Brothers Carl & Alex, aged 17 and 14, are the youngest bloggers in our mix.

WELCOME 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, and provide a youth dimension to our new blogging mix.

We hope you enjoy the blog, written by Carl, and share it with your friends on Facebook and Twitter by clicking the icons above.



UNFORTUNATELY our weekend winter carping trip had to be cancelled as Alex was still ill. My second plan was to return to the Hampshire Avon but the river was right up and my journey would probably have been disrupted by widespread flooding. So I picked an easier option – pike fishing on a nearby water.  

Tanyard Fishery was my chosen venue where there are seven lakes catering for most types of angling. I chose to fish Speci 1 as it is the main pike lake and holds the biggest pike at the fishery. I set up on the point by the island; this would give me access to a large amount of water with dying pads, reeds and some deeper water out in front.

I fished with a sliding pike float and your average trace with two sets of treble hooks. As you can see in the photo, the smelt deadbait is fished whole and I have hooked one hook into the back of the head and the other into the back just behind the dorsal.

Deadbait set up

I have been given contradicting information about which way round to hook a deadbait. Some people tell me that pike always strike from behind and others say that the fish takes the bait head first. I have tried both ways and never noticed the difference in pick ups or hooked fish. In the small amount of underwater footage that I have seen, the pike seem to bite the fish in the middle and hold it there for a while before swallowing it. Most of the time, because I strike quite early, the fish is hooked in the side of the mouth or just within. And I think that is perfect. The reason for using smelt is because it is soft and very smelly, helping the pike find it in the coloured water.

A first-cast pike!


I cast both rods out and sat back; the float positioned in open water started drifting left. I picked the rod back up and only seconds after casting, I was sweeping my rod back and hooking into a pike! That was quick, I thought, as I slowly drew it over the net cord. It was a small one of around 5lb but a very quick bite so I was hopeful for a good days sport. I unhooked the fish and released it into the very cold water.

It went quiet for around 20 minutes before the bait, cast towards the island, was taken. I picked up the rod and hooked the fish. It felt quite heavy as my rod bent round but all of a sudden the line went slack and I was forced to reel in a smashed deadbait but no pike.

Later in the day I spotted a kingfisher dive into the water on the far bank. I tried to take a photo but it was too far away. I needed a long zoom lens really.

It was then that the pike became very active. I had three fish in three casts towards the dying lilies. I had been feeding maggots to this area all day to draw in a shoal of roach and in turn bring in the pike. It paid off big time as just before the light started to fade my fish count was on five.

The biggest was 7 lb 1 oz but they all fought well and you can’t beat watching the pike float sliding across the surface. In fact, my second biggest of the day, a six pounder, jumped clear of the water as I was playing it!

It was almost dark so I quickly had a couple of casts with spinners. The first cast resulted in a jack almost instantly and the second a lost pike.

A good session for Carl that saw him net five pike

Well what a busy day: pike here, there and everywhere. Just what I like! Shame they weren’t a little bigger though. We will continue to target predators but currently I have noclue where we are going this weekend. It all depends on the weather. Please, no more rain, please!

Tight lines and wet nets everyone, have a good weekend!




In the meantime, here’s a great vid from Carl & Alex covering their 2012 season’s highlights:






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