IAIN MACMIL­LAN

STAY MOBILE AND MAKE SMALL CHANGES TO YOUR BAIT AP­PROACH TO KEEP THE BITES COM­ING

Angling Times (UK) - - CONTENTS -

KEEP ON BAIT­ING!

Don’t stop pre­bait­ing, or cut back too dras­ti­cally on the amount you are pre­bait­ing with, just be­cause the nights are start­ing to draw in. This is a mis­take many an­glers make at this time of year.

Carp are at their hun­gri­est in the au­tumn, and boilies (as well as larger par­ti­cles such as tiger nuts) re­ally come into their own as a re­sult. Keep in­tro­duc­ing bait to your spots in rea­son­able quan­ti­ties un­til tem­per­a­tures re­ally start to plum­met and we’ve had a pe­riod of se­vere, sus­tained frosts.

BOOST YOUR BOILIES

There are many clever ways to give your boilies a lit­tle ex­tra bit of pulling power. One of my favourites is to soak them in hemp oil – it’s one of the best at­trac­tors there are. It’s rel­a­tively in­ex­pen­sive too – I buy mine from the su­per­mar­ket. To get the hemp oil to pen­e­trate right into the bait, add it to the boilies as soon as they are re­moved from the freezer, and they will soak the oil up as they de­frost.

This is a great lit­tle edge for late au­tumn, but once it gets re­ally cold, I’d look at sub­sti­tut­ing the hemp oil for a more sol­u­ble, digestible liq­uid.

MIX AND MATCH

If you’re fish­ing with three rods, on at least two of them match your hook­baits to el­e­ments of your loose­feed, whether it’s boilies, tiger nuts or corn/maize. If I’m fish­ing over a mix of par­ti­cles I also like to have the two end rigs placed in quite close prox­im­ity to one an­other. Con­versely, if I’m fish­ing over a spread of boilies, I’ll have them fur­ther apart on the lakebed.

On your third rod you can ex­per­i­ment with sin­gle hook­baits, or al­ter­na­tive of­fer­ings paired with a small PVA bag of free sam­ples.

A chunk of hair-rigged Peperami, with a small PVA bag of diced ’Rami and small pel­lets, is a great com­bi­na­tion at this time in the fish­ing cal­en­dar.

STOP, LOOK AND LIS­TEN

Carp are highly ac­tive in au­tumn, and at their most vis­i­ble too – by this I mean they give away their pres­ence far more fre­quently than in the hot, set­tled weather of high sum­mer.

Lo­ca­tion is ev­ery­thing in carp fish­ing, so don’t get dis­tracted and sit back and lis­ten to a radio or play around on your phone or iPad. Put the kettle on in­stead, grab a cup of tea and spend the time sat by the water lis­ten­ing and look­ing out for signs of fish ac­tiv­ity. Your catches will soar as a re­sult.

DULL IT DOWN

I like to vary the colour of the boilies I’m us­ing to match the sea­son. In win­ter, when the fish are tor­pid, or in spring, when they are just wak­ing up, hi-viz, highly-flavoured ‘in your face’ pop-ups tend to work well be­cause they at­tract cruis­ing fish. In late sum­mer and au­tumn I swap to a pop-up that matches the bot­tom baits I’m feed­ing, as I think that the fish have been ham­mered on hi-viz baits for six months or more.

Not only are they are far less bla­tant, they also match more closely what the fish are nat­u­rally eat­ing (water snails and the like).

FISH OFF A BAR­ROW

We are all guilty of tak­ing too much kit with us most of the time. An­other com­mon pit­fall, par­tic­u­larly at this time of year, is choos­ing a swim for the week­end and stay­ing out once the house is up and ev­ery­thing neatly

“TRY FISH­ING ‘OFF A BAR­ROW’, AT LEAST UN­TIL YOU HAVE A BET­TER IDEA OF WHERE THE FISH ARE”

ar­ranged inside. How­ever, as men­tioned pre­vi­ously, carp are highly mobile at this time of year, and to get the most out of your ses­sions you should be too.

So, try ‘fish­ing off a bar­row’, at least for the first few hours of your ses­sion, un­til you have a bet­ter idea of where the fish are and where you want to set up. Un­load your kit on to your bar­row, with the rods (al­ready rigged up) on top. Lakes are far less busy at this time of year, so you can wan­der round the venue, look­ing for signs of fish. Once you spot some carpy ac­tiv­ity, you can have a rig wing­ing its way to the spot in next to no time.

IN­JECT AT­TRAC­TION

Solid PVA bags are great for cast­ing at show­ing fish, and vir­tu­ally guar­an­tee good pre­sen­ta­tion, what­ever the make-up of the lakebed may be. So, if you see fish show­ing over an area you know to be weedy (per­haps they are har­vest­ing an au­tumn larder of in­ver­te­brates), whack a solid bag to the spot.

Keep the pel­lets in the bag quite small, and to give the con­tents a lit­tle ex­tra zing, use a sy­ringe to in­ject a small amount of wa­ter­sol­u­ble flavour­ing.

The choices are end­less, but steer clear of non water-sol­u­ble oils, which are a bad idea as the water be­gins to cool.

DITCH THE MARKER FLOAT

Marker rods are an im­por­tant bit of kit for the carp an­gler, but they of­ten get over-used and the com­mo­tion they cause can send the fish scur­ry­ing to all four corners of the lake. With the weed dy­ing back at this time of year, they’re not as vi­tal as in spring or sum­mer.

So, if you still want to have a ‘feel about’ in a cer­tain area of the lake, re­move the float and cast about with a slightly smaller lead on the end of the braided main­line on the marker set-up. It causes far less of a dis­tur­bance, and a cou­ple of casts are all you need to dis­cover if an area is clear enough to fish over.

FISH­MEALS ARE FINE

For years the un­writ­ten rule was that you couldn’t use fish­meal baits in win­ter as they were too fill­ing. You needed to use fruit, cream or spicy-flavoured baits in­stead.

This is rub­bish – the thing is, you just use fewer of them in­stead. There are so many great baits on the market now that it comes down to what you per­son­ally like and are con­fi­dent about us­ing. For me, I use ei­ther Dy­na­mite Baits’ Crave or Mon­ster Tiger Nut, the reaon be­ing that this gives me two com­pletely dif­fer­ent of­fer­ings – a strong, fish-flavoured bait and a sweet, nutty one.

DROP A BOILIE SIZE...

You’re just as likely to catch the big­gest fish in the lake us­ing a size 10 hook paired with a 10mm boilie as you are us­ing a size 6 hook and a 16mm boilie. So, in keep­ing with the carp’s ten­dency to har­vest nat­u­rals at this time of year, try re­duc­ing the size of the boilie you’re us­ing.

For short range fish­ing or mar­gin fish­ing 10mm boilies can’t be beaten if your spot is within cat­a­pult range.

They also more closely re­sem­ble some of the carp’s favourite nat­u­ral food items – namely small water snails and

pea mussels.

Stay mobile and you’ll catch more fish in au­tumn.

When it all comes to­gether the re­sults can be stag­ger­ing!

Drop the float and use a bare lead.

I switch from bright to dull boilies.

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