Alex Smith, one half of hugely popular internet brothers Carl & Alex, shares details of their success on a recent trip to popular day ticket fishery, Farlows Lakes.

THROUGHOUT the last month the weather has eventually turned perfect for some surface fishing. 

Aside from a couple of short after work sessions at a few of our local lakes, we have taken the time to spend a few days fishing at Farlows, near Iver, Buckinghamshire, to try and land one of their large scaly carp! We have fished at Farlows a couple of times in the past but never in good surface fishing conditions so we were really looking forward to it.

The main reason behind heading up to Farlows was because we were kindly invited up there to be at the new Eric’s Angling tackle shop opening day. As well as spending time talking to plenty of people throughout out trip we pretty much ended up fishing solid for three days and caught some epic carp!



All the days were hot and sunny and brought pretty much every carp in the lake up to the surface. Carl and I were in heaven when on the first day we found a group of carp in a little reedy channel on Lake 1.

We soon got them taking the mixers and so we got our rods set up and started fishing, I used a controller float while Carl free lined, which seemed to be the better method as he nabbed a couple of bites with a fake dog biscuit in very quick succession.

One was a mirror and the other a common, both incredible fish around the 20 lb mark. Carl was chuffed to bits about landing his first ever Farlows Lake 1 carp… but now it was my turn!


That evening the fish moved out of the shallows and so did we, round to some deeper water in peg 61 where there were still a couple of fish cruising on the surface.

After getting a couple of rigs presented on the bottom with boilies, I catapulted some mixers out by the islands to the right and soon had a couple of fish taking confidently.

I kept the bait going in little and often until more and more fish gathered to join in the feed. Ten minutes later after a mental fight in and around the large weed beds I had a beautiful big common in the net!


The next day we had a couple more from Lake 1, but because some of the swims were being closed for the open day we moved over to Lake 2. Here, we got the fish feeding really well and confidently and over the next two days we landed a total of 15 more carp, mostly scaly mirrors with the odd common mixed in.

We loved every minute of it, especially the moment where the carp takes the bait and the float rips across the surface.

All the fish were caught using cheap Tesco mixers as feed and a trimmed down pop up as the hook-bait. What a simple way to fish, and the most exciting!


After that session we felt the need to make the most of the warm weather and get back to Farlows. The next trip was just a day session but we still managed to get a few fish feeding on Lake 1. We were in peg 7 next to a large weed bed where the fish obviously felt very safe.

We kept a constant drift of mixers going over the fish next to the weedbed in hope to draw the fish away from their safe sanctuary of the weed. Carl and I landed two fish that day, again both 20 lb-plus scaly mirrors that fought like trains.

We were amazed at the average size and quality of fish at Farlows that not many other places can beat. I would definitely recommend a session there if you want to have some great surface action, just pick your day carefully when the wind is light the sun is out! Good luck!

CAUGHT A BIG FISH? Email pictures exclusively to – you could appear in Angler’s Mail magazine, No.1 for news and tips every week.