Carl and Alex roach and chubEVERY Friday we hand over to Carl and Alex Smith – known online as simply Carl & Alex

These 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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ZIG rigs are one tactic that I have never felt confident with as I never know whether I’m fishing at the right depth or whether a carp will really bother eating a piece of red foam!

Well, on my last two night’s carp fishing I gave zigs my best shot.

As soon as I arrived at Speci 2 at Tanyards I could see koi drifting round and round the island where the dead pads had sunk below the water’s surface. I quickly checked the depth with my mini pellet waggler marker float set up and found it was around 2 feet deep. So I made up one rig half a foot deep and the other 1.5 feet deep, both on zig bugs as I had seen them work before at Tanyard.

I started to spray maggots with the catapult over the top of my rigs, which were placed inches away from the overhanging reeds on the island. And after an hour my bite alarm screamed off!


I quickly picked up the rod and felt a big weight, however the hook then pulled. As gutted as I was I flicked the rod back out to the same spot and catapulted more maggots over my rigs; before long the rod ripped off again.

As I picked the rod up, the fish instantly came off again! Something’s wrong I thought. I wanted to be certain before I changed something just in case I was being unlucky.

Then at about midday my only bottom bait rod went off with an amazing looking 24lb 2oz common caught on a ball of maggots tight to the island. This showed me that there were fish in all layers of the water. And before it got dark that evening I recast all the rods.

I lost four carp that night. Three of which were on zigs. And one on a ball of maggots. I woke up in the morning gutted, knowing that I had hooked four carp. You can’t win them all but surely you can’t lose that many all in one night

Alex with his catch of the day

Alex with his catch of the day

I packed up happy I hadn’t blanked but frustrated that I could have had a much better session. For now I will be changing my lead size, I just don’t think a 1oz lead was enough to set the hook with a long length of low diameter stretching fluorocarbon hook length. All I can do is try again!

What are your thoughts on zig rigs? For sure I’m using them again!



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