With Mother Nature very much on the turn, we asked Lee ‘Mozza’ Morris to reveal what changes he makes when targeting autumn carp…
Spring is almost certainly the best and most productive season of the year, but autumn is a very close second and I love fishing at this time of year. The carp have been pressured all summer and, so, they are not at their easiest to catch, but they will be looking to feed up before the winter and, of course, the banks of most lakes are increasingly quieter after the summer madness.
The carp start to put a bit of weight on, having got the summer and spawning etc out of the way, and they also begin to take on their best colours. The satisfaction of catching an autumn carp can often outweigh a spring capture, as it can be like clubbing seals in that earlier part of the year, whereas much more care and attention needs to be given to fishing in autumn. Everything has to be right as they have been hammered for months and won’t allow you to get away with making too many mistakes. This can be even more prevalent on day-ticket waters as the pressure has been that much more intense. The carp have seen it all by this time of year, so you have to be at your best. As I mentioned, though, the huge advantage is that many anglers tail off towards autumn, having got their ‘fair weather fix’ through the warmer months.
When the actual season of autumn begins officially I do not know, but I tend to start thinking about my tactics around the beginning of September. It’s a fairly short window in terms of fishing as I feel that once we get to the end of October, around the time that the clocks go back, the fishing definitely starts to tail off. The clocks thing isn’t the reason, of course, as the carp do not have watches, but it coincides with the nights getting longer and the days shorter, following the autumnal equinox. So, early September until late October is the time I try and put in maximum effort. After that it all becomes a bit of a struggle, albeit still potentially hugely rewarding.
Autumn has been very kind to me in the past, but a lot of this is down to my own approach and effort. Each year usually throws up one of those real red-letter sessions, where my tactics have all come together and result in either a big hit or a really notable capture.
As with all times of year, location is the first port of call when it comes to planning your autumn campaign. All lakes have their popular spots which will have produced bites earlier in the year and, as a result, they see the highest amount of angling pressure. I steer clear of these areas in the autumn as the carp almost certainly learn to treat these areas with great caution.