KEV HE­WITT

FROM FISH LO­CA­TION, TO TAK­ING STOCK OF PAST CAP­TURES, TO BAIT... IT ALL ADDS UP TO SUC­CESS

Angling Times (UK) - - CONTENTS -

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

pos­si­ble.

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.

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