Winter Carp Fishing – The Ice Rig

David writes;

The Winter fishing at Vaux this year has been superb – see the January 28th Blog post here

In this post from Chas, the owner of Vaux, he gives away one of his winter edges… his Ice Rig!

Chas’s Ice Rig

From May 2002 when we bought Vaux until March 2004 when it was opened as a carp fishing venue, the mill storehouse was converted into a gîte, extensive works were carried out to the banks, fish stock was introduced ….. and we were at liberty to fish our lake. For the past six years, we have been lucky enough to fill the main season weeks with carp anglers and it is not until the season winds down that it becomes ours to fish again. That means Winter fishing!Over the years it has become apparent to us that some of the best catches and largest fish come out in the colder months. Even this winter, probably the harshest we ourselves have experienced over here, has produced some of the best despite two periods of ice on the pond.

On each occasion as the thaw progressed, a party of anglers arrived to find us clearing away the last of the ice; we have the advantage at Vaux of being able to break up and dispose of the ice via the sluices once the thaw is under way. And on each occasion, within three to four hours of the ice being removed, each party of anglers was catching and continued to do so throughout each of their week’s stay. This is more than on a par with some of the summer fishing.

Because we consciously feed our carp throughout the winter months on low oil carp and trout pellets, particles and winter formula boilies, the lake is not going into a total state of dormancy, so catches are boosted.

My own preference, especially for my cold season fishing, is the Ice Rig, or glaçon as we call it in France, always a success for me. This frozen stick, an all-season alternative to funnel web systems, incorporates selected hook bait and any number of combinations of liquid or liquidised attractors, meats, particles, condensed milk and other ingredients to alter the PH of the water around the baits which has lead to outstanding success at the lake, all year round.

Here’s a step by step guide to producing the Glacon…

Here’s a selection of the containers I use to make up the Glacon rig

… and here they are cut down ready for loading (the stone is in the right hand bottle is to stop it being blown away!)

In goes the rig….

Put your chosen freebies at the bottom, around & over the rig. The variations are endless & include liquid preparations which are very difficult to introduce around your hookbait in any other way

Pop in the freezer until they freeze solid

For the larger Glacons cut down the side of the plastic to release. For the smaller ones place the re-usable container in your hands for a minute or so… you’ll then be able to push the Glacon out. Simples!

Ready to go! Note that Buddy the dog supervises all stages of the process!

Ready to cast – the larger ones are designed for baitboat use

… ready to be boated out!

Does it work? You bet it does! “We finished photographing the glacons at about 11.20 on Saturday morning and instead of wasting them, two rods were put out. This 23lb common carp was my first ever carp fishing experience and so my PB and was landed at 11.50am, only half an hour later!!! The second rod went about 15 minutes after that, but a good fish was lost just before the net.” Buddy the dog declares himself satisfied with the days work!


4 thoughts on “Winter Carp Fishing – The Ice Rig

  1. Quentyn says:

    How long does it take one of the ice sticks to thaw ? a while ago I had issues with fish picking up undisolved PVA sticks (when it was very cold) causing false runs which was very frustrating. I would imagine that if the water is at 4 deg C it might take a while for the ice to melt ?

  2. Chas says:

    Glaçon melt time is ten minutes in the summer and 15-20 minutes in the winter, never any longer. This gives plenty of time to overcast to your spots and draw the lead and glaçon back to your given mark without disturbing the fish. Also, while drawing the lead and glaçon back to your mark, you can actually feel through the rod tip if you are on silt or gravel. The glaçon is bouyant so it will help with the lead sinking into any silt that’s present. I have had as many as two recasts in the winter and one in the summer.

    The problem with undissolved pva sticks giving false runs in cold water could be that the funnel system is partially dissolving, but dissolving around the hook and bait so the fish see the pva as the attractor and take that before the bait and hook are exposed. If the sticks are not dissolving or if they partially dissolve, they are obscuring or covering the hook. I have found that fish are attracted to the pva so that they are taking the pva as the food source before it has fully dissolved.

    We are also having great success at Vaux with the pike and have come up with a glaçon system for predators. A large glaçon is made up using dead bait and filled with blood and liquidised fish parts which has seen pike fishing surpoass all previous tactics, summer or winter. The system is brilliant for pike fishing and also devastating for catfish.

  3. penny says:

    interesting i will have to try that in the winter, wot do you mean by devastating for cat fish? i still havnt caught one yet,

  4. […] to improving them wherever possible and I’ve come up with a twist to my glaçons or ice rigs (see Vaux BLOG Winter Carp Fishing – The Ice Rig dated 8th February 2010) as my earlier method was slightly inconvenient, owing to the fact that a hook length is frozen […]

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