WELCOME to our Friday blog. Every Friday we hand over to Carl and Alex Smith – known online as simply Carl & Alex.
These super keen youngsters have a passion for making a variety of fishing videos, and provide a youth dimension to our new blogging mix.
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BACK TO MY ROOTS – BUT NOT CRACKING THE WHIP!
THIS week I travelled back to one of the lakes I first fished. It is owned by Crowborough and District Anglers Association and it is where I attended a junior day years ago!
But today it was cold, windy and wet; nonetheless I was determined to catch a fish or two.When I first fished the lake at the age of about 11, a coach set me up with a 3m whip. This was ideal for getting into angling because it is light, mostly tangle free and easy to use.
I used that whip all the time until I had a session where I hooked a big tench. It powered around in front of me and I was fine, but when it decided to head out, down the marginal shelf and into the middle of the lake, I was hopelessly out-gunned! It bent my hook straight and as my line pinged back it tangled up.
To add insult to injury I then stepped back into my box of maggots, flinging them everywhere. It was then that I decided to buy a proper pole so I could use different strengths of elastic depending on the size of the fish and how snaggy the swim was.
Looking back, I would definitely advise people to do what I did when buying a pole. Go for something of around 8m rather than 16m and take the money that you saved from going shorter, on a range of top kits. (I also have a 13m pole but have only once used it at more than 8m.)
I bought 5 top kits and still have 4; I won’t go into details about what happened to the 5th! Having a range of top kits no doubt helps you when it comes to a fishing session because you can set up more than one line and also have different elastics for different styles of fishing.On this particular day I set up with a 6 elastic because I knew I was in with a chance of a big perch. My friend’s dad had a 2lb 2oz one recently on a lure!
My rig was your average pole rig with a 2lb hooklength to a size 18 hook. I always buy hooks to nylon when I want light line and small hooks as even with my small fingers it is rather fiddly tying them, especially on a cold winter’s day!
I used my Kinder pot to bait up super accurately with small quantities of relatively dry Mojo groundbait (to create a slight cloud in the water) as well as pinches of pinkies to entertain the small roach. I would then use pinkies on the hook for roach, and red maggot or worm for the perch.The day started well and first put in the float barely settled before a small roach tugged the red tip under. It was a good sign but more fish failed to materialise in the next hour. I topped up with a little more groundbait and along came a skimmer bream, and a handful more roach.
The sun was just starting to set so I slipped on a juicy worm and lowered it in, just to the side of my baited spot. Often you will find a perch or two, hanging back away from the feed.
Once the bait had sunk to the bottom I lifted and dropped the worm every minute or so, just to give the bait a little more movement and to tempt a perch attack. The method worked and my elastic was soon pulled from the pole as the perch tugged hard, trying to find a snag and sanctuary.
Surprisingly, once in the net, it was smaller than I expected. My dad kindly took this photo for me and it swam back into the keepnet.
I searched the swim and twitched the worm all around the baited area. I soon had two more small perch but it was time to pack up.
Here is a photo of my final catch. Hope you enjoyed the blog; come back next Friday to read our next one.
THE NEXT CARL AND ALEX BLOG WILL APPEAR FRIDAY 8th FEBRUARY.
Be sure to read Carl & Alex’s weekly tip in Angler’s Mail magazine, and look out for a special My Say piece by Alex in the mag soon giving his thoughts on tackle shows.
Check back on this website for a new blog every day!