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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Match time! 


LAST week I talked about my newly-found pole in the fishing shed.

Having elasticated some top kits I managed a few sessions to get back into it again. On Saturday I tied rigs and got some baits together ready for a Crowborough and District Angling Association adult match at Hartley Lands Fishery in Kent on the Sunday.

I woke before my alarm clock on the morning of the match, buzzing with excitement. I double checked everything was ready in my bags, hoping that I hadn’t forgotten anything. My dad very kindly drove me to Hartley Lands and we arrived just before the draw at 9am. There were eight adult anglers and me!

We all picked numbers out of the hat; I had peg 4 but not knowing the lake I didn’t know what to think. We all walked over to Bramley Lake and found our pegs. I found that mine was on a corner with a good looking margin spot to fish to, however unlike most of the other swims there wasn’t an island.


I got out my rigs and plumbed around for the first half an hour, (we had an hour to set up). The margin was slow sloping and about 3ft deep. Some of the other anglers told me it was a good spot so I chose one spot there and another line straight in front of me, three sections out within throwing distance so I could continuously loose feed by hand and draw fish in the whole time that I fished down the edge.

The horn went and I straight away took my cupping kit and filled it with a ball of ground bait, a small handful of micro pellets, some maggots and a few grains of corn. I shipped out carefully to 11 metres, turned the cup round and the bait went in. I then loose fed about five pellets to my short line and started fishing. I took my size 16 hook and threaded on 5 maggots, shipped out and lowered in the rig. After about 20 seconds the float shot under, I thought it would be a small roach or rudd but nope, the elastic stretched out and a perfect small common was on the end. While bringing in this fish, I again threw four or five pellets on my short line to draw in more fish.

I shipped out again and while my rig was going out a small roach took my maggots. It was about a quarter of an ounce. I switched my hookbait to a big grain of corn and for the next 6 to 10 drop-ins I caught carp, from around a pound to 4 lb. At this point I thought the bites can’t keep coming this quickly, and sure enough the bites stopped!

Alex with a net-load

Alex with a net-load

Now two hours in and having caught quite a few I was pleased, but why had the bites stopped? I put in another ball of ground bait and decided to have a look on the short line. I was instantly getting bites again. In the next hour I had around six carp in total up to about 5 lb but it was nothing like the first hour!

And while my bites stopped others caught. In the last hour the angler next to me was stretched into a carp every time I looked over! I was only catching the odd fish here and there and now the match was coming to an end. Luckily, I managed a bite in the last minute and had a last carp to finish the day. With the clocks going back a week before; it was nearly dark at 4 o’clock! The horn went.

We walked around the lake, weighing everyone’s catches. There were weights of 20 lb, 30 lb, 40 lb, 60 lb, 80 lb and even 90 lb! I had 44 lb 5 oz coming 5th out of nine anglers. I was very pleased with the result, learning a lot from the other anglers around me and having a fun time getting back into matches again.

My next match is in December; I’m hoping it won’t be too cold and icy! But for now tight lines and wet nets!



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