We’ve been sent some great Winter Polefishing tips from Drennan Team England regular, Stu Conroy.  Cheers Stu!

Winter Polefishing for carp and F1s on commercial venues can be a real game of  ‘cat and mouse’, unlike in summer when huge bags of fish can be taken whilst concentrating on just one line. With the water getting increasingly clearer, fish can be very easily spooked, either from overfeeding, or by overfishing. By this I mean too many fish taken from one line in quick succession, causing the fish to simply move away. How many of us have started a session with 3 or 4 fish quickly, then nothing? An occurrence that is all too familiar.

At this time of year I like to plumb around and have a few lines on the go – rotating them and trying to extract fish from around the swim without completely drying any one of them up. My strategy is to feed a line with a small amount of bait, say a dozen maggots or pellets, then drop in on this line after 5 or 10 minutes when the fish have moved over the bait. A hook-bait is then carefully lowered in; bites are often instant. Waiting also drastically reduces the chance of foul hooking fish. Once a fish has been caught, I feed that line again but drop in on a previously fed line; a simple and very effective way of keeping fish coming for the whole of the session. Any lines that continue to be unproductive can be eliminated as the day goes on.
Why not give it a go?

Stu Conroy,
Drennan Team England
December 2012


1. Be careful not to overfeed (very little and often)

2. Try not to overfish any line, especially early in the session – remember to rotate

3. Soft elastics, small hooks and low diameter lines are a must for getting regular bites in clear water

4. Floats bristles need to be thinner than in summer i.e. 1.25 – 1.5mm is about right.

5. Try to use the lightest rigs possible for the conditions you encounter as this will help you hit more bites

6. Single hook baits are best when it is really cold

7. Try to cover a variety of depths as the fish could be at a depth you wouldn’t expect – don’t ignore fishing at mid-depth

8. Try to strike at only proper bites – these are usually sharp indications and can be minute

9. Floats need to be shotted very low – this will make you strike at bites you ordinarily wouldn’t strike at

10. Often the last hour of the session can be the most productive, so don’t give up!

Top match team Drennan Northwest’s Connor Barlow knows a thing or two about commercial Winter fishing. Pictured here with a typical net of cold water F1’s. Connor is using a Drennan 16” Matchpro Landing Net Head – for full details click here.