Autumn Carp Fishing

Autumn can be very rewarding in terms of Carp fishing, the nights are drawing in, the temperature is dropping, the leaves are falling and the fish are starting to get their winter colours and they look stunning in photos! A lot of anglers start  to turn to predator fishing or simply retire their fishing tackle till the spring or summer and what a mistake they are making.
In Autumn the Carp really get on the feed to prepare themselves for the winter period where they become much less active. However, the fishing venues tend to start to get quieter as well which of course means less food for the carp being put in to the lakes so its a win-win for the anglers who do grace the bank this time of year. Because of the change in the weather, a lot of changes take place to the environment and as anglers we need to change our approach with them too. 

Typically British weather in Autumn starts to get even more unpredictable, often we get warm spells and cold snaps, wind, rain and sunshine often all in the same day! However a few things to think about when it comes to weather:
Air Pressure - When its below 1000mb or a big low pressure front is moving in that is the perfect time to get the rods out.  Atmospheric air pressure affects the Carp swimbladder and will keep the Carp near or on the bottom. Carp will feed hard during these low pressure periods so get those bottom bait rigs or low lying pop up rigs out and present your bait right where the carp are moving about. However low pressure means it is less comfortable for the angler, strong winds and rain will normally be on the weather front so ensure you have the correct clothing and shelters to remain comfortable. Layers of clothing and a set of waterproofs work best. In strong winds carp will often feed on the back of the wind where natural food as been agitated by the water moving in the wind. 
As the temperature drops you will find Carp will move in to deeper water where the water might be 1 or 2 degrees warmer, on bright sunny days they will move about a lot just sunning themselves and grabbing those last few days of warm water, that would be the perfect time to get those zig rigs out. If we are having the typical English weather it means it is likely to be raining, this will make the water go murky so a high visibility bait can often get you a quick bite, Carp are naturally curious so will investigate bright objects in the water. When it is raining there is obviously an increased flow of water so look for where the water flows in and out of the lake, these spots can often hold carp as they venture to these spots to take full advantage of the increased oxygen content of the water and the abundance of natural food which is likely to get washed up there.
For the perfect combination of weather you would like a overcast day with air pressure around the 1000mb with a brisk south westerly wind (the wind from this direction is a warmer wind and will often get the carp active and moving around).

Environmental changes:
Everywhere you look there will be changes taking place from trees losing their leaves, bankside vegetation dying back, weed in the water receding and this brings a need to "read the water" look for where Carp are likely to be given the weather conditions, then think whats the bottom going to be like, if you are fishing under a tree for example its likely there will be fallen leaves in the water so you want to take that in to consideration when selecting your rig, you want your bait to be visible to passing fish, if its buried in leaves and debris (called Chod in the Carp world) your rig and bait is not fishing effectively. To combat this you could use either a Chod rig, or a low lying pop up rig like the Multi Slip D combi rig or a Spinner rig. if you are fishing next to some receding weed, how deep is the weed, you want to get your bait on top of the weed in an ideal world so a helicopter setup will work really well just remember to adjust the top bead so your lead don't pull your rig in to the weed. Your rig should be made with an unweighted braid like Korda N Trap for example and personally, I would couple that with a critically balanced wafter bait ( A top tip would be to add a pva nugget to the hook or 2 old pop ups on some pva tape to slow down the rate the hook sinks through the water, with pop ups you will see them rise to the surface and you can see you are on your spot) . Another method would be the Solid PVA Bag approach - you can guarantee your hook bait is sitting with your free offerings and the weight of the pva bag will flatten the weed down for you. 

So with all these changes how do you prepare for a session?
Most of it is common sense like checking the weather, try to pick the best day and time to go, for example, if its going to be a bright sunny day then you will normally find evenings tend to be most productive as the Carp have been warming themselves up all day and will want to feed quite confidently as the sun starts to go down, they will also move around a lot more. You will also find the water will be quite clear if its a prolonged period of settled weather, so think about disguising your rigs or using a Fluorocarbon rig to help to conceal your trap!
if its a rainy windy day then the chances are the water will be quite murky so concealing your rig is not quite as important however, your bait is I find a bright wafter or pop up will trip up many Carp. I like to find a over hanging tree or bush to fish under when the weather is poor however if the lake has a inlet and outlet I will try to fish close to one of these. Remember if you are fishing under a tree or bush there is likely to be an abundance of leaves on the bottom so think about using a Ronnie rig or Stiff hinge rig just to keep your bait above the chod.
The most versatile method I find is the trusty solid bag fishing which as you can probably tell im a big fan off. The fact it guarantees your hook bait to be over your free offerings, your rig wont be tangled and the bites are simply savage, providing you are accurate with your cast and can hit the same spot time after time this is sure to bring you some fish. The only drawback with Solid bag fishing is if its raining quite heavily, you can find the rain melts the bag before you can cast it out. Some people will double back (put 1 bag inside another) to help prevent this.

Dont forget to checkout my shop for your ready made Carp rigs, but most off all get the rods out and catch a monster!