Autumn's Hidden Gem: Unleash Epic Surface Lure Fishing in the UK!

Autumn's Hidden Gem: Unleash Epic Surface Lure Fishing in the UK!

Embrace Autumn in the UK

Ah, autumn in the UK – a time when the leaves turn golden, the air gets crisp, and anglers like me eagerly await some of the best fishing of the year. Why? Because it's the season when surface lure fishing truly comes alive. In this guide, I'll walk you through the ins and outs of surface lure fishing during autumn in the UK, sharing tips, tricks, and personal experiences that will help you make the most of this exciting time on the water!

The Changing Conditions

Autumn, or fall as our friends across the pond call it, brings a delightful change to our fishing landscape. The temperatures start to drop, and both the air and water become cooler. This transition triggers a flurry of activity beneath the water's surface.

Fish Activity Increases

One of the most exciting things about autumn fishing is the increased activity of fish. As the water cools down, fish become more active and tend to move closer to the surface. This makes them more accessible to surface lures, which mimic prey that often skims the water's top layer.

Changing Vegetation

The changing vegetation is another factor to consider. In autumn, aquatic plants begin to decay, creating a different underwater terrain. Fish will often congregate near these areas to feed on disoriented baitfish and insects.

The Right Gear and Tackle

To get the most out of autumn surface lure fishing, it's essential to have the right gear and tackle, a medium-light to medium spinning rod and a quality reel with a smooth drag system are ideal for surface lure fishing. These provide the flexibility needed for different lure presentations, and they DON’T have to be expensive! The equipment doesn’t catch you more fish! Does it help? Maybe, but only because it gives you a more comfortable experience. I can’t express enough, You DON’T need a £500 rod or a £500 reel to catch bass or any other predator for that matter, they don’t care how much you spent on your kit.

Fluorocarbon Leaders

Using a fluorocarbon leader in the 15-25 lb. test range (Varivas Hard Top Flurocarbon) is excellent for its low visibility in the water and for its abrasion protection, there are a lot of things under the water’s surface that we can’t see that can damage our braid. If you add a fluorocarbon leader, you have a bit more added protection against those hidden razors that can compromise the integrity of your line.

Lure Selection

At the heart of surface lure fishing lies lure selection. In autumn, the topwater lures reign supreme. Poppers (Fishus Ubuntu) and walkers (Fishus Espetit) excel during this season. They create commotion and mimic wounded prey, enticing fish to strike. Using them is sort of an art however, any way you can slide that lure across the top of the water you will have a good chance. Make sure when you cast that you find yourself some current or structure and when I say structure, I don’t mean cars submerged or half of someone’s house. During autumn, weed beds are your best friend! If you can drag a lure across the outside of a weed bed as close as you can, you are in for a very good chance of a big strike, so HOLD ON! 

Other Autumn Predators

Autumn and the start of winter is a smorgasbord for lure anglers! Its not only bass that lose their minds in the autumn, but you’ve also got freshwater predators as well!


Pike, those long green and yellow toothy critters are also highly active in autumn. They lurk near vegetation and structures, waiting to ambush unsuspecting prey. A well-presented surface lure can trigger spectacular pike strikes. Hunting a pike with a surface can be done in the same way you hunt for bass. Present the lure next to some vegetation, overhanging trees and the margins seem to be the sweet spot, get as close as you can to these structures, you’ll be in for a good ride!


Then there are perch! These are probably one of the prettiest fish going and in autumn a switch turns on and they will attack almost anything you put in front of them. To be fair they haven’t been a sole target of mine in the past, however this year will be quite a bit different.

Perch are predominately the same as any other predator fish, they hide, they lie in wait and attack unsuspecting bait fish as they are swimming by. You can find perch near fallen trees and around shrubbery that is submerged in the water. The best place to find perch I have found is in the margins of a river or canal. Smaller and flashy lures will attract these guys, and remember, they travel in packs, so where there is one there is most likely another.

Choosing Your Fishing Spot

Autumn surface lure fishing in freshwater can be incredibly rewarding. Look for lakes and rivers with healthy populations of your target species. Focus on areas with submerged vegetation and structures where fish like to hang out.

For saltwater enthusiasts, estuaries and coastal areas are hotspots during autumn. Fish often move into these areas in search of food. Research local tide charts and take advantage of incoming and outgoing tides for the best action.

Mastering Your Techniques

The success of surface lure fishing in autumn depends on your techniques and strategies. The classic "walk-the-dog" retrieve involves creating a zigzag pattern with your lure on the water's surface. This mimics a wounded or disoriented prey, making it irresistible to fish. This is one retrieve that everyone should master.

Another thing to become proficient in is paying attention to the water's surface. Ripples, currents, and even the presence of diving birds can indicate the presence of feeding fish. Adjust your technique to match the conditions.


Autumn in the UK offers an angling experience like no other. The combination of cooler temperatures, active fish, and the thrill of surface lure fishing creates unforgettable moments on the water. So, gear up, head out to your favourite fishing spot, and embrace the magic of autumn surface lure fishing. Tight lines and happy angling!

Check out our full collection of surface lures here. 

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