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.



THIS week I travelled back to one of the lakes I first fished. It is owned by Crowborough and District Anglers Association and it is where I attended a junior day years ago!

But today it was cold, windy and wet; nonetheless I was determined to catch a fish or two.

Carl returns to an old lake with fond memories

When I first fished the lake at the age of about 11, a coach set me up with a 3m whip. This was ideal for getting into angling because it is light, mostly tangle free and easy to use.

I used that whip all the time until I had a session where I hooked a big tench. It powered around in front of me and I was fine, but when it decided to head out, down the marginal shelf and into the middle of the lake, I was hopelessly out-gunned! It bent my hook straight and as my line pinged back it tangled up.

To add insult to injury I then stepped back into my box of maggots, flinging them everywhere. It was then that I decided to buy a proper pole so I could use different strengths of elastic depending on the size of the fish and how snaggy the swim was.

Looking back, I would definitely advise people to do what I did when buying a pole. Go for something of around 8m rather than 16m and take the money that you saved from going shorter, on a range of top kits. (I also have a 13m pole but have only once used it at more than 8m.)

I bought 5 top kits and still have 4; I won’t go into details about what happened to the 5th! Having a range of top kits no doubt helps you when it comes to a fishing session because you can set up more than one line and also have different elastics for different styles of fishing.

Carl used Mojo groundbait to tempt the perch

On this particular day I set up with a 6 elastic because I knew I was in with a chance of a big perch. My friend’s dad had a 2lb 2oz one recently on a lure!

My rig was your average pole rig with a 2lb hooklength to a size 18 hook. I always buy hooks to nylon when I want light line and small hooks as even with my small fingers it is rather fiddly tying them, especially on a cold winter’s day!

I used my Kinder pot to bait up super accurately with small quantities of relatively dry Mojo groundbait (to create a slight cloud in the water) as well as pinches of pinkies to entertain the small roach. I would then use pinkies on the hook for roach, and red maggot or worm for the perch.

A net full of silvers

The day started well and first put in the float barely settled before a small roach tugged the red tip under. It was a good sign but more fish failed to materialise in the next hour. I topped up with a little more groundbait and along came a skimmer bream, and a handful more roach.

The sun was just starting to set so I slipped on a juicy worm and lowered it in, just to the side of my baited spot. Often you will find a perch or two, hanging back away from the feed.

Once the bait had sunk to the bottom I lifted and dropped the worm every minute or so, just to give the bait a little more movement and to tempt a perch attack. The method worked and my elastic was soon pulled from the pole as the perch tugged hard, trying to find a snag and sanctuary.

Surprisingly, once in the net, it was smaller than I expected. My dad kindly took this photo for me and it swam back into the keepnet.

I searched the swim and twitched the worm all around the baited area. I soon had two more small perch but it was time to pack up.

Here is a photo of my final catch. Hope you enjoyed the blog; come back next Friday to read our next one.


A perfectly proportioned prickly perch for Carl



Be sure to read Carl & Alex’s weekly tip in Angler’s Mail magazine, and look out for a special My Say piece by Alex in the mag soon giving his thoughts on tackle shows.


Check back on this website for a new blog every day!


Related posts

All Carl & Alex blogs

All this website’s blogs


Be sure to get this week’s new Angler’s Mail – and get set for what February will throw at us all! The magazine is a big value £1.80.