We’re now in that changeover period from summer into autumn, which brings with it shorter days, colder nights and lower daytime temperatures.
All these factors have an effect on the fish we’re after, but not to such a degree that they become impossible to catch, as can happen in the depths of winter!
Even the margins will still produce fish, but generally, fishing further out as the water begins to lose its natural colour will be the best bet. With this change come alterations to feeding, hookbaits and terminal tackle – what’s known as scaling down to keep the bites coming.
For the pole angler, this means thinking about hooks, line and floats, as well as pole elastics. You might reason that because you’re fishing for 10lb carp, heavy elastic will be needed, but that’s far from being the case – I’ve landed hundreds of big carp on Blue and White Hydrolastic.
Elastics need scaling back, not only because fish won’t fight quite as hard as they did in the summer, but also because you are going to be using slightly smaller hooks.
One thing I do know is that if your hook size is not matched to the grade of your elastic, you’ll lose a big percentage of whatever you hook.
Go for hollow
Hollow elastics are very stretchy, and let you catch silvers while still giving you a great chance of landing a carp or two. That’s doubly useful now that hooks and lines are being scaled back. A soft hollow means fewer chances of a hook-pull or a breakage during unshipping.
Solids for silvers
I do use solid elastics, but only for small silvers, as they lock up (stop stretching) quite quickly when swinging fish to hand. Typically, I use a No4 or No5 elastic doubled up for fishing in Ireland or in the UK. On a commercial with the chance of carp and F1s this isn’t an option.
Blue or white?
For roach from 2oz-4oz I use Blue Hydrolastic set very soft. If I was expecting bigger fish, then I’d up things to White Hydrolastic, which is perhaps my favourite elastic of all time. Using this I can catch 1lb skimmers but also land a double-figure carp.
Use a puller kit
With light elastic fitted into a standard top kit you’ll never land big carp. Trying to net it with lots of pole sections pointed skywards runs a real risk of pole breakage. With a side puller kit, just ship the pole back to the top kit and pull elastic out of the side slot until you’re in control.