Carp Fishing in November

carp fishing in november

Being well into Autumn, Carp fishing in November can be hard, but it can be a great time to get out and catch big carp too.

The fish are in great condition and if you bag one, it may just be at it’s biggest ever weight.

Make no mistake about it though, November is no easy month. You start to see a real change in the weather in November as we transition towards the even colder winter ahead.

The fish are active but they’ll be slowing down, favouring their winter hold up areas and feeding sparingly. For that reason, it pays to think about your angling style and adjust things slightly inline with the conditions you’re faced with.

Here are a few tips to take into your carp fishing in November.

Find the fish holding areas

The carp will definitely be less mobile now that we’re well into Autumn and the temperatures start to plummet.

You’ll probably start to notice that only certain swims on the lake produce fish whereas others feel almost devoid of carp. With that in mind, it pays to spend plenty of time searching and finding the fish on your chosen venue.

finding carp in november
Finding where the fish are holding up should be your number one priority.

Whilst showing carp may be few and far between, if you do see one it can be a big indication of where they are likely to be for the duration of your session. It’s more important than ever that you spend time with your eyes on the water in November.

With the fish being less mobile, you can’t really get away with the set up camp, bait and wait approach that brings success in the summer months. Half an hour with a rod in the right spot is much better than 24 hours in the wrong place!

Use highly digestible baits

When the fish do want some grub, they’ll most likely want high-protein, highly digestible baits at this time of year.

They’ll be feeding sparingly, with a slower metabolism, so it’s important to give them something that’s easy to digest but packed full of of protein and nutrients.

Washed out/soaked boilies are perfect when it comes to baiting for carp in November. This is the time of the year when I start to really soak up my bottom baits, allowing them to take on water and liquids that make them super soft and easy to digest for any carp willing to hoover them up.

From October onwards, I will have already switched to nut/birdseed based winter boilies. I take these one step further by soaking them in water, matching nut liquid and condensed milk. Some anglers even like to add in a splash of baileys, but I prefer to save that for myself!

Get prepared for the cold

Into November we will start to really see the cold weather come through.

With that in mind it’s important to stay comfortable on the bank. If you spend the weekend wet and cold, your mind won’t be on the fishing and you’ll just be thinking about a warm bath at home.

In November it’s well worth taking the overwrap or skull cap for your bivvy to reduce the condensation which can be dreadful in the morning, leaving you and your gear soaked.

Other than that, plenty of fresh clothes and dry socks should see you through! Here’s a quick list of things to consider taking:

Stay motivated with shorter sessions

No matter how hard you try, the blank sessions will become more frequent when carp fishing in November and into the winter.

And if you’re someone who likes to get a bend in the rod, sitting it out for nothing more than a few liners can be massively demoralising.

You’ll be damp, muddy and wondering why you’ve just wasted a weekend. (Can you tell I’ve just blanked on Yeadon Tarn for the weekend?!)

Something that’s helped me stay motivated to keep going through the colder months is switching it up to shorter evening or day sessions.

I find I’m much more productive, and by travelling light with just a couple of Nash Dwarf Rods, I can find the areas where carp are shoaled up. It’s in complete contrast to setting up a cosy bivvy for the weekend, but it can be prolific if you find the fish.

carp fishing in november
By travelling light, you can roam the lakes and not set up until you’ve found the fish.

Armed with just a couple of retractable rods, a net, unhooking mat and backpack, I can roam around freely and cast to any fish I find. If it doesn’t look right for a bite, you can simply pop the stuff back into the car and be home in no time.

At this time of year, I find it much more motivating to be active finding the fish, rather than hoping for them to find you.

Use maggots for attraction

When the fish do come across your baited area, you’re going to want to entice them to feed as much as you can.

Many anglers like to use liquids such as Korda Goo in the winter to entice a bite. There’s no doubt that liquids give you some added attraction, but for me nothing beats maggots at this time of year.

Carp cannot resist maggots. Even if they’re not up for a big feed, it’s hard for them to pass by a bait mix laced with them.

They are a relatively cheap attractor, and from November onwards I always like to add a few pints into my spod and PVA bag mix.

Additionally, if silver fish are not such a nuisance, I’ll tie a bunch of maggot on top of a high-vis pop up which is one of the most successful presentations I use in November.

Pop ups topped with maggots can be deadly in November!

Choose the right venue

Back on the theme of staying motivated, it’s important that you choose the right venue from November onwards.

It’s probably not a good idea to sit on a 100 acre windswept pit with 15 carp in it, hoping for regular bites.

Instead, choose a venue that’s got good winter form and will give you the chance of regular success. You’ll be much more motivated getting a bend in the rod and learning what does and doesn’t work, rather than sitting it out and hoping for the best.

Shallower lakes tend to perform well in the winter. Rare glimpses of sunlight will warm up the water column faster, making the carp more active. On the other hand, deeper lakes can switch off completely, so choose your venue wisely.

I always fish my local park lake in the winter months. With depths averaging 4 foot, it can be prolific on a warmer day!

Be prepared with rigs

If you do happen to find feeding fish in November, the bites can come thick and fast. But one thing’s for sure; the feeding periods don’t last forever.

For that reason, it pays to be super prepared when it comes to having fresh rigs tied up and ready to go. I’ll normally have 4 or 5 baited rigs sat and ready to go at any given time. It’s just a case of hooking these on using a quick change swivel and away you go.

If you’ve got a fish in the net, do everything you can to get that rod back on the spot as soon as possible.

The window for bites is always small in the colder months, so it’s important to maximise it if you know that you’re on the fish.

For me, if I’ve caught a fish, I’ll often let it rest in the net for 5 minutes whilst I get the rod back on the spot. Being quick at getting the rod back on the spot has resulted in numerous quick bites in the winter months.


Like the other colder months, carp fishing in November is never easy. The rewards are there to be had though, and if you do bank one, it will no doubt be reward for the hard work and effort you’ve put in.

Remember, you can’t catch them at home, so get out there, keep yourself motivated and catch some good carp this November!

About the writer

Rob W

I’m Rob, Carp Squad’s main contributor. I’ve been carp fishing on and off for 15 years, but the bug is well and truly back at the moment. Hopefully the articles I write on here help you put more carp on the bank.

Find out more about me.

As an affiliate, we may earn a commission from qualifying purchases. We get commissions for purchases made through links on this website from Amazon and other third parties. Thank you for your support!