I always travel light on day ticket fisheries, mobility can be key to catching as the Carp can often shoal up in Winter, so a static bivvy approach might be comfortable, but if no fish are in the swim you will struggle!
On shallower, prolific lakes, fish will often stay active through the cold weather, and I still catch loads from close in.
The PVA bag approach is not for me, far too negative in my opinion and too predictable when lots of fish are present.
Match anglers will often fish a single grain of corn and no freebies to open water, and wait till the tip pulls round. This works in a similar fashion to a bright, fruity flavoured single pop up fished in open water, and very effective it can be.
I love to fish close in, introducing Groundbait, mixed with 2mm pellets, hemp and F1 corn. A single 12mm Boilie will be fished over this, on a semi fixed rig, incorporating Avid Carp Thread and Go Tubing and a 1.5oz lead, 12lb mono will be used as hooklink and a size 10 Korum Xpert barbless hook.
The rods I use are the Korum 10ft 2.5lb Carp rods, which cover most bases on normal lakes, no horizon chucking for me, presentation is key!
I refuse to follow the trend that carp can only be caught at range on great big heavy leads, bolt rig set ups, over beds of bait introduced by Spombs.
So often Carp will be swimming under your feet, so set your traps close, sit back from the bank and present your baits properly on simple rigs.
Sonubaits 24/7 or Code Red boilies work fantastically everywhere they go, and even better when coated in the glugs of the same flavour.
In my humble opinion most people over complicate Carp fishing, believing a lot of the magazine hype that gets churned out.
Carp don’t have University degrees, but they do sense change in their environment, so clumsy, noisy, badly presented rigs with huge leads will spook them.
Try a float rig if you can, as I demonstrated in a recent Korum video, using natural baits like, mussel and prawn, again over Groundbait
Don’t just sit there, try to make it happen by being active. The busy angler often catches the most fish.
I have had a great run using these simple approaches recently, with Carp to nearly 30lb. Use balanced tackle and enjoy the fight.