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, and 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.




THIS week has been both good and bad, with the good bit coming right at the end…

The main bulk of my week has been rubbish because my dad has been quite ill. I’m sure you will all know it’s horrible having a family member who is under the weather, and it just gets worse when you catch it off them! Even as I write this I am in bed feeling awful.

Michael setting up for the session

So now for the good part! On Saturday, Michael, a good friend of mine and fellow fisherman, asked if I wanted to join him for an evening session on a local weirpool. Naturally I said yes; I very rarely turn down the opportunity to go fishing!

I was concerned about the cold weather as I didn’t think the water would be warm enough to spur the barbel into feeding. I also made sure I was dressed up warmly as I didn’t want to make my cold any worse.

We arrived at the pool with just enough light to set up and get cast out. I chose to fish in the slacker water where I could feed mini pellets and maggots and not be worried about them washing away.

I was in the process of connecting my rig to the lead when I decided that instead of using a pellet on the hair like I normally do, I would try a boilie. My particular baits were very smelly so I hoped the fish would have no problems finding them in the murky water. My rig was completed with a small PVA stick full of maggots and mini pellets.

The fast water made landing the barbel extra tricky for Carl

First cast produced nothing, so around 20 minutes later I recast, this time slightly closer to the far bank snags. I knew this was risky so I made sure my foot was on the butt of the rod and that I was ready to grab it.

Whilst talking to Michael my rod tip nodded ever so gently then dropped back only to do the same a second later. I thought bream as I lifted the rod, but instead reeled down to the slow heavy weight.

‘Barbel!’ I exclaimed. The next few minutes were a little hair raising but Michael kept me calm as he leant out with the landing net. After a failed attempt due to the fast water, the fish was successfully netted and a big cheer followed.

As you can imagine I was very pleased to have landed another barbel in winter, especially as it was much bigger than the last. Michael helped me with the photos and showed me how to hold the fish, not showing my fingers so much. This resulted in my favourite barbel photo in my album! Thanks Michael.

Carl and barbel

We fished on but it was getting increasingly colder and both Michael and I were shivering like crazy. That was the end of the session but we confirmed that we would definitely try and catch a double this year!

Thanks for reading the blog, I hope you are all staying well and catching a few. Tight lines everyone!


Carl and Alex will be wandering The Big One show on Sunday. Angler’s Mail will be at The Big One with a stand all weekend. Drop by to say “hello”, get a great gift by subscribing, get your photo taken with Koi Hodgson, and meet Mr Crabtree TV star and Mail columnist John Bailey.

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Great late season river tips and waggler knowledge to up your catches in this week’s Angler’s Mail.