Tweak your tactics for great autumn results!

With the leaves beginning to fall and the nights getting longer, it is now time to be planning your autumn angling. The nights are getting considerably colder and the mornings see most lakes shrouded in mist, as the outside temperatures plummet.

I used to believe at this time of the year the fish have a big feed up but in recent years I have found this not to be the case. Well on the waters I have fished anyway. I have always found this time of the year to be very hit or miss. But don't be fooled - the rewards are there to be had. With time, effort and a little thought this can be a great time to be on the bank.

The fish will soon be in peak condition and will soon be donning their best colours. The fish will also be at there best weights in the next few months. This time of the year the lakes can be breathtaking as the leaves begin to fall, shades of oranges and reds illuminating from the trees in fall. With a bit of planning and a few rig adjustments the fish you have wanted could soon be languishing in the folds of your net.

In the coming months as the leaves begin to fall and the temperature drops there are a few things I change in my angling approach. The bottom of the lakes can be littered with leaves and twigs and a little thought into your presentation when faced with this will go a long way. I tend to fish prefer the use of boilie in the coming months as the natural food larder begins to deplete.

This summer I have been fishing a large pit that is full of weed the abundance of natural food is hard to compete with. This is why through the summer months I tend to opt for a particle approach to try to compete with what the carp are eating naturally. As the weed begins to drop back and die I change my plan to a boilie approach. This is where I change rigs and change the type of spots I have been fishing on.

My main rig of choice throughout out the autumn and early winter is the hinge stiff rig. This rig works perfectly for my style of angling. I tend to be targeting the deeper silty areas of the lake this time of the year. The hinge stiff rig is a great rig that can certainly hook them well and that's what I like. The hook section stays proud of any leaf and detritus on the bottomm always giving you a clean presentation.

Bait-wise with this rig I always opt for either a scatter of boilie or as a single hook bait approach. The hinge stiff rig has always been known as a big fish rig and with my results I would have to agree. The rig seems to pick up the better stamp of fish when used in the correct manner.

The hinge stiff rig can appear complicated for some people but with a little practice it can be a very simple rig to tie. For starters, I tend to prefer the helicopter type set-up with this rig, when fishing my preferred stiff boom. With a lead clip the boom can be sticking up at an acute angle due to the lead plugging into the silt.

If fishing over a spot were the silt is extremely thick or if weed is present them the chod rig may be a better option. For my boom section I like to use the Korda IQ2 in 20lb, this is a fluorocarbon that is virtually invisible in the water. I tend to fish the boom the same length - around six inches. The hook section is tied up with a supper strong size six Choddy hook attached to 25lb Mouthtrap. I tend to keep my hook section no longer than two inches on this style of rig. This is an extremely powerful rig and one that will not break or let me down in the harshest of conditions imaginable. I have used this rig for years and hook pulls are a extreme rarity, to say the least.

When using pop-ups it is extremely important to use a bait with a buoyancy that is reliable. I opt to choose a cork ball style pop-up as these remain the same buoyancy no matter how long you are leaving the rig out. I like to weight the rig so the rig sinks slowly and flutters down at the same rate as the freebies. My favourite cork balls are Mark Dean’s Kodapops, these are rolled perfect and consistent every time.

At this time of the year I tend to fish plain coloured pop-ups to match my freebies. However, I change my choice of colour early winter to a pink or a white pop-up - these stand out that bit better and grabs the fish’s attention more when they are feeding less.

One of the most important things about fishing is being on fish and this is where your watercraft comes into it. Watching the water like a hawk is invaluable and a quick move onto fish, however much time you have, can make all the difference. The feeding spells early winter can be very precise and making sure rods are out at certain times can make all the difference.

For instance, last winter on the lake I was fishing the bite time was between 8:30am till 9:30am and also 3pm till 3:30pm. Every bite all winter came between these times with every fish falling to the hinge stiff rig. I spent many long cold nights with nothing happening when I should have just fished days only. Even morning or afternoon sessions would have made the most of the feeding spells.

Having spare rigs tied and ready to go will always get you those bonus takes when bite times are small. I tend to unhook the fish in the net and redo the rod before I sort the fish out.

Most important of all is to be out there and to be enjoying it. Catching to me is just a part of why I go carp fishing. Get out there and give the stiff hinge rig a go I'm sure you will be impressed with how well it works.