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. Read their tips each week in Angler’s Mail magazine’s unbeatable All The Answers section.

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






AS YOU may already know, Carl and I have spent the last couple of months on our quest for a catfish. If we caught one on Speci 3 at Tanyard it could well be over 40lb, a huge fish indeed!

After a few weekends of not being able to get on the bank, half term finally came and it turned out to be a big fish filled one.

Our mum kindly drove us to Tanyard, Speci 3 to be exact, where there big cats are, to over 60lb. And so we chose our swims on the stream side of the lake as we could put rods to the finger, midwater and under the overhanging bushes. But as the cats here feed mostly at night we decided to try getting the carp feeding on the top, and with the hot weather we were having we were confident that they would take a surface presented bait.

At around 2 o’clock the wind died down so I started to feed Chum Mixers up wind as they would then drift down and hopefully over the carps’ heads. After two catapults of mixers out I saw a shoal of large carp move under the bait.

You could tell that they were looking at it but they didn’t seem confident to take the baits yet. However, after about 30 minutes of feeding regularly I saw a big mirror’s head poke out and slurp up three mixers in a row. I was soon ready to cast out.

I was using 12lb main line down to a Fox inline bubble float, a swivel and a 3ft hook length of Nash Zig Flo line to an ESP size 10 hook which I hooked 2 oily floating hookable pellets on. The good thing about hooking on the baits is that most of the hook is covered up and less likely to spook the fish but you must make sure the hook point is showing enough so it’s possible to hook the fish.

I cast way past the fish then slowly twitched back the hook bait into the patch of dog biscuits. A few more massive carp came and gulped in the surface bait and it was then that I saw a big carp slowly drifting under the hook bait.

My heart was thumping as this fish slowly slurped in my hook bait and darted of. My bubble float pulled away and I struck to feel fish on the end. It pulled loads of line trying to get round the finger of the lake; luckily it turned but then I faced a different problem. It was darting under the overhanging tree and I couldn’t stop it.

About eight minutes later it became weeded up. I thought it had come off as I couldn’t feel anything knocking on the end. I managed to pass the rod around all the overhanging trees and then saw the weed that it was snagged in.

Steve the bailiff went under the weed with the net however it suddenly bolted out and went on another crazy run. Eventually it calmed down and Steve managed some brilliant netting, finally slipping the net under it!

We peeked in and saw it was a fully scaled mirror, one out of three in the lake. We knew it was big, in fact an amazing 25 lb! I was over the moon with this stunning mirror and the fact that I had caught on a very exciting method.

I went in the water with the fish and had some photos taken before releasing it. I was so happy…

Alex with his 25lb carp

That evening Carl spotted a few carp in an area of the lake where no one was fishing and where there were lots of snags and pads.

Carl dropped his freelined corn into the margin and soon saw his line vigorously pull away, he struck and a hard fighting common/ghost carp was on the end. He did well to keep it out the pads and eventually landed his new PB. 24lb of lovely carp!

A new PB for Carl

We returned to the bivvy and cooked a yummy sweet and sour stir fry, then put out the catfish rods with mackerel and livebaits.

No action whatsoever in the night, but in the morning we walked up to the carp free pool and had a fun time catching loads of tench and brown goldfish on paste.

We stayed up there while we waited for the wind to calm down hoping for a possibility of some more surface fishing. We returned to see the surface of the lake covered in big carp. I started catapulting out mixers and after not very long I had the fish confidently taking baits.

I cast out my surface bubble float rig with 2 Sonubaits Oily Floating Pellets on the hook. And soon a large mirror came up for my bait, my float went away, I struck and another carp was on the end! This was turning out to be an amazing session.

It was a whopping 24 lb! I was amazed.

“All we need now is a catfish tonight,” I said to myself….

Find out how we got on by reading in part 2 of this blog next Friday. Or if you want a cheeky preview, be sure to read Tuesday’s mega new season issue of Angler’s Mail magazine!




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