Importance of Location

The Importance of Location

The Importance of Location: This article primarily focuses on Carp fishing in cold water, but the principles can be applied throughout the year.

The two most crucial elements for successful angling are timing and the importance of location. Even with the best bait and rigs, without being in the right place at the right time, your efforts may be futile.

Locating carp during the colder months can be challenging. Several factors can either work in your favor or against you. These include the size of the lake, stock, depth, climate, angling pressure, bait restrictions, club or syndicate rules, and the ever-present factor of “time”. All these factors can either increase or decrease your chances of getting bites.

Keeping things as simple as possible is essential. Here are five basic rules I follow for winter fishing:

  1. Observation
  2. Listening
  3. Feeling
  4. Tight Lines and Angles
  5. Pre-Baiting


Staying alert and keeping a keen eye out is crucial! Even a minor sighting can contribute to a larger understanding. Look for the obvious signs – shows, bubbling, and cleared areas that indicate fish activity. Also, pay attention to what others are catching, as fish tend to stay localized, meaning they won’t move far if they’re comfortable.

Importance of Location


As we transition into Autumn and the clocks adjust, so do the patterns of carp showing. It seems that the lake comes alive after dark. Although it’s challenging to see the shows in the dark, our hearing tends to compensate for the lack of vision, making us more attuned to the slightest sounds. Sometimes, it can be beneficial to not set up before dark (unless there’s obvious evidence), and let the carp reveal their location. By walking around and listening for shows, you can gain an advantage.


Using a bare lead on a braided line rod, you can feel the areas of the lake bed that the fish visit regularly. It’s not about clean, bumpy gravel areas. It’s about soft, clean, odorless silty areas rich in naturals.

Importance of Location

Once you find these zones, the carp won’t be far away. Also, when it’s cold and the fish start to group together, casting around with a light lead can help you feel it drop through the layers and locate the carp in higher stocked venues. A few casts in each swim as you walk around the lake might just lead you to bump into one on the way down, revealing their location.

Tight Lines and Angles:

Fishing a reasonable distance out into the lake with tight lines can not only provide a chance of a bite but also give you an indication if the carp are moving around. If they are, you’ll receive liners, allowing you to bring your rig in and recast shorter. If the liners continue, repeat the process until they stop. It’s a simple, old-fashioned method, but it works!


When all other strategies fail and you need a reliable backup, consider consistently baiting one or two areas, this always provides the chance to fish in spots that have been baited before.

I’m not suggesting massive amounts, I’m referring to a frequent but small quantity. The birds and fish will provide all the information you need about your baited spot. If birds are continuously diving in that area, the bait is still present, and you haven’t had any bites from the fish. Conversely, fizzing and a change in feel on the spots will indicate that they are being visited.

Importance of Location

Importance of location: I’m convinced that after three or four visits you start to form an image of where the fish are located, if you start to receive regular bites from a specific area, keep trying your luck, if it’s not broken don’t fix it! But trust your instincts and confidence is crucial, for pinpointing the right location. Once found, the fish can often be caught.

In January, I embarked on a small campaign on a local club ticket water, which I estimate is 6 to 7 acres, with a large population of fish, varying depths and high pressure. There’s a 45lb plus common in there, which can be like finding a needle in a haystack. So, location was crucial. I took all my factors into account and saw another angler catch it. I was sure due to the time of year it wouldn’t move far as it was content there. I started to fish in that area, when I could get in there. And sure enough…. The rest is history…. 45lb 15oz of pristine UK Common.

Enjoy your winter campaigns folks, catch a big one! ~ Jim Chisnall