Yes, I did get out on New Year's Day to fish for carp. It was cold, windy, the place I was fishing was half covered in ice. I caught nothing. I was fishing in the "First Fishing Folly (FFF)" a fun tournament sponsored by the Carp Anglers Group. Carp fishermen from all over the US and Canada get out on Jan. 1 and try to catch a carp. Last year I also fished the FFF on New Year's Day. It was warm and the carp were hitting as I landed my first one of the year on Jan. 1, 2012. What a difference a year makes.
As I write this, just about all the ponds and lakes in RI are locked in ice. Even slow moving water is freezing over. Hey, it's winter and I suppose that is what's supposed to happen. Last year, we were treated to an unusually warm winter. I fished most of January and February in open water in RI and caught carp all winter long. There were occasional periods of thin ice, but it rarely stuck around for more than a few days. I have a feeling we are looking at a more traditional winter this year. On those cold winters in the past I usually got my first ones in late February or early March unless I found them in fast moving river currents.
However, there are those who do know where to catch them in the winter with good success. I have a friend in MA who was also fishing the FFF in MA waters north of here. He started out at midnight and fished into the next day. He came away with 8 carp on New Year's Day, quite an astounding feat for Jan. 1. So, they do hit in the cold if you know the places to fish.