The carp lakes in Dijon,... from as early as the end of August, changes in the weather can be noticed, depending on each season of course. But some years the hot sunny weather of Summer can extend well into October, which can delay any noticeable changes in conditions beyond the months we would normally associate with the Autumn in the uk for example,...... or should I say, as we used to in the past.....
Of recent years, with what seems to be ever increasing milder weather in general, definite changes in the conditions such as water temperatures, cooler nights, etc, tend to be more around the end of October, and through into November.
September it seems, tends to be attached to the Summer now, but I would not mind betting, we have not seen the last of the cold ones.
From September until November you could experience all sorts of weather, from hot sunny days and stormy nights, to freezing north winds and evan sub zero temp's!
But in general, you could say the first frosts arrive around, end of October to early November.
The water levels in the pit's are normally at their lowest at this time, as much as one meter down, after the hot Summer, and the water temperatures start to slowly reduce with the cooler nights, the wind and the rain. Any weed beds present in the lakes will be fairly evident in September, but will gradually reduce as they die off, and break up slowly throughout the Autumn and into the Winter.
The natural food stocks would have been considerably reduced by this time, and virtually finished off by October! competition from the Roach, Rudd and Bream does not help, as the carp start to concentrate on looking for more food. The carp will be hungry, searching for food, with the intention of eating as much as they can before the winter sets in, by November time they should have packed on a fair amount of weight.
Autumn is popular amongst the anglers, as all are hoping to time it right, for when the fish really get their feeding heads on, and are around their best weights. There is definitely a "big" feed during this part of the year, the hard bit is knowing exactly when!
Anglers baits have more of an appeal to the carp at this time of year, as they will be finding it harder now to find alternative nourishment. As per the rest of the season, personally I could only recommend boilies for effective fishing.
Any bits and pieces introduced are bound to attract the unwanted fish into the area, which could result in an excess of angler activity in the swim, maybe spooking any interested carp. They have been fished for now since April, and could be a little more wary of anglers movements because of this, I would not say they are harder to catch,.....just easier to spook.
Bait choice is not as big of an issue if you are fishing the lakes in Autumn, by that I mean there is no water temp/digestion issues to really consider, compared to the cold water months. The fish will happily eat all of your bait, if you want them to!
How much bait then?..... Well obviously it's down to you, how much your happy using, and how much you can afford! as it's not cheap I know.
Again the kilo per rod, per day basis, would be my personal absolute minimum, as I would not be confident fishing here with less. Realistically, I would be more happy with around 40k+, allowing for re-baiting after catching fish, and back up if it really kicks off. Stick to the larger sizes of baits, 20mm and bigger, again this will increase the chances of your free offerings still being there when the carp show up.
The bream at the lake (who's days are numbered, I might add), although not very big, were even being caught on 2 x 24mm hook baits! as we discovered last season. Sounds terrible doesn't it, but in reality its not that bad......Your hook bait may be taken by smaller fish like Bream and Rudd, regardless of the size you use to try and avoid this happening. This is simply because it is an "anchored" bait, held in place, by your lead, obviously . Fish pecking away at the bait, can eventually hook themselves, regardless of the fact, if they can get the bait in their mouth or not!
Any free offerings, if they are of large enough diameter, will not be taken by these smaller fish, just pushed around the swim (for a few kilometers sometimes, I would imagine!) as they attempt to eat them.
TIP: Boilies cut in half do not tend to roll as easy as complete boilies, obviously... But! they retain their diameter and remain difficult for the smaller fish to eat. This combined with regular top up's could completely change the result for you.