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  1. #1
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    Default Fish Movement in Winter

    I have a couple of carp in the canal near me that I see on my commute most mornings, well they are not mine of course rather someone else's as being bright white and pottering about in the Grand Union they have most likely outgrown someone's pond. I have not fished for them but have put a bit of feed their way whilst watching them for a few minutes each day.

    Being so noticeable I have been able to observe them over the winter and some of their behaviour traits have surprised me. The main one is how static yet active they are, it sounds like a contradiction but these two fish are always in the same spot each day - an overhanging tree with lots of cover. There are lots of such features along this cut yet they prefer this one. Despite staying in the same spot they move around the tree almost non stop as I have been there on the coldest of mornings and they have been moving about, not rooting about or with any great haste but always on the move nonetheless, even with a heavy frost and ice I have waited patiently and sure enough they have ghosted into view at times before disappearing then popping into view again, smashing any perceived thoughts that these fish would be dormant in such low temperatures.

    Another surprise was how high up in the water they always are, even on the coldest mornings at first light they are cruising around about 1-2ft from the surface, they are there later in the day too. All of this could be a Koi thing but even so I've found it interesting

    Do you have any thoughts or examples of fish movement in winter?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Fish Movement in Winter

    Only that my mate who had an out door pond about 12ft, 6ft and 8ft deep full of big goldfish that I think are carp family. They just lay dormant at the bottom of the pond when it gets really cold. They don't seem to hardly move.
    I walked in my local park and the carp which are always in one spot during the summer, where they are fed from a platform. They completely disappear for most of the winter when it is cold even if food is thrown in. You cannot fish it but I guess there are about 40 carp in there up to about 10/15lb ish.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Fish Movement in Winter

    I was looking in large fishpond recently approx 50’x10’ there were no fish in be seen. That was until I spotted them shoaled up by a dead lily bed they all appeared to be asleep or in semi hibernation. If I hadn’t seen them I would have said the pond was empty.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Fish Movement in Winter

    I have been surprised to see a few crucian carp caught on the HDYGO thread recently. In my experience they completely shut down after October to March but that may just be an indication of it being fairly mild for the time of year but I am still surprised by it.
    Could we ever work it all out!

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Fish Movement in Winter

    There are 3 pools on a club complex I fish.
    1> The carp cruise about all winter about 2 foot down like Robs even not feeding.
    2 The carp sit in the deepest part under a sheer bank.
    3 The carp gather in a group in this shallow lake and can be seen as a dark shape when the water gets very clear. If you didnt know you could think it was a weedbed.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Fish Movement in Winter

    I have found on rivers and canals in winter that roach shoal up really close and this results in long stretches devoid of fish. I used to think that in the colder months that they would be more spread out due to less natural food but that is not the case.

    When the rivers are in spate I have found that roach move upstream and not downstream.

    Obviously with fishing nothing is set in stone and your findings might be completely different?

    As for carp (USUALLY) the smaller ones are more likely to remain active because they are growing fish where as big carp are now just feeding to maintain their metabolism.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Fish Movement in Winter

    Roach migrate to winterng grounds on many rivers,one prime example is the old Nene at Spalding,it becomes absolutely solid with roach in winter,a match over xmas was won with 53lbs+ of roach,2nd was 51lb+,43lbs didnt make the frame,a mate of mine and Silvers(Alex),Rob Hewison was the runner up,the lowest weight in his section was 30lbs,apparently there was over 1,400lbs of roach caught. Ely town centre has an influx of fish during winter too...

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Fish Movement in Winter

    One river that is about 20 yds wide and up to 12 ft deep in the middle for about 1/4 mile and then quite suddenly becomes very narrow and shallow for the rest of it. I fished this a lot in the lower stretch all year round; chub seem to virtually disappear from this in the summer. In the winter it is almost like all the chub congregate in this lower wider deeper section, I can catch chub almost guaranteed in the winter here, they seem to be in a few large shoals up to about 4lb which is big for the river, the average being about 2lb. All through the summer, lucky to get one or two small ones and lots of chublets about but none of these big shoals.
    I don’t know at what time they migrate up-river because of the close season but they have gone by June 16th

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Fish Movement in Winter

    Quote Originally Posted by whitty View Post
    Roach migrate to winterng grounds on many rivers,one prime example is the old Nene at Spalding,it becomes absolutely solid with roach in winter,a match over xmas was won with 53lbs+ of roach,2nd was 51lb+,43lbs didnt make the frame,a mate of mine and Silvers(Alex),Rob Hewison was the runner up,the lowest weight in his section was 30lbs,apparently there was over 1,400lbs of roach caught. Ely town centre has an influx of fish during winter too...
    And don't forget the River Delph at Welney bridge pool. Stuffed with roach and hybrids this time of year along with predators. My PB Zed 11 03 came from the pool back in the mid 90s.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Fish Movement in Winter

    I believe these winter movements happen on every single water in the country and it's mainly man made obstructions that stop them being large scale events.

    Every now and then though you get fish that buck the trend and you wonder why they are where they are

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