As summer begins to draw to a close and Autumn approaches many carp anglers will lock away their tackle as temperatures start to drop.
This can be a massive mistake as carp fishing throughout the autumn months can be extremely rewarding when the conditions are just right.
In perfect autumn conditions, as winter approaches, the carp will start to feed heavily to pack on weight before the water temperatures drop and the fish feed far less often.
If the summer has been particularly warm the carp would’ve had a good spawn which means they will most definitely mean there is fish at the venue having a good feed at some point during your session. You just need to find them!
Just like every other season your carp fishing should be tailored to the time of year and the current weather conditions to give yourself the best chance of catching some of these fish.
Since I’ve already covered tips for summer, winter and how the weather affects carp fishing, this post is going to take a look at autumn carp fishing tips to give you an idea of how you should be fishing from September to November.
1. Know the Venue
This is a tip that is not only valuable as the autumn approaches and should be considered throughout yearly carp fishing campaigns.
By knowing the venue you can predict the carps’ movements, feeding habits and productive swims far more confidently as summer draws to a close.
The only way to really begin to properly know the venue is to make regular trips to the venue to closely watch the carps’ behaviour and to fish all areas.
Yes, you could begin by conferring with other anglers on the banks but are they really going to give away their most productive swims? I think not.
As every venue holds fish that react differently to certain weather fronts, feel safe in different situations and prefer to feed at different times no correlation can really be drawn between venues and how the carp behave.
This is down to whole host of different reasons so you’ll need to just get yourself on the banks before autumn approaches to build up a solid idea of how the carp behave in varying conditions.
Although it can be very tempting to fish multiple venues in the pursuit for large carp, by fishing one venue you really give yourself a far greater chance of catching more fish.
Keep a note of what times the fish begin to show themselves and where they usually become active.
Throughout the season before autumn you should have fished around near enough the full lake and have many notes on where you have caught fish from. It is also a good idea to create a brief map of the venue bottom to know areas of silt, gravel, mud and weeds.
It can be a good idea to update this map as the season progresses as weeds grow and then die back into autumn and winter which can make for some good spots becoming fishable again.
As the autumn nights draw in the fish will most likely be looking for natural baits over soft areas of silt. Fishing these soft areas of silt should produce some bites but by looking for harder areas of silt you can give yourself more of a chance.
These clear hard areas of silt are usually where the fish have been feeding actively and compacting the silt which produces these areas.
You can then be sure that the fish will feel comfortable coming back and feeding in this area.
2. Watch the Weather
As always, the weather will have a massive impact on the carps’ behaviour and your chances of catching them.
During high pressure front with sunny and blue skies the carp will most likely be high up in the water and not feeding on bottom baits.
As the carp start to feel the temperatures dropping into autumn they know that winter is fast approaching where water temperatures drop and they spend a lot of time conserving energy and not actively feeding very often.
Due to this the carp feed up heavily when the weather is right through autumn to prepare themselves for the winter. By looking out for changes from high pressure to low pressure systems with south-westerly winds, clouds and even some mild rain the carp can begin to feed heavily on the bottom.
This tip also ties in with knowing the venue. Throughout the season you should have built a decent idea of how the fish react through various weather conditions and high and low air pressure.
3. Start at First Light
As the carps’ night time feeding draws to a close first light can be the most prolific time for spotting carp showing themselves on the surface cleaning their gills.
This first light window can give away prime feeding locations with not even one carp showing itself throughout the remainder of the day.
If you can be there to spot these fish at first light it gives you a good indication of where the fish feel confident feeding. A lot of the time when carp crash, jump or roll on the surface they are cleaning there gills after rooting through the silt below for food.
These areas should be the first areas you should try to catch a few fish.
4. Baiting Swims
Autumn can be great for catching fish when they are looking for a massive feed up and you can take advantage of this with baiting up swims.
Baiting up throughout the season will also help you in your autumn carp fishing sessions. By feeding plenty of bait during the summer, leading up to autumn, the fish will recognise your bait as a consistent and high quality food source.
This will provide the fish with plenty of confidence to come and feed on small patches of bait on certain areas during your fishing sessions.
