In autumn some anglers put their rods away until spring. However, there are still plenty of fish to be caught. Here at the Trust we work hard to keep our towpaths open all year around and welcome anglers to our towpaths in our quieter months, when it can be the best time to target certain species.
The days are getting shorter and the weather’s getting worse, but at least you can still go fishing. Autumn brings such picturesque settings for fishing, a canal or river lined with orange and red trees is the perfect place to enjoy some time to yourself.
Perch, pike and chub are all great fun to catch this time of the year, as well as some autumn roach. This is a great opportunity to dust off the lure fishing kit and catch some perch or pike. Not only do they fight well once you’ve hooked them, but going from spot to spot and working the lures definitely keeps you warmer.
There are lots of different methods to catch these species, but I will run through some tips to hopefully stop you blanking.
Perch are one of my favourite fish to catch, they always fight well for their size, and as most people, I fondly remember a perch as being my first fish. They are usually willing to bite whatever the weather and have a big appetite, often getting caught on lures they can barely fit in their mouth.
They are common throughout the canal network with some monsters lurking in the depths, but big perch aren’t the easiest to catch and the key to catching a specimen is locating them.
Find canal to fish near you with our handy fishery search. They are ideal for lure fishing, the towpath gives you access to the whole canal, making it easy to work a lure at the angle or position you want.
Our canals and rivers offer loads of different spots for perch to hide, moored boats, bridges and inlets can all produce some of the bigger perch. Any sort of structure or snag tends to attract perch so these are always a good place to start. If you have a stretch of canal near you with a lot of bridges you might be in luck.
Dropshotting has become very popular especially on urban canals in cities. It's easy to pick-up and requires minimal tackle so you can travel light. You fish with a lead at the bottom of the rig then the lure at a right angle to the line in mid water. This keeps the lure in the taking zone as you retrieve it, with the leads being designed so that you can easily adjust the depth to keep the lure at the right height. This tactic can help you easily cover a lot of water on the canals and gives you the opportunity to catch bigger fish as well as smaller ones.
Autumn is a time when worms can come into their own, as most fish love to eat a worm. They work well in wetter months as they often get washed into the water by the rain. So the fish are used to eating the worms freely and don't associate them with having a hook in, making them an effective bait.
The washed in mud from the rain also puts colour into the water. Breaking the tail off your worm to let the smell leak into the water can often increase your catch rate.
Just because the best of the weather has gone, doesn’t mean you can’t go fishing. With lots of fish still feeding and many ways to catch them, there is a reason for everyone to get out fishing this autumn and discover how life is better by water. Just remember to wear some warm waterproof boots and take a flask of tea to keep nice and toasty.
Jake joined the Trust in July 2015 as part of the Marketing & Communications team. He first went fishing aged 11 and has been hooked ever since. Jake will be telling you some stories from the bank as well as some helpful hints to hopefully pass on some of what he has learned over the years.See more blogs from this author