Carl and Alex roach and chubEVERY Friday we hand over to Carl and Alex Smith – known online as simply Carl & AlexThese 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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Return to the river…


I HAD discussed with Alex that I wanted to make a special video for Christmas but because of work, school and lots of other fishing goings on we did not organise it until late last week.

I spoke to my friend Greg and we agreed to head back to the small river we had fished a few weeks before. On our previous trip we caught loads of perch, pike and roach. This time however it was much colder but I hoped that the perch and roach would still be on the feed.

I bought three pints of maggots which was very expensive but I wanted to fish a maggot feeder into the slack where I had caught the perch before. And I knew that a big shoal of perch would eat a lot of bait!

We arrived at the river with a pike rod, float rod, feeder rod and a spare dwarf rod incase the tiny outlet swim had some carp in it. The first place we looked was into the pool and just where the pipe entered the river we spotted a handful of carp. One looked like a mid double but the others were considerably smaller.

The telescopic rod was taken out the car in seconds and we dropped some bread flakes into the current. To our surprise the bread was engulfed instantly and the carp even slurped the floating pieces off the surface!

Alex squashed a lump of bread round a size 10 hook and gently lowered it down into the water. Seconds after it sunk a carp slurped it up and Alex struck; sadly the fish got away with it and disappeared back up the pipe.

On his second attempt the biggest carp in the shoal turned and sucked in the bread. Waiting a second longer this time, Alex lifted the rod as the fish shot off into the river, line being ripped from the reel. After its first run the fish slowed down and simply swam in circles until Greg managed to net it. We all let out a cheer and Alex stared down into the mesh at his first ever river carp!

Alex's first river carp

Alex’s first river carp

Once we had the fish on the mat I had a think about where this fish came from, it didn’t look like a garden pond carp like the ghosty we had spotted in the river. It may have even been born in the river but we will never know.

We released the carp and I went trotting for a little while. I did not even have a bite so Alex went back to the pool and filmed Greg catching a lovely pike. The pike in this river are really hungry as they were taking the bait seconds after it hit the surface!


Greg’s pike

We returned to the float fishing and I finally caught a perch. Sadly it was only a few ounces but it was still a lovely fish and the stripes on it were amazing! No more bites followed so we walked back to the pool where I freelined maggots and caught a carp of my own, only about 2lb but it was an old dark fish which I was over the moon with!

Carl's christmas carp

Carl’s christmas carp

We all fished for the pike from then on, and Alex somehow managed to hook and lose the same tiny pike four times! It just shows that even if you lose a pike you might as well keep trying as they will often take your bait again!

I had a few bites from perch or pike which, much to my dismay, I missed completely. Soon after it began to pour with rain so we packed away our tackle and returned home.

Back at home, a couple of hours spent with hats and clothes on the radiators dried everything out and we were able to relax knowing we had caught some great fish and filmed the bites from the pike and the carp!

Thanks to everyone who reads our blogs, have a wonderful Christmas.

Carl & Alex

Here is our Christmas Special video:




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It's the BIG Christmas issue of Angler's Mail magazine, in shops from Tuesday this week spanning the period December 17-31. Including Tips of the Year pullout, Best Gear of the Year, Dick Clegg interview, Images of the Year and lots, lots more!

It’s the BIG Christmas issue of Angler’s Mail magazine, in shops from Tuesday this week spanning the period December 17-31. Including Tips of the Year pullout, Best Gear of the Year, Dick Clegg interview, Images of the Year and lots, lots more!

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