Carl and Alex roach and chubEVERY Friday we hand over to Carl and Alex Smith – known online as simply Carl & Alex

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.

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Winter mystery


WE have had some great sessions lately, some of which we are keeping quiet about until our Winter Carp Adventure video comes out, but last weekend I really did fail miserably.

I had planned a short session on a farm pond with my friend Ollie; we knew the pond held a handful of beautiful carp. They are a funny strain because they are really dark on top but pretty much orange underneath. Both Alex and I had caught one on our first session there. IMG_5427

As you can imagine, I was full of confidence when I arrived but soon realised just how clear the water had become. Worried that the carp would be ultra spooky, we went with a static approach; two rods positioned along a popular patrol route on grains of corn or little 10mm boilies.

We sat back and waited, and waited and waited. Two hours passed so we decided to reel in and try attaching a PVA bag to help the carp find the hookbait. Another hour passed and we could see the fish swimming towards the hookbait but changing direction at the last moment.

We finally chose to tie up a couple of zig rigs with 10mm pieces of foam and fish them at mid depth. Funnily enough, this time the carp showed an interest straight away with a couple of fish slurping at the pva foam nugget I had squeezed into the hook! As the pva foam dissolved and floated towards the surface, the carp lost interest and drifted off. We left the zig rigs out for another half an hour but the carp just swam past them as if they were not even there!


I was surprised that the carp had showed so much interest in the PVA foam so decided to try a lump of white bread on the hair. Seconds after casting out a fish swam towards the bait, drifted over to the  hookbait and then spooked, never to return from the snags on the far bank.

As a last resort, we picked up the stalking rod and tried freelining with bread and maggots, but it seemed even the presence of a hookbait spooked the carp straight out of the swim.

Before we packed up I decided to lower in my GoPro camera on a homemade underwater base. I dangled the camera from a long branch and gently lowered it into the shallows amongst the snags.

Within 20 minutes there were carp drifting around nearby. They seemed scared of the camera and tended to stay away, but the odd fish came close enough to see.

What I noticed when I watched the footage back at home was that in the hour and a half my camera was in the swim, not one bait was eaten. I came to the conclusion that the recent cold snap had just put them off their food.

I vowed to return with the underwater camera whilst it was still cold and clear, but with the rod when it was warm and the carp were feeding!

Watch the footage I shot below;








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