If you are fishing venue with massive stocks of fish then an approach of a lot of bait can be really effective at bringing a lot of fish into your swim and holding them there.
On the other hand, if you are fishing waters with only a few fish then keeping your baiting to a minimum when you are fishing is best practice.
How you bait swims will also depend on where in the venue you are fishing. If you are fishing weedy venues with only small patches of hard silt to fish then spreading bait across a large area is unnecessary.
In these situations you should be bating concisely on the spots of hard silt. In other situations if you are fishing large areas of silt in open water you can spread baits over a larger area and fish your rods across this.
The large spread of bait will grab the attention of passing carp and keep them in the general area.
5. Use the Best Rigs
Just like any other time of year, rig selection is a great way to present your bait in the best way possible to match the venue conditions and the time of year.
Unfortunately it’s not just as easy as giving the single best rigs for the autumn months as this will change depending on the type of venue and swim you are fishing. For example, the rigs you use for open water fishing will vary from rigs you are fishing on clearings in weeds.
More often than not though, most lakes will be subject to some sort of bottom debris whether it be small weeds or autumn leaves that have been blown into the water.
Due to this it is common to fish rigs that suspend your bait slightly off the bottom to avoid any snags and to also make your bait easy to find over small patches of boilies.
Rigs such as the chod rig pva bag rigs and hinged stiff rigs are all common through autumn.
One thing that should be key in every rig you are using is an extremely sharp hook. This should always be the case to give yourself the best chance of hooking the fish in the first place.
I’ve already written a post on the best hooks for carp if you want some more information on this.
6. Fish the Back of the Wind
In the height of summer it is quite common for carp anglers to want to fish the bank that the wind is blowing towards. Carp anglers usually choose this bank as the strong winds blow natural food sources to this bank.
Strong winds also create clouded water at the windward bank so the carp feel comfortable feeding on the natural food that’s blown in their direction.
In the autumn this can change slightly. The winds are now cooler than the water temperature and fishing the opposite side that the wind is blowing to, with your back to the wind, can sometimes be the best approach.
The back of the wind will have decreased undertow with no ripple which means the water can warm up a little in the weak autumn sunshine.
Unfortunately this isn’t always the case but it’s definitely worth a try if all else fails.
7. High Nutrition Boilies
As I’ve mentioned previously, when carp are presented with the right weather conditions through autumn they will feed heavily to prepare for long and cold winters.
They will cruise around in the search for anything edible and boilies provide an extremely high nutrition which the carp see as a great food for packing on weight.
Good boilies with high proteins and fats should be great for bring the carp into your swim to start feeding.
Make sure you are feeding little and often on venues with lower stocks of carp. In highly stocked carp venues you can get away with being a little more heavy-handed.
8. Try Liquids
Another great way to add an extra bit of attraction to your baits is to use some liquid.
These can increase the nutrition value of your boilies and also aid in attraction with different scent that dissolve into the surrounding water.
Before buying a liquid make sure you check the ingredients list and make sure they are not simple glycerine based dies as these don’t add much in the way of attraction.
If you are adding some sort of food based liquid then you can pour this over your feeding bait the night before and allow the boilies and whatever else you are feeding to soak up the liquid.
This means that when your baits enters the water it should seep out over time and not just be instantly washed off when your baits hits the water.
Adding fish or hemp oil to your feeding bait can also aid your fishing through autumn.
The oil will rise up through the water column and drag fish in from areas both your free bait.
9. Stay Comfortable
I’m sure you’ll be well aware that the temperatures drop significantly into the autumn months. Once of the most important tips for autumn fishing is to stay comfortable.
Sitting freezing on the bank is not enjoyable or productive as your sessions will most likely be far shorter than what you had planned.
Wear plenty of clothes and keep yourself well-fed to maximise the length and enjoyment of your sessions.
Carp fishing in the autumn can be extremely rewarding if you know what you’re doing and how to maximise your chances.
These 9 simple autumn carp fishing tips can really make the difference between plenty of fish on the banks or nothing at all.
If you have any questions or have anything to add please feel free to leave a comment below and I will get back to you ASAP!