Carl and Alex roach and chubWELCOME 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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AROUND five months ago we found out about a fishery in London called Picks Cottage.

They had been in touch and wondered if we would like to make a film at their lakes. Only this week did we finally get around to sampling the fishing, and we were impressed by the venue!

We had planned to arrive on Friday but due to other arrangements we had to suffice with a one-night session from Saturday to Sunday. We charged our camera batteries and tied up some chod rigs before leaving early Saturday morning. It felt strange driving into London to go fishing but from the photos of the fishery it would be worth the journey.

We walked around the S Lake first, the largest of the waters, and decided we would love to try and catch one of the carp. Whilst trying to choose a swim we saw a man catch a 28lb mirror carp from next to the island; it was an incredible fish and supposedly one of the biggest in the lake!

Bivied up for the night

Bivvied up for the night

Alex and I bivvied up in a deep bay, somewhere we reckoned the fish would go at night. 10mm chod rigs and a scattering of Monster Squid boilies were the order of the day and once we had cast out it was time to relax.

That was until Alex spotted a shoal of carp on the opposite side of the lake! We decided to stay in our swim as we knew the fish would feed best at night. However, we did sneak round with our stalking rods but to no avail. These carp were not going to give themselves up easily.

That night after cooking, or should I say badly overcooking our pasta, we drifted off to sleep. We were awoken though at around 3am when Alex hooked a long lean common carp. Alex played it for around five minutes and just as I reached down to net it, the hook pulled!

I was hugely disappointed and Alex looked like he might cry but we recast the rod and topped up the spots with bait, something made easier due to it never getting dark because of the light from the city!

The city lights kept the darkness away

The city lights kept the darkness away

In the morning we realised we probably were not going to get any more chances so we strolled around the fishery with our stalking rods. Alex spotted a couple of carp in the Doughnut Lake just sunning themselves, but a stealthily cast lump of bread tricked one of them.

The fish weeded him up and I ended up netting 6lb of fish and 7lb of blanket weed! It was a dark common and Alex was clearly chuffed to bits.


I tried to catch an equaliser and after moving swims about three times I cast tight to the island just as a carp came slurping by, engulfing my bread! This one was an incredible little fish; it had a very small head, big eyes and almost black scales. A cracking reward for a spot of opportunist fishing.


We returned to the S Lake grinning ear to ear but our success did not continue there; I lost a fish just as we were packing away but I was not too disappointed.

Picks Cottage Fishery certainly is a great place and Alex and I have decided to return as soon as possible. Look out for a video soon… tight lines and wet nets!



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