ONCE a week we hand over to Carl and Alex Smith – known online as simply Carl & AlexCarl and Alex roach and chub

These super-keen youngsters have a passion for angling and making videos. Read their tips each week in Angler’s Mail magazine’s unbeatable All The Answers section.

We hope you enjoy the blog, written by Alex. Share it with your friends on Facebook and Twitter by clicking the icons above.






IN between the cool early spring days there had been a few rare warm sunny ones and Thursday last week was one of them.

They were there - I could see them...but could I catch them?

They were there – I could see them…but could I catch them?

I took this day to my advantage as I knew that the big carp at my local Tanyard fishery would be on the top sun bathing, cruising around in groups like they normally do in the spring. This is the perfect day to do some stalking with slow sinking corn.

I arrived at Tanyard late morning as I thought that after a cold night it would take the carp a little time to feel the heat and come up to the surface. And when I arrived it was obvious that the carp were loving the sun!

I looked around all the specimen lakes before deciding where to start and there were carp everywhere. Also I noticed all the reeds and lily pads had come up. Which made everywhere look lovely.

Sometimes in the middle of winter you start to think there can’t be that many carp in this lake but when spring arrives it can be an excellent time to spot fish and then you realise that there are plenty of fish to catch!

I started on Specimen Lake 2 and put baits in front of so many carp. Mirrors, common and even koi but they all ignored it. I made a quick move onto the outlet bay of specimen lake 1 where there are pads and reeds covering the surface.

I spotted a big carp sitting still under a big lily pad so I hooked on three grains of corn lowered it in front of the fish. Instantly my line shot away but the big carp didn’t move. I lifted the rod and on the end was a small common of about 6lb which put up a great fight. It was also a awesome looking fish with perfect scales and fins!

Off the mark with this common.

Off the mark with this common.

Already having caught a carp I sat down to have a break and stated to watch carp drifting in and out of a set of pads by the finger on Specimen Lake 1. One fish of which was a really light coloured, scaly mirror carp.

It slowly crept towards the water and dropped a bait in front of it. It swam straight past it. But after another five attempts the light, scaly mirror swam off with my bait in its mouth, I set the hook and it swam round and round in circles trying to get round any lily pad stem it could.

My friend Tom came over and offered to go in after it and untangle it from the pads and so he did and managed to net it as well. Thanks Tom! This fish was bigger than the last, about 11lb but when they look like this size doesn’t matter.

The day was going well and I was very happy with what I had caught. I had to be home by 3 o’clock so I had one more hour to try and stalk one more fish. I couldn’t see many fish moving on specimen lakes 1 or 2 as the sun had gone in but I took a walk down to the far end of specimen lakes 3 where there was no one else fishing.

The wind had been blowing in the warm surface water all day long and when I arrived I could tell that there were lots of carp feeding. Bubbles, swirls and plumes of mud were coming up so I couldn’t resist casting my freelined corn in the middle of where I had seen the feeding activity… my line tightened, I struck and a bright orange koi came I the surface. I was amazed.

But next thing I saw was my size 8 wide gape hook and corn ping out of the fish’s mouth!

I was gutted. That would have been my first koi from the Tanyard specimen lakes.

A nice end to the session.

A nice end to the session.

When I calmed down I cast my bait back out and although the koi had disappeared there were still numbers of dark commons and a mirror feeding. After about 15 minutes I started to lose hope for another fish but as the thought of losing that koi went through my head my line bolted across the surface, I struck and this time a dark plump common was on the end and it went off like rocket.

After its first run it then went down into the near margin and tried to get me snagged within all the root debris but Tom came down again and helped out with the netting. The common slowly slipped over the net cord and I let out a sigh of relief. Come on!

This fish was bigger than the other two but still not massive. This 16 lb common was the end to a great few hours stalking carp.

So the next warm day we get why don’t you give some stalking carp a go. It’s great fun!




Click here to read last week’s Carl and Alex blog – and follow their weekly tips in Angler’s Mail magazine.

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