MARCUS HOWARTH REVEALS HIS TOP TIPS TO HELP YOU TO PUT A GIANT ON THE BANK THIS AUTUMN…
#1 PICK THE RIGHT VE NUE
If you are chasing a new PB you need to pick a venue that has a few fish of a similar size in it. If you want to catch your first thirty, pick a venue with a few fish over that barrier, not just the one. Lakes such as Linear Fisheries, open to all, have a huge stock of big carp.
It’s no use fishing for a fish of 35lb if the venue that you are targeting doesn’t have one. Either fish a place that you have been targeting all season, or have a go on one of the many day-ticket waters available.
#2 LEAD AROUND
I spend as long as I need to, trying to find out what is on the bottom. I like to fish in the cleaner, silty areas in the autumn and that is what I will try to find with a bare lead on some braid. Those slightly deeper, softer areas that are still free of weed are perfect spots to present a bait on.
On the busier and more pressured lakes, casting the rod anywhere won’t be enough to catch one. You have to try to find somewhere that the carp are happy to eat from.
#3 BANK ON BOILIES!
I use them all year, but in the autumn boilies come into their own. Carp love them, especially big carp, and I base all my baiting around them. Carp need to build up the fats and nutrients to see them through the winter.
They can go on a real munch at this time of year, which is why it is often the most fruitful of the seasons. With boilies, they can get a heap of the nutrition they need, just from a few mouthfuls.
I personally prefer a fishmeal, with The Krill being my favourite bait of all time. The fish are not bouncing around the lake as much as they would do in the summer and are not looking for those high-energy, carbohydrate baits. They want their protein.
#4 USE HELICOPTER RIGS
Due to the nature of the spots that I like to fish (described above), I find myself using a helicopter rig most of the time. It is a lead arrangement for fishing on softer bottoms. It also sits proud of any silty or debris, allowing your hooklink to sit nicely over the top of whatever it may be.
A lead clip is great for fishing over the firmer spots, but with all the falling leaves entering the lake, and dying weed, the helicopter is my preferred choice for this time of year.
#5 PUT FAITH IN POP-UP RIGS
This is not always the case for the autumn, but for this one in particular I will be using pop-ups a lot. Since stumbling across a rig called the ‘Ronnie Rig’, I have such confidence in pop-up fishing that I am struggling to use anything else. It sits perfectly, lying low to the bottom, and has a lot of movement. For fishing in the silt it is perfect, and I’ve already caught a number of lovely carp using it.
#6 PIN IT DOWN
The carp are very cautious this time of year. They have most likely been caught a few times already and they will have their guard up. One of the easiest things that they will spook off is lines. I think it is more on feel than sight, and should they detect danger when they are
“CARP HAVE MOST LIKELY BEEN CAUGHT A FEW TIMES AND WILL HAVE THEIR GUARD UP”
feeding, those fish will be off. I always make a point of moulding putty on my hooklinks, with a couple of blobs up the mainline too, just to make sure everything is pinned down.
#7 GLUG ’EM UP
I am a huge fan of glugging my freebies and hookbaits. I want those fishy aminos that carp can detect all around the hookbait.
I glug my pop-ups in L-Zero 30T and a little bit of the Pure Krill liquid too. It gives the bait a light, congealed coating of liquid and I am totally convinced that it gets me more bites.
#8 LONG HOOKLINKS
It seems the ‘in’ thing to be using a short, stiff hooklink. Carp learn by association, and if that is what they see day in, day out, they will learn to deal with it. I prefer using a longer hooklink, mainly to be different, but I also think it helps me catch more fish.
Big carp, especially, can feed a little way off the bottom. A short, stiff hooklink would not be suited to this situation, so this is why I use a longer one. It will work for fish of all sizes and I believe it can be a real edge on pressured lakes.
#9 SEMI-SLACK LINES
For the same reason that I use putty, I slacken my lines off – to get them down and away from the feeding fish. I find that with a slack line, if a fish comes into contact with it, it could feel as if it has brushed itself on some weed and there is no danger.
If it comes into contact with a bowstringtaut line, it will know something is up.
Combining a semi-slack line with a light bobbin will enable you to detect line bites a lot easier and you will know when fish are feeding in the swim.
My final tip is the most important – whatever else you do, enjoy your carp fishing!