Now that early winter is almost upon us, is this the time to really pile the bait in ready for the big feed-up that we have all read about?
I think autumn fishing has got harder and harder, and this is down to several elements. First, a carp left to its own devices, with no angling pressure, is genetically programmed to feed hard and bulk up ready for winter. So if you are lucky enough to fish a lake that sees very limited angling activity, it could well pay to up the feed and maybe introduce good quantities of hemp, which really is the ultimate autumn feed.
AHowever, back in the real world where angling pressure is the norm it might not pay to do this. Due to the abundance of bait put into our waters, many fish carry an excess of fat all year round. What’s more, I think that they are often back at their required winter weight well ahead of the equinox and don’t actually need to have a massive feed-up to get them through the colder months.
On a number of lakes the fish have been exposed to intense angling activity for many, many months now and a good percentage of them will have already been caught as many times as they are going to be and will know very well what the game is.
For both these reasons, piling in the bait in hope of the famed ‘autumn harvest’ can be foolhardy unless you are quite intimately in touch with your venue.
Personally, rather then putting in a large hit, I think it is generally better to spread that bait, especially if you can put it regularly into a little zone that is being overlooked by other anglers on your lake.
And before you tell me that just isn’t possible because your lake is too busy, I don’t buy that! There is always a little bush or
corner of a reed bed somewhere that is crying out for attention.
If you can bait spots silently, after dark, then all the better. I am a big fan of using chesties and a baiting spoon on a pole for discreet, under-the-radar baiting missions, even when the lake is busy.
Don’t forget, unless your water is heavily populated with bream, tench and silvers as we discussed earlier, then it needn’t be an expensive baiting campaign. Hemp, pellets and things like that are perfectly good for priming a zone – so make the effort and make it happen!
A lovely autumn bait concoction for wary carp.