Do carp stop feeding in the winter

The simple answer is no, carp never completely stop feeding even in the wintertime. However, it is safe to say that their appetite considerably drops due to scientific factors which include the fish’s metabolism as well as body temperature. In this article, we will go through the different reasons as to why carp are harder to catch in winter as well as ways to increase your chances of catching them. These tips and tricks should help you put more carp in your landing net.

Why carp feed less in winter

The winter months are normally the coldest, carp biologically can not warm up their bodies by movement like humans can which means that when the water temperatures stay cold for long periods the carp can not move as much. This, in turn, affects their metabolic rate which means that hunger lessens considerably. To put into simple terms carp use less energy in winter so they need to eat less.

In the coldest times of winter, carp can completely stop moving and almost freeze whilst waiting for the temperature to increase. However, this does not mean they won’t feed more so their movement is kept to a minimum. It is also thought that carp have to feed every 24 hours whatever the temperatures so catching them no matter what you have heard is not impossible.

All in all, when trying to fish for carp in the winter you will need to adapt your fishing to tackle new problems such as the lack of hunger. This can be done in many different ways one of the most effective being to increase the number of smelly baits that you use. A few examples are spices such as chili powder, salt, and turmeric or any other baits with a high attraction level. 

How to make Increase bites in the Winter

When fishing for carp in the wintertime there are a few different techniques that work surprisingly well and will the majority of the time catch you fish no matter the temperature. So depending on the time you are going to spend at the bank you will need to bait up your swim just the right amount to get the fish into a feeding state. This is the most important thing when fishing in the winter is to get fish feeding, this requires determination as well as strategic planning and executing. 

Bait enhancement 

As we mentioned earlier, baits in the winter have to have a higher attraction level than usual to increase the feeding levels, this means goo’s, dip-flavorings and spices will be your best friend. Adding some additives makes a huge difference and gives just that extra little incentive to fish to make them take a bite. 

Our favourite dip-flavoring –  Korda goo pineapple power smoke (check price on Amazon)

Another thing you can dabble with is salt and spices, we love using spices in our baits as they are so pungent and the carp just seem to love them, a few of our favourite are:

  • Turmeric
  • Chilli power 
  • Paprika

These are all great spices to incorporate into ground baits and can be used as regular bait to bring fish in or used in a method feeder. They do make a really big difference when trying to attract those lazy carp into your swims. 


Another fantastic winter bait which is notorious for being one of the best all-round fishing baits is maggots. These small, simple and effective creatures are irresistible to any fish in lakes and rivers across the world. Not only this, maggots are customizable and you the angler can add different flavours and ingredients to pretty much create the ultimate bait for the particular venue that you’re fishing.

When integrating maggots into your winter fishing there are many methods that you can use which will get you the results you are looking for. When planning to use maggots as a hook bait an underrated technique is to hair rig a few maggots onto your hook using a baiting needle, this will not stop the maggots from wriggling around in the water making it a great way to lure in the bigger carp that sometimes want more a substantial meal!

Right, well that’s a big carp myth busted, carp do feed in the winter, just substantially less. We hope the tips helped and inspired you to try a spot of winter Carp fishing yourself, you can find the rest of our favorite on our article best Winter Carp fishing baits. Until next time, best of luck and tight lines!

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