AUTUMN fishing can be great – as temperatures drop and daylight hours dwindle, many summer species will be feeding hard in preparation for winter whilst the species like chub and pike are beginning to pile on the pounds too.
Check out these autumn fishing tips from ace angler Ben Hervey-Murray for catching a PB over the next couple of months.
Watch the weather
At this changeable time of year, it can feel like summer one day and the depth of winter the next. The more you can predict these trends and apply them to your fishing, the better you’ll do, especially when it comes to autumn carping.
For example, if there’s a warm spell forecast or a switch in wind direction to a warmer, more southerly breeze, you can bet your bivvy that the carp will be making the most of fast-heating shallows when the sun is prominent after a cold snap, and they’ll be bang on a new, warm wind too.
Take a bet on that bump in the weekly forecast and use a fair bit of bait in the teeth of a warm wind or a subtle zig rig in warmer areas of the venue.
Zig rigs are my go-to option at this time of year for cagey carp in warm shallows
On the rivers, species like roach, chub and barbel come into their own when the water takes on colour after a damp spell.
If you’re familiar with a stretch and know where the channels, slacks, eddys, snags and features are, you’ll be in prime position when the levels begin to drop and the fish go on the feed big time.
You can’t beat a cage feeder full of liquidised bread with flake or paste on the hook or hair for roach and chub, unless the waters really mucky, in which case a more pungent fishmeal groundbait and low-oil pellet approach will catch.
Something meaty like Peperami Hot is another great option for all species – just use a small 6-8mm chunk for roach and bigger inch-long sticks for chub and barbel.
Floods can bring all sorts of surprises, especially when levels start to fall
With daylight hours diminishing rapidly, feeding times will often be concentrated to short spells at either end of the day or overnight.
For example, one carp water I fished regularly a few years ago always produced a bit at the same time during October and November, with not a sniff for the other 23 hours of the day.
You could turn up and fish that golden hour, just before dark, and almost certainly catch whilst others had sat there all day without seeing a thing.
The lesson here is to make the most of your time on the bank – fish when the target species will be feeding, simple really.
It will only take a session or two to get an idea of when this might be and you’ll be saving a lot of blank hours in the future with this vital piece of info.
Find bait fish if lively pike action like this is on your radar this autumn.
The bait fish will be starting to school up tightly in particular hotspots as their weedy summer homes disperse and the pike, zander and perch will be on the prowl over the next few weeks.
One of the key autumn fishing tips here is to find the silvers dibbing on the surface at dawn and dusk – the predators will be nearby and a small roach imitation shad to match the hatch will be irresistible.
A bit of colour in the rivers will see zander come out to play too – a small roach head or tail section, single hook, fine wire trace and Avon rod will pick up zeds of all sizes but stay on the move to find the shoals.
Glass fibre ‘tips
What sort of quiver tip do you use on low, clear rivers and lakes for species like roach and bream? If the flow or undertow isn’t an issue, try using the lightest fibreglass quiver tip you can get away with.
In comparison to a carbon tip, and fibreglass version offers less resistance in the same way that a modern carbon rod springs back after a cast whilst on an old fibreglass rod has a certain amount of ‘waft’.
Canny big roach and chub just don’t suss the resistance as quickly – it really does make a surprising difference to your catch rate when the going is tough.