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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Variety keeps it fresh


‘VARIETY is the key to keeping fishing interesting and exciting,’ I was once told by a well-known angler.

This statement runs true for almost everything in life, but seeing as this is a fishing website I won’t go off on a philosophical tangent.

In this week’s Angler’s Mail I wrote about my multi-species challenge, where I targeted as many different species as possible. I caught ten in the end, and only changed my hooklink material, bait and hook size.

It was a thoroughly enjoyable day and each species brought me a new challenge. You can watch a video about my session at the bottom of this page!

In this blog, however, I am going to talk about something which has recently become very interesting to me – new waters. Not just your average day ticket or club lake, not even an expensive syndicate – but an unknown piece of water… no stock record, no swims, not even a touch of man’s influence anywhere. This kind of water is very rare indeed, but with the aid of Google Maps and a typical Ordnance Survey for your area, those little blue markings on the map can be transformed into your own secret piece of heaven.

Discover your own little haven

Discover your own little haven

So let’s say you spot a pool or lake on the map and decide to explore it, the first thing you should do is to contact the landowner. In the past Alex and I have sent letters to landowners asking for permission to fish their lake rather than go knocking on their door. Providing you are polite, considerate and they have not had people asking previously, your chances of gaining access are surprisingly high.

The other benefit of asking the landowner is that they might know what is in the lake. One lady we got in touch with even had photos of carp that her husband had caught from their water.

The other plus point with asking for permission means that if you do get to fish the water you won’t constantly be worried about being caught. Poaching is not something I recommend, your whole bankside experience will be a stressful one and you risk some sticky situations when you get caught! Surely the achievement of a capture is dampened somewhat because it happened by unfair means.

So having located a secret lake and gained access through the landowner, now what? Well it’s time to go looking; I have ruined my chances in the past by arriving at a lake with my tackle and a preconceived idea of what is in there. You are much better off visiting the water two or three times just to watch and learn, as this will give you vital fish species and location information.

Scout the area and learn what it has to offer

Scout the area and learn what it has to offer

Normally these secluded pools don’t respond too well to manufactured baits; we have had more luck with sweetcorn, worms and maggots. But surprisingly if there are carp in the water they seem to go crazy for bread. It just seems to be an instant bait and even in lakes where the carp have never seen bread they just seem to love it!

A catch from an unlisted lake

A catch from an unlisted lake

These waters often seem to have rudd in them, especially where I live in the South East. Somehow a small rudd has even found its way into my garden pond, they seem to get everywhere!

Anyway, below are a handful of photos of fish I have caught from secret, quiet and overgrown venues, I hope you like them!




And click here for the great 14-minute video from Carl’s species hunt >>>







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