“My favourite week of the Year for catching, been horrible not being able to fish it for the last three years. But made up for it now with a 29lb 15oz and a 35lb 6oz on Surf’nTurf (Note: New bait he’s testing) this morning. Shaun”
First off congrats to Shaun for two cracking carp, wish I’d been there with a camera. Looks like he’s onto another winning bait.
All this got me thinking, this really is the best time to catch our favourite species. Haven’t we all done well at some time at this time of the year? Mr Carp, as masters of their universe, knows only too well that Winter is just around the corner and before no time pickings will be hard.
I often find it odd that there are so many anglers crowding the banks and venues in the summer, yet come autumn, when perhaps the weather and conditions makes it more challenging, rods are hung up for the year and it’s slippers in front of the TV time for the next 6 months.
September and October has indeed been the best time for me since I was a boy. This has been extended somewhat into November since I’ve been in France, but I have always had my PB’s at the backend of the year.
It started off in the 80’s back in Blighty with a nice brace of commons of 18lb & 15lb, just before I was due back in Uni, second week of October.
The latest example is my current PB of 47lb 12oz from my own fishery in November 2002.
1) The fish are feeding hard and are less wary.
2) The bigger the fish the more food they need, so it’s often PB time.
3) The banks are less crowded so you can get on a fancied swim.
4) In France many lakes have space so you can get a late trip in, you might even get a good deal in November
A point I made above is worth remembering, November can be a great month in France. I was out last year with Shaun H at couple of lakes doing some filming, and he landed several of crackers finishing the week with several thirties and 2 forties to 46lb plus. The weather, while cold and often frosty at night was mild during the day. In fact during this week I witnessed Pete Castle land a staggering haul of big fish, doing just days and bagging over a dozen 40+’s.
In fact I’ve often been able to fish in shorts and T-shirt in November. This is worth bearing in mind if you are planning a back end trip to France. September can often be an extension of the summer with hot sunny days and slow fishing. Come the slightly cooler months of October and November and the fish come on to feed. You’ll often be able to pick your venue, as many will have been and struggled in the summer. Some venues even give good deals at this time of the year too… Vaux & Laroussi for example offer discounts some offers start from as early as mid-October.
So I’d say to anyone looking for a bag up time of the year get your rods out now, get out on the banks and land your PB.