WELCOME to our Friday blogEvery Friday we hand over to Carl and Alex Smith – known online as simply Carl & Alex.

Brothers Carl (left) & Alex, aged 16 and 12, are the youngest bloggers in our mix.

Two of the keenest youngsters we’ve come across, with a passion for making a variety of fishing videos, they’ll 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, or by the “old skool” method of telling fellow anglers!

Feel free also to comment by using the special space at the bottom on this page.





WE HAD just finished school and were off on holiday to the Loire Valley in France. Ahead of us was a week of sun, sightseeing…. and ideally some bendy rods and wet nets!

A lovely place to start our holiday – but the fish were slow to respond.

Upon arriving at our holiday home we were instantly drawn towards the lily-fringed river at the end of the garden.

The slow moving water gathered pace as it flowed beneath the mill or “moulin”, as they call it in French.

We had chosen this location after deciding to break the mould and fish a French river for barbel and silver fish instead of heading to one of the more popular carp lakes.

The first three days passed uneventfully on the fishing side of things, but we did visit a chateau called Villandry which had a selection of carp in the moat.

On the fifth day of our holiday we were starting to think we had chosen the wrong river to fish but we persevered and

Alex’s first barbel of the trip.

eventually Alex had a bite. A small barbel had taken a liking to Alex’s feeder fished maggots. To our surprise it would not be the only fish of the evening.

I managed a slightly bigger barbel on a Bait-Tech pre-drilled halibut pellet. My fish had a strange lump on its nose that looked rather comical.

After releasing my barbel, Alex and I decided we would bait this swim with hemp and maggots and fish it again the next day.

Below is the video we made about the most successful day of our trip.






Ever caught one of these? It’s a prussian carp caught by Alex. Wonder what we’ll catch in Iceland?!

All too soon our holiday was over and we had to pack away our gear but we had managed to sneak in a bit of last-minute fishing. Alex used a light leger and maggots to catch this small carp.

We thought it was a brown goldfish orpossibly an F1 carp but after talking to some other French anglers we were told it was a Prussian carp, also known as Gibel carp. Another new species!

Our trip to France had started off a little slow but with perseverance it had resulted in us catching many different species in idyllic surroundings.

Look out for our trip to Iceland soon! And follow our blog, and other fishing blogs every day here on the new-look Angler’s Mail website.

  • If you want to see more of the lads’ videos for free, now, just browse the Carl & Alex channel in this website’s new TV player.


Related posts

Carl goes barbel fishing near his home with Michael Wickens

Carl and Alex’s first blog 



Here’s the list of all the new blogs and when they go live:

MONDAY: Carp crews on rotation – Korda, Fox, Nash and ACE.

TUESDAY: Steve Collett, Mail contributor and ultimate all-rounder.

WEDNESDAY: Angler’s Mail HQ – yes, us!

THURSDAY: Specialists from Pike Anglers Club, Korum and Pallatrax, on rotation

FRIDAY: Carl & Alex, Angler’s Mail juniors and video diary makers.

SATURDAY: The Angling Trust – guys at the governing body.

SUNDAY: Colin Mitchell, veteran coarse angler and top journalist

Click HERE to catch up on all bloggers’ introductions



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