Autumn and Early Winter is it worth it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
This time of year is my favourite time for going to France. The carp are at their best with their rich colours starting to show and of course the trees are starting to turn show their true beauty. The mist can often be seen coming off the lake early mornings at a prime time for catching those massive carp.
It is not easy fishing this time of year as you can imagine the lakes are hammered week after week so the fish can be a bit spooky. It is essential you get your timings right. There is normally a short period when the weather conditions are just right and at this time the carp will feed most vigorously. You are looking for a mixture of low pressure and mild conditions.
It is really important the month before your trip to look at what the weather is doing so you can plan your tactics. Pay particular attention to what is happening in mid France. Cold nights and warm days do not bode well because fish find this uncomfortable and feeding slackens off. Temperatures can fall quite rapidly and with the nights being long it is even more important to be ready for all the sudden weather changes that could be thrown at you. It is therefore important to take appropriate clothing as you cannot guarantee what weather you are going to have during your week`s session. Planning is therefore a key feature to having a success. Regards bait it may be the case that you need a lot of feed as the carp may to start a feast in preparation for the winter. I always take plenty of boilies but I particularly like to take 10 millers as well. You will also need stacks of sweet corn and quality Particles like you can purchase from Carp Particles uk and a bucket of Maize as well. It is also a good idea to have pellets and hemp for back up. Check that the lake has a freezer on site so you can keep the boilies frozen otherwise you will need to air dry them at home a couple of weeks before you go. Don’t wait until you get there as the weather will be against you on the bank and you will end up with mouldy bait.
Thinking about tactics firstly check the rules that apply to your venue, especially those relating to hooks. The lake may specify barbed or barbless and if terminal tackle like leaders or lead core are banned. Also check what mainline you can use, either braid or mono.
On a long journey down to mid France I normally drive through the night and I like to be all set up ready to go so there is no work to be done when I am newly arrived and exhausted. I would be pretty clued up as to where I am going to fish and will hopefully get the swim I want . Learning from past mistakes I normally go with a group of Anglers who I know and book the lake exclusively.
It is advisable not to be in too much of a rush to get those rods out as this can be a mistake. Keep an eye on the water, as the lake has probably had no lines out in the few preceding hours before the changeover, and you are likely to spot carp feeding on the previous angler’s baits. This will definitely assist you in deciding just the right place to drop your line.
Normally during the first 24 hours I would not put too much feed in just in case the previous anglers have discarded any leftover bait on their last day! I would always have a rod on Carp Baits maize or plastic Maize, as I have lost count how many fish over forty I have caught on this method at this time of year . The mutant corn is fantastic on a kd rig or blowback rig tied to PB products JEl Wyre link . The second rod would hold a couple of 10 ml baits on a blow back rig. I have found that these smaller baits certainly attract the bigger carp that may have become bored with the amount of 18 or 14mm boilies thrown at them during the summer. The third rod would have 14mm boilies on just to enable me to establish the feeding pattern. As the session progresses I would change baits accordingly and change quickly to other rods if one started to produce. It is crucial to remain adaptable during the week in order to have success.
One last point is that it may be beneficial to take your rods out for a couple of hours a day to take the pressure of the swim. This is also a great opportunity for a bit of a social with your mates.
All the advice given here has served me very well over the last couple of years and has significantly increased my catch rate and the size of my catches.
Autumn and early winter are my favourite times of year for fishing in France and in truth I can`t wait to get back over there.