Now that au­tumn’s well and truly here are there any big changes in the habits of the carp that I should be aware of, and should I now fish the deeper water?

Angling Times (UK) - - ADAM PENNING -

All lakes (and all carp) be­have quite dif­fer­ently, so while there may be some generic guide­lines that we can ap­ply to per­haps the ma­jor­ity of lakes, there are so many where the fish will do the ex­act op­po­site. For this rea­son I never of­fer any hard and fast ad­vice with­out know­ing the water in ques­tion, and even then it is with the caveat that the fish will al­ways sur­prise you. They are wild crea­tures, and rules and bound­aries do not ap­ply. I can think of quite a few lakes where, at this time of year, the fish are be­gin­ning to mi­grate to deeper water. Con­versely, I can also think of sev­eral venues where the fish will re­main in good num­bers on the shal­lower ar­eas as it cools off, and a few more still where they will stay in these zones for the en­tire win­ter. So, in­stead of try­ing to plan your fish­ing trip based on lo­ca­tion ad­vice, try to take a more proac­tive view. That means find­ing the fish your­self, which brings me nicely on to the

sec­ond part of this ques­tion.

One of the most no­tice­able be­havioural traits I have seen (and this can be ap­plied to the ma­jor­ity of carp lakes I have vis­ited) is the switch to noc­tur­nal hours in terms of show­ing and feed­ing ac­tiv­ity.

It seems that as soon as we pass the au­tumn equinox, night-time ac­tion mas­sively in­creases. It is the only time of year that dawn be­comes the sec­ond-best time to spot and lo­cate fish. If you are not sure where they are, they will of­ten give them­selves away after dark, and reg­u­larly this will be in the more civilised first half of the night.

If you are do­ing the ever-pop­u­lar quick overnighter it can pay not to be in a rush to get set up in the first avail­able swim.

If you are pa­tient and walk around into the evening it is very likely the carp will re­veal them­selves. It’s far bet­ter to get set up on fish in the dark than to be per­fectly or­gan­ised in day­light, but in an empty swim!

There are no rules – the fish will be where they want to be. This was a shal­low feeder in cold weather.

Au­tumn is a time when the carp be­come more noc­tur­nal.

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