Feeding in Winter – Julia Trautmann

A topic that´s always discussed. What is the right way and does it even exist? A question that I have asked myself in the last two Winters and have drawn the following conclusions from it.

Basically I fish small and medium-sized waters with a good fish density. Low stock waters, rather not fit, because I always fish instantly. Due to the high fishing pressure, there is hardly any possibility of create feeding areas in autumn and harvesting from them in winter. Everyone who thinks that that´s a serious disadvantage is seriously mistaken.

The most important key in winter for me is the location. Because if I know where the fish are, then I’m one step ahead.

I specifically look for waters that are 2-4m deep. Why such untypical waters in Winter? In my opinion, even in Winter, the fish move more as we think. In particular, weather-related influences control the fish in Winter. If it becomes a high pressure area with a lot of sun, the fish are distributed in the upper water layers. And that is the decisive disadvantage of very deep waters in winter (7-15m), we simply don´t  fish near them. In the lakes, which I consider to be rather shallow, we are always closer to the fish, due to the shallower depths. But the waters I prefer also have disadvantages. Strong weather fluctuations, cold snap and wind that is too cold are real poison for fishing prospects in the cold season.

That is exactly the reason why I watch the weather even more in winter. Constant conditions (temperature, wind, air pressure) are the interesting parameters. Very good phases are often after periods of cold weather. If the water temperature increases from 3 to 4.5 degrees and this remains constant for a few days. I actually had the best chances in winter when the water temperature was between 4-6 degrees. Everything below that made it really difficult and above 8 degrees I don’t call it winter anymore.

The subject of feed / bait is another and decisive factor that can determine whether it is a success or failure in winter. Everyone should know, that a lot of food is not the key. Quite the opposite: if you put too much into the water, you won’t get it out again. What I don’t even use in winter are particles. I believe in boilies, stick mix, basic feed, pellets, bait pastes and maggots. With the boilies I rely on two different basic structures. At first the milk protein variant, second the high-quality fishmeal balls. What is important here is the solubility of the boilies, they have to work really well even at the lowest water temperatures.

My basic feed consists of crushed boilies, oatmeal, amino pellets and frozen maggots. I prepare the whole thing at home 1-2 days before fishing by pouring various liquids over it, then boiling water, in order to finally stir it well. The feed should then rest first so that the flavours and ingredients can settle. When fishing myself, I pour boiling water over it again with a good shot of Baileys. It doesn’t only taste good to me! The consistency is perfect when it’s almost liquid / mushy. When I have taken my place at the lake, the next step is to draw the fish’s attention to my food without filling them. Thats why the almost liquid consistency of my basic food.

With the X-Spod, liquid feed can also be spread perfectly with the help of the Spod rod, without completely showing yourself. To start with, I cast 6-8 X-Spods per rod. The result is a huge cloud at the bottom and in all water layers. In addition, I distribute 6 boilies per rod with the throwing stick. Small light hookbaits or snowmen are used as hookbaits. When it comes to rigs, I bet on the same thing in winter as I do all year round (station wagon or D-rigs). Ultra-sharp hooks are important as the Carp often take the bait slowly.

The hookbaits are also provided with a small PVA stick, this serves as “tangle protection” and increases the attractiveness many times over. A little tip: make the PVA sticks right before ejection. Anyone who enriches their stick mixes with liquids and prepares them at home can run into the problem that the PVA does not dissolve properly (in cold water). Whenever I get promotions, which of course doesn’t always work in winter, I always feed 5 X-Spods to keep the fish luring or occupying them and keeping them happy. Despite all the preparations and precautions, “blank” is of course also part of our hobby, especially in Winter.

Many have asked me why I, as a woman, rely on the X3K in 12ft and 3.5lbs. Quite simply: so that I have enough power to also cover PVA sticks and a lead with bait paste to be able to throw greater distances. By the way, the rods have an ingenious casting performance and the pleasure of fighting is not neglected.

I hope I was able to inspire you a little with my purely subjective point of view on the topic of feeding in winter and maybe even help you to catch your Winter Carp.

I wish you a big Petri for the 2021 season, everyone stays healthy.

Many greetings, yours

Julia Trautmann


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