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

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AS I STEPPED out the front door of my house on Monday morning, I felt the sun beaming down on my back. I took my hands out of my pockets… they didn’t get cold! It really was getting closer to spring!

Even better it was an INSET day, so no school. As I was wondering how to best make use of my day I came to the conclusion that I should try and stalk some fish.

On arriving at the Tanyard fishery coarse lakes I immediately started catapulting dog biscuits up wind so they would drift into a large half sunken bush in coarse pool 2. It took the fish about an hour to realise that there were free offerings drifting above their heads, but when one started, many more followed.

Two hours in and it was like feeding fish in a pond but they only seemed to eat the bait which was in the bush so it took another half hour of feeding a little way from the bush to draw them out.

Pellet and corn, my starter bait.

Pellet and buoyant corn, my starter bait.

I cast my fake buoyant corn and hookable pellet out just in front of me and let the wind take it out to the bush. When it got tight to the snags I watched the yellow corn closely and after 5 minutes a small mirror bravely came out of the bush and took my bait of the surface. It certainly did put up a great account for itself but after a short battle I managed to get the fish in the net. I was very happy to have caught my first fish off the surface this year and not get cold hands in the process!

Catching this fish didn’t seem to spook them too badly as half an hour later another fish took my bait, this time a small common although I was still very pleased.

A carpy hidey hole!!

A carpy hidey hole!!

Later, I took a walk around coarse pool 3 and saw a few bigger carp drifting around near the surface so I moved my gear and scattered out some dog biscuits. The odd fish came up but the carp tended to not be as confident as those on coarse pool 2, so I replaced my floating corn and pellet for about ten maggots and walked around the shallow bay of coarse pool 3 looking for dark shadows to put baits in front of.

A carp, about a metre out, took a Mixer so I cast my maggots just on its nose and the fish stopped and slurped in my bait. I nearly froze with excitement, but I struck and a hard fighting common was on the end. It put up an awesome scrap all the way to the net and turned out to be the biggest fish of the day at about 6 lb.

I took a short break to have my lunch whilst walking around the lake to look for signs of fish. More and more carp drifted into the shallow bay and started taking mixers, and then a bright yellow ghost carp came up for a bait. It looked like such a stunning fish that I put down my half eaten shortbread and cast a maggot hook bait to the fish which looked 10lb plus.

I cast about a metre in front of the fish and my line whizzed across the surface. My legs gave one massive shudder and I struck. This fish pulled a good 10 yards of line before I managed to get it under control. Once the carp was in netting range it decided to go on one last run straight into and under loads of reed roots. It went solid for about 5 minutes but with steady pressure it slowly moved.

Another 5 minutes went by of gaining some line then being pulled straight back. Eventually the fish slowly tired and it came out from under the reed roots and slipped over the net cord. I was very happy to say the least, it was a beauty of a fish so I made sure I took some good photos before I released this amazing carp. And to end the day on a really high note, I managed to stalk this scaly mirror, again on the maggots.

My Tanyard prize - what a beauty!

My Tanyard prize – what a beauty!

I think it was my most enjoyable and relaxing session of the year. Not surprisingly on the way home I was in a great mood and couldn’t wait to share the photos with my brother.

Hope you all manage to get on the bank this weekend and catch some big fish!


Tight lines,






Related posts

Carl and Alex’s blog last week

Big Fish Blog – carp fishing with zig rigs on cool sunny days

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