FROM FISH LOCATION, TO TAKING STOCK OF PAST CAPTURES, TO BAIT... IT ALL ADDS UP TO SUCCESS
TARGET KNOWN ‘HOTSPOTS’
As with any time of year, location is pretty much the single most important part in the carping puzzle. Get on the fish and you have half a chance from the off. In autumn I always try to concentrate my efforts on spots that have produced bites for me throughout the year. And, to further that point, if you can get a spot to produce regular bites, keep the bait going in on it as regularly as
LAUNCH A SOLID BAG
A solid PVA bag full of little goodies cast to showing fish is often a great ‘opportunist’ tactic in the final few months of the calendar, so always have one tied up and ready to go.
The real beauty of solid PVA bags is that you don’t have to worry too much about presentation, as the rig is contained within the parcel of bait.
It was late autumn last year when I spotted one fish show on Swan Lake at the Bluebell complex. A PVA bag was soon dispatched on to its head, and the following morning I was cradling the biggest fish in the lake.
FEED UNTIL FROSTS
Although water temperatures are on the slide, the carp are still willing to feed heavily until the first few hard frosts of the season. Many of them will be looking for a big pre-winter feed-up, and this may go some way to explaining why I have always done well at this time of year from baiting relatively heavily. The key is to choose your spot carefully. If you have confidence in the spot you will invariably fish better.
DON’T CHANGE RIGS!
The start of autumn is a great time to take a step back and analyse the past eight months of your fishing – giving you the chance to have a look at what’s worked and what hasn’t.
For your autumn campaign I suggest sticking to the rigs that have produced fish for you throughout the summer. Again, it’s all about fishing with confidence and sticking with what you know works.
KEEP NOTES OF BITE ZONES
Although it takes a bit of extra effort, a great habit to get into is to write down in a notebook the details of every ‘showing’ fish you see at this time of year.
It’s fair enough just making a mental note of it, but after a few trips it’s easy to forget the exact location of the shows.
By building up a picture of where they are showing through the autumn, it will give a strong indication of where the carp are likely to be holding up once winter sets in.
USE NATURAL APPEAL
As temperatures really start to plummet, take a closer look at the digestibility of your bait. The colder it gets, the longer it takes for the fish to digest food, so the more digestible the bait, the more of it they are able to eat.
One of the most digestible baits out there is maggots, hence the reason they come into their own as the leaves start to fall. However, every man and his dog seem to be using maggots in winter, so get ahead of the game and try casters.
Although a little more expensive, they are far more effective and worth their weight in gold, in my opinion.
A number of very big fish have fallen to PVA bags of casters for me during the colder months.
SLING OUT A ‘SPECIAL’
When using boilies, making the hookbait the most attractive food item within a baited area is another key autumn objective of mine. A small, bright hookbait that’s oozing with fruity attraction is always a good choice, especially if you’re not ladling in the freebies by the bucketload. One of my favourite
‘hi-attract’ hookbaits is a little 12mm
FEED YOUR ENTHUSIASM!
And finally, we get to what is perhaps my most important tip. Get the RidgeMonkey toasted sandwich maker out and treat yourself to your favourite bankside cuisine! Keeping yourself well fed and watered helps to bolster your spirits and will go a long way to keeping you going when conditions get tough in the colder months. It’s a well-worn saying, but for me it is the simple things in life that matter... and anything with melted cheese will do!
Solid PVA bags put lots of little goodies right next to your hookbait.
Keeping notes of carp shows is a great habit to get into.
A very simple autumn approach brings results!
A solid PVA bag of casters has caught me lots of big fish.
Soak these bright hookbaits in Betalin for a flavour-packed, visible treat.