23rd March 2024

After a tough start to the autumnal period, Charlie Ferris finally got his reward for his hard work and determination.

The big Autumn harvest is very much up for debate of late, with some saying it’s a thing of the past. It has to be one of the most challenging times of the year, with natural food sources becoming more available to the carp and the pressure from the summer crowds taking their toll.

"A lot of the time I had got myself on the fish or very close and still, nothing happened."

Charlie told Sticky:

“Autumn has always been a very tough and frustrating time of year for me. One of the reasons for this is because I find the lakes I tend to fish always have a lot of natural food sources in them, so the fish get very turned onto these and anything else, they completely ignore! When the lakes have a natural bait ban, it’s very tough.  

 “Last year, my autumn was just that – a lot of effort for very little reward. Most of the time, I got myself on the fish or very close and still nothing happened. Coming up to the end of autumn, with an 18-night blank on your mind can be very mentally challenging. One trip could make you forget about those 18 nights and bring a massive buzz going into the winter months and thankfully, just like that, it all happened on the last trip. 

“I had moved my days around at work to make sure I could get down for three nights, in time for the October full moon. I knew a lot of people would be timed out, so it was perfect timing to get three nights in and give it one last push before going back to work, grafting away all winter.  

“Arriving at the lake an hour before first light as usual, I made my way around the pond. I found the fish quite quickly where I thought they would be, as they were smashing the naturals in the silt. I watched them fizz all morning whilst waiting for one of the members to pack up so I could get in behind him. I looked next door on a 90-degree angle so I could line up exactly where the fish were fizzing from 2 points to get it bang on. Once the member had gone, the marker rod went out to the area that I had seen them fizzing in. I quickly walked next door to line up with the tree marker I got earlier in the day, and it was bang on.  

“I had a different approach this week, which was simply boilies! Most of my autumn had been setting traps on dinner-plate sized spots and I felt like I needed a change – this week seemed perfect for it! The fish had their heads in the silt, moving all along the deep section of the lake, around 22ft. A big spread of 12mm Krill Active boilies was the go-to with no finding spots, just fishing in the silt where the fish were. I moved the bead up about six inches and if I got a drop with the braid, I was happy. Out in the boat I went and sprayed a good kilo – about half a tennis court size – around the float and three rods were deployed in that area, with Krill pop-ups attached to Spinner rigs, on helis. 

“Going into the evening, the sky was so bright, and everything felt perfect, but after the last few sessions, I wasn’t feeling confident! With only two other people, instead of the usual 8-10 anglers, in the area I was fishing in, it was just what I wanted! After a lovely social with two really good friends of mine, I then got my head down. A couple of hours before first light, my right-hand rod was away; an absolute melter on the braid. After a good 15 minutes battle under the perfectly lit moon, whatever it was, I was buzzing. A short while later, a crazy looking, scaly mirror was in the net! I was completely over the moon; it all came good. While I was waiting for the light to get bright enough, the left hander was away. This one was a very strange battle – about 60 yards out, it came straight up to the surface from 22ft and was wallowing in all the way – it looked a good fish. Over the net cord it went, it was another lovely mirror. The lads came round and took all the pictures for both – what a special morning, shared with great friends – just what it’s all about in my eyes! It just goes to show – don’t give up, always keep looking, watching and putting 100% in, and it will come good in the end.”