CARL  and Alex Smith – known online as simply Carl & Alex 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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Loving the park life!


IT’S been a busy week for us, so not much fishing has happened. Due to this lack of activity, I have had a chance to look back over our last three months fishing ‘the park’.

We heard about the park lake just before the new year – a friend tipped us off and showed us a couple of photos of fish caught from the lake. This was what got us excited as we only live down the road and had never previously thought there were many fish in there!

After hearing of a low 30 being caught in the first few days of the year we bought our tickets and started baiting. We bought a fair few boilies and decided to focus on one bait for the duration of our campaign. It was a bait which we had confidence in but more importantly, with it being white, it would show up well to the fish in the murky water.

At the end of the day I don’t think it would have mattered what bait we chose, as long it’s good quality  and as long we introduced it little and often to the spots we hoped to fish.


Carl’s big park lake half-linear mirror

Luckily for us they were in the mood, and I hunted out the biggest fish in the lake and found it under an overhanging tree. Just as I approached it drifted out, with two mirrors of around 20lb right next to it. My bait was lowered in a foot in front so not to spook the fish in such shallow water. To my amazement, the carp dipped down and sent a plume of silt up from it’s gills.


A tail touched the surface and my line dragged away, I set the hook and then all hell broke loose, the water erupted, the massive common darting left then right and towards the corner of the island. It began disappearing round the margin of the lake before the hook lost it’s grip and the fish escaped. There is no feeling as bad as losing a fish which would obliterate your PB. I watched as it bow waved out of the swim and down towards open water.


I was devastated, I just did not know what to do with myself. I paced up and down, I sat on the floor, but all I could see was a common, bigger than any fish I had ever seen just pinging off my line and disappearing into the depths. I made a couple of phone calls to good friends of mine who managed to calm me down and I decided that all I could do was try and catch one of the other fish which were inhabiting this part of the lake.


I fished on but the loss of the big girl had well and truly put the shoal on edge. Alex who was further down the bank managed to flick a bait into a clouded up patch of water and seconds after casting caught a ghost carp of around 17lb (below), this was wonderful as it brightened my mood and cheered us both up. But nothing would prepare us for what happened next.


Another ginormous common drifted round the back of the island and into the shallows, again Alex skilfully landed a grain of corn on its nose and just as the bait fluttered down in-front of it, the fish engulfed it and the battle commenced.


Just a few seconds into the fight I realised that what Alex was playing was the perfect common, the second biggest fish in the lake and I was ecstatic to see that although we had faced the lowest moment of our campaign just an hour before, we were about to live the highlight! That was until the fish made a final bolt towards the branches of an overhanging tree.
As I zoomed out to film Alex netting the 30lb carp once again the hook came free and we watched helplessly as the fish swam slowly but surely back into the deeper area of the lake.


We were both now almost in tears, what could have been the absolute best days fishing of our lives had now become a nightmare.


Talking of nightmares, you would not believe the number of times I have woken up in the night, heart racing, sweat pouring from my forehead as I relive the moment those two fish lost their connection with us and drifted tantalisingly back into the depths. It just goes to show how deep fishing goes in my life and although I am definitely one for trying to keep it all in proportion, this moment threw everything off balance and I have been mad about this venue ever since.


parklakecommonWe have returned to the lake three times since that session but have only managed to catch one more fish. It was a small common (right) but again gave me confidence that my tactics were right.


On our most recent session we watched as a man on the far bank snapped up on a fish he was playing, we managed to remove the rig from the carp but to find out how, check out our March update video below.


Hope you enjoy the video and I hope you enjoyed the blog.

Tight lines, Carl




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