The weather has changed at Watersmeet. Earlier in the week the lake iced over in places and now we have a slight covering of snow.
What of the carp now the weather has changed? Well, the carp are chilled too!
Carp like most fish are cold blooded. This means that their body temperature is the same as the water that they are swimming in, which currently means they are VERY cold!
Water temperatures below the ice will have hovered just above freezing. For a carp, that has evolved to live in warmer climates, temperatures below ten degrees centigrade are cold. This is different to other fish species for in the winter months such as pike which are far better suited to life in cool water
As the temperature of the carp falls, its metabolism slows right down. Once the temperature has dropped below ten degrees the metabolism of the carp will slow down significantly and this affects their behaviour.
Carp cannot increase their activity to warm themselves up so they actually reduce their movement as the water temperature falls. In the prolonged extremely cold weather conditions carp will virtually shut down. They minimise any feeding activity and may even stop feeding completely for long periods. They often rest on the lake bed and will not move for several days becoming virtually still. If the fish do move a little, the periods of activity are often really short.
Feeding stops for now and is only occasional if and when the temperatures increase. Feeding programmes continue on a regular basis once the temperatures really warm up – to about 10 degrees.
Find out more about Watersmeet, an incredible carp fishing lake with lakeside accommodation, here.