With temperatures falling, the evenings drawing in and the fishing becoming a little more challenging, LUKE CHURCH offers up a few ways in which you can carry on fishing effectively this autumn and beyond…
Location is Everything
I know you’ll have been told that the number one element in carp fishing at any time is location, at this late stage of the year it really becomes even more polarized in importance.
The warmer months see the carp moving around far more readily, either in smaller groups or even alone, but as the temperatures take a tumble they inevitably start to shoal up and, often in specific areas of the lake.
Whereas in summer you can see fish away from your swim and still be confident some will pay you a visit, spotting carp at the other end of the lake in autumn and winter means only one thing… you’re in the wrong place.
So, it’s vital that you spend as much time as possible looking for signs of fish before you actually start fishing. In fact, this starts with research before you even get to the venue – are the fish being caught from particular areas, where is the deeper water, has there been a cold wind blowing in a certain direction of late… these are all important questions that can help you before you even pull into the car park.
Once you’re fishing, be sure to maintain an eye on the water and look for any signs, however small. Don’t lock yourself away in the back of your bivvy but instead set up so you can see the water, even when you’re in your bed.
Never take your eyes off the water and look for even the smallest signs of carp activity.
Don’t Get Bogged Down
Following on from the importance of location, the ability for an angler to move quickly and without fuss is essential at this time of year. Don’t get bogged down with mountains of gear and don’t be afraid to up sticks and change swims if the opportunity, and need, arises. I only carry what I need, leaving the spares in the car.
I’ll mention later the importance of carrying a few certain extras in autumn, but I do scale my gear down to just what I need. This is the case all year round, but as I mentioned the importance of being on the fish in Autumn (and winter) it’s even more important to only have with you what you need.
I actually keep spare kit and clothing in the boot of the car, depending on how far away it’s parked from the swim, which allows me to have all of the bits and piece I might need but without being overloaded with them while actually fishing. The moment I feel I’m in the wrong swim I wind in and get on the move.
Get On The Boilies
You’ll have doubtless heard and read many times that the carp go ‘on the munch’ at this time of year, which is of course often the case. The best way, in my mind, to give them a proper feed is with the use of boilies.
Obviously they work all-year-round but the autumn months are when boilies really come into their own, and plenty of them! Get on the boilies and start introducing your winter bait now.
If you can, try and stockpile some boilies for this time of year so you have the option of using plenty of bait without the need to go out and buy loads in one go, which can prove expensive.
I’ll have been using my fishmeal boilies through the spring and summer, but now I start to also introduce some of my winter bait alongside the fishmeal – the carp to start to recognise the winter bait as a food source as well as the fishmeal. That way, when I stop using the fishmeal bait, the carp are already used to finding and eating the winter boilie.
On the subject of boilies, something that I have found to really work is mixing the sizes of baits that I use, so not just sticking to the usual 16mm boilies which so many anglers use exclusively. Mix up the sizes of your boilies for increased success.
I’m lucky that my bait sponsors, DNA Baits, produce boilies as small as 8mm and I mix these with my larger baits. Crumbed and broken boilies are an extension of this with the additional benefit of even higher leakage of their attractors. Trust me, mix the size of your baits and be sure to include some really small ones – most firms produce 10mm baits – and chuck in some crumb. Perhaps my biggest autumn and winter edges – crumbed boilies.