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. Read their tips each week in Angler’s Mail magazine’s unbeatable All The Answers section.

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The catch highlight of this week’s junior blog by Carl – his 23 lb carp stalked at Tanyard.

IT IS hard to imagine that this time two weeks ago I was preparing to go stalking carp in temperatures of over 20 degrees. It has since become much chillier and with the addition of heavy rain, it has put a stop to my stalking ambitions.

However in this blog I will recount a day when the sun really did shine on Alex and me. I will also touch on a few interesting thoughts which have popped into my head lately!

We had been catfishing during the night and had failed to land one, but now the mist had lifted and carp began to cruise around on the surface. It was time to reel in our large mackerel hookbaits and swap them for size 10 wide gape hooks, ready for a spot of stalking.

Whereas laying traps is often thought of as the most effective method of catching big carp, on smaller waters with rig shy carp, stalking with either surface or slow sinking hookbaits can be a super tactic especially when it is warm.

Now for some thoughts which have circled my head whilst fishing lately. I know that fishing can be likened to many different things but I have noticed a deep connection between angling and our hunter-gatherer past.

For example, the majority of anglers are male, perhaps this is down to men being the ones who would go out to hunt and bring home animals to eat. (Please note, I think that because of the way fishing and the human race has evolved; it is now a pastime which can be enjoyed by absolutely anyone, male or female.)

Another connection is that sense of achievement when, after hours and hours of waiting, you finally get hold of your target, in my case a fish but in caveman times it might have been a deer, bird or some other animal. I know that the caveman would have taken his prize home and enjoyed eating it but for the majority of coarse anglers simply bringing home a photograph of their catch is enough.

Looking for opportunites…stalking the lake.

Anyway, the thing which differentiates stalking from typical two or three rod carping could easily be measured with a heart-rate monitor! Sitting behind your rods with each rig positioned perfectly is very similar to how our ancestors would have laid traps for rabbits or other mammals, but stalking with a freelining set up could be likened to creeping through a forest, spear in hand, eyes wide open and trying to creep up on an animal. All in all, stalking carp is not only effective but mindblowingly exciting, although very tiring.

Back to the fishing. I was creeping along the margins of the lake, trying to flick hookbaits in front of fish before they became aware of my presence. This is easier said than done especially on a water where the carp have seen everything before and can be extremely wary.

After about three hours of flicking freelined corn to fish, I finally spotted a carp which was clearly slurping natural food from the weed. I underarm cast my bait just past the fish and allowed it to sink down in front of it. The fish reacted well, and instead of darting away it dipped its head and gobbled up the sweetcorn.

My spool fizzed and the carp almost jumped out the water as it shook its head and swam off. Luckily I had brought a slightly stiffer rod than normal as Steve the baliff reckoned I would need it especially with the weed now present. Surprisingly the fish gave up very quickly and allowed me to guide it to my net. On the scales it went 23 lb exactly, a new pb and another fish landed whilst freelining.

You can tell this blog is not a sales pitch… all you need is line and a hook for this rig!

Alex joined me and together we must have put a bait in front of over 100 fish, but as it always seems to happen, one out of the 100 carp decide to eat your bait. Alex landed a 22lb common in the evening and was very pleased to have caught his first Tanyard 20lb common.

We returned to the catfishing that night but sadly lost another one. I will be back after cats soon but will certainly be bringing a stalking rod too!


Come back here next week for another blog but in the meantime, check out this surface fishing video Alex and I made after school last week!




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