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?

Angling Times (UK) - - ADAM PENNING -

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.

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