It’s a sure sign of autumn when witnessing those once green leaves, now “brown” falling from the trees after losing their right to be there due to the drop in air temperature, which is ready to drop more, making this a tricky time for anglers and their fishing. It’s long been highlighted that this season brings complications, what with water temperatures and feeding patterns of fish changing.
A combination of factors recognised for causing difficulties is, primarily, leaves.
Stray leaves from the fall cause havoc, encouraging the rise in pH levels in the water, which can put feeding on hold for weeks or, until the fish get accustomed to the rise, or, until levels back out with all rotting debris.
Another definitive cause believed problematic, is colder water temperatures which slow up fish movement, and frequent feeding than the warmer months where fish tend to locate in deeper sections of water where they’ll hold up. Cold mornings accompanied by frost and mist will have the sun take longer to burn through, so warmth is prolonged until daytime temperatures rise and fish become more comfortable moving in search of food.
Note: Waters, lakes and rivers react differently depending on seasons, and therefore fish do too.
Generally carp tend to feed and build up reserves throughout October/November preparing for winter; however, this depends on the temperature and how far the season has progressed at this time of year. Whether it's mild or cold these months dictate the feeding mindset. Moon phases are an inquisitive subject, many believe, many do not, but let's not get into that right now. Feeding habits change to the course of the season and time of year, with autumn being one of those times, causing slow fishing and feeding where bites are few and far between. Taking pike roach and perch out of the equation, where they’re fully comfortable and active in these temperatures... feeding to the full.
Anglers often cut back on baiting approaches also, using less than they do in warmer times, again debatable, some say they don't put out much and fish for a bite at a time, while others feed as normal and that the tactic of when the fish do go hunting for food, there's a good spread to keep the feeding and the bites coming in the tricky period. Again, this is down to specific water activities and anglers choice along with the watercraft they hold on the venue they choose, while regions and different parts of the country are warmer or colder too, whether it's right to do or not. Anglers have their own thought processes, approach and strategy along with their own unique way of doing things... making fishing so intriguing. Personalising the way you fish and getting it right, there's no better feeling.
During the tricky months, keep safe and warm, and most importantly, stay positive!
Happy Autumnal Angling,