The lakes in Dijon are open until the end of November, or just into early December. From late December it is possible for the water temperature to drop enough for the lakes to freeze over, and then they can stay frozen for several weeks!
Dijon and the surrounding areas are notoriously cold throughout the Winter period, due to their geographical location. Air temperatures as low as -20 with the wind chill factor have been recorded in recent years, and -10 and less, are the norm. The lake is affected in many ways by the impact of the Winter weather, with the gradual drop in water temperatures, the majority of fish activity reduces, with the only exception being the Pike.
The weed beds reduce and die off, and the already battered natural food sources disappear completely. Water clarity is at it's clearest, and in depths of Winter, sometimes it seems that there is no sign off life under the waters surface. Above the surface, activity seems to increase, with all sorts of visiting birds and other wildlife, appearing once the last of the anglers are gone.
It's a beautiful place to be all year round, that's a fact, but there is something special about the place when it takes on it's Winter colours, and the undisturbed peace sets in. It remains one of the most important times of the year for the carp too, the "shut down". Time to rest and repair, with no angling pressure or other inconveniences to them.
Usually thought of as slower fishing, but not always the case. I have noticed an initial lull in activity for a few days when that first cold spell arrives, when's that?......good question! After this, the carp seem to adapt to the colder water temperatures, and are prepared to continue feeding up until the temperatures hit their lowest, once the season is over. But !...your going to need a digestible Winter bait though!
If your fishing the lakes in the Winter months there's no point in feeding something that's going to be hard to digest! The carp's metabolism slows down as the water gets colder, as does their ability to digest food, which makes choice of bait very important!
You can feed and considerably if you want, there's no problem there, they might eat everything you give them but, the real question remains,..........how much of it are they eating ?
A digestible Winter bait, that has a rapid breakdown in cold water, say 2/3 days, that the carp can eat, digest, benefit from, and pass easily, without discomfort, is an essential factor if you want to catch as many fish as possible during your Winter week. The ingredients the bait is made from is an evan more important issue....
Any good bait company should be able to advise you on an effective Winter food bait, that can be used confidently even in substantial quantities in cold water conditions. If you get your bait right, you have the chance of a feeding carp consuming that bait may be twice or three times during your week!....if it breaks down and they can digest it with no problems,.... which in turn gives you 2 to 3 times the chance of catching them!.....agreed?
Where as, a less digestible bait, that takes all week or more to break down in the water, or is too high in the wrong types of protein for example, runs the risk of potentially blocking the fishes digestive system for a while if they eat enough of it,
rendering them a "non contender" for the rest of your week!.......not good!
After the season has ended in December, and if the weather and work allows, I like to fish for the carp myself for a while if I can, before I get my Pike fishing head on. It's one of my favorite times of year, peaceful carp fishing, with no Mosquito's, or baking hot weather! But I also use the opportunity to feed the carp up a bit before they Winter, while I'm fishing. I bait heavy, 2 to 3 kilos on each rod per day sometimes, and sprinkle it all over the lake as well...because my main mission is to feed them up.
It does not seem to affect my catch rates in a negative way, in fact I do pretty well normally. The reason for that is simply, they can eat the bait, digest it, and pass it easily....and then go and eat some more,......if there is more there that is!