t shirt, and the chance of seeing a big old carp cruising around soaking up the warm rays of that most dearly wanted sun. While we can all dream of warmer weather the cold is all we have and we can either leave the rods hung up collecting dust or we can suit up, boot up, and get out there and make the most of it.


Winter fishing isn’t all bad; to be honest it can be great! The banks are empty and while chances can be hard to come by, it doesn’t mean they are not out there for the taking. You just have to approach your angling with a bit of thought and effort and the results will follow.  Usually I have a winter venue to target and have enjoyed many cold water sessions but this winter I just haven’t had the time. I was going to focus back on my local park lake and continue my chase for my nemesis but due to a few circumstances my prep work was cut short and without the lack of continuous bait being applied the fish shut up shop and the very few sessions I did manage resulted in big cold blanks. I must admit the buzz just wasn’t there and when it comes to winter carping, that fire within needs to be burning otherwise it can be a gruelling task of just going through the motions.


While my carping took a back seat I did still manage a few day sessions in search of Perch. It was while angling for ‘strippies’ on my birthday that I got my than I had bargained for. The day started off like any other - spraying maggots regularly over a maggot feeder while I focused on my quiver tip.  Each little shudder found my hand hovering over the rod ready to strike if the tip inched round. Many perch found their way into my small pan net. Whilst not the specimens I was after each one was appreciated. As with most winter days the sun set far too quickly and I thought to myself “just one more cast”. It didn’t take long for the tip to shudder before slowly twitching round and, like every time before, I swept the rod back. Unlike before, the rod took on a slightly more impressive curve followed by line gently stripped from the reel. As I watched on almost powerless as something a little substantial headed off across the lake. With carp to over 60lb residing in the lake my knees trembled as the minutes ticked by as the unseen leviathan plodded around in the murky water. Each time I thought I gained the upper hand, a quick flick of its tail saw line once again pour from the spool.  Eventually the fish began to tire. There was no way the pan net would suffice but luckily I had brought my carp net just for this occasion (wishful thinking I know) and after a few botched attempts finally she was mine! A cracking deep bodied mirror with tiny little starburst scales. Not quite the 60lber than flashed through my mind but at 28lb I was over the moon and seeing as it was my 28th birthday it seemed rather fitting. After a few snaps my birthday visitor was soon on her way back to her water home just as the darkness began to engulf my surroundings. 


It didn’t take long before carping was back on my mind, mainly due to a new syndicate ticket becoming available. It is a water with a very, very impressive stock with over 4 x 50lb carp topped by a large number of 40s and lots of 30s. It’s a place that every bleep on the alarm makes your heart skip a beat and adrenalin pump. I have in fact just returned from my first session and although I don’t have anything to report on the fish front it doesn’t mean that it was time wasted. Spots were noted, fish were seen and little things learnt. All stuff that will help build the picture over time and hopefully lead to the downfall of a few of the big girls. It is also the first place I have fished in a long time that just felt right. Instantly it felt comfortable and seems like I am going to seriously enjoy my time there.




One good thing about the winter are the Angling Shows and this year Skretting will be attending The Northern Angling Show on the 24th and 25th of February and the Big One on the 24th and 25th of March so if you are visiting either of them be sure to stop by and say hello to the Skretting team. Not only will we have great offers on the products but also offer a wealth of knowledge on how to get the most from them too. I may even make an appearance at the Big One myself so if you see me please do say hello. While on the subject of products one I just cannot recommend enough is the Protec Carp pellets. I use them all year round and they appear in almost every mix I use. Not only are they great for attracting carp but they offer so much to the fish. If you have a spare minute, head over to and check them out - you definitely won’t be disappointed!


The Angling Academy


Another reason my angling has suffered a little bit is due to me focusing on my angling tuition and trying to help others within our great sport. During 2017 my sessions saw numerous PB’s from England and France, lots of first ever fish for new comers and beginners and lots very happy anglers. I have a real passion for sharing my knowledge and experience and will be building my company throughout this year. I will also be offering a few free tuition sessions for juniors so if you or someone you know may be interested then head over to and get in touch.


Until next time Tight lines all


Tommy Flower