Brothers Carl & Alex, aged 16 and 13, 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, 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



YOU may remember that a few weeks ago I wrote a blog about being beaten by my friend and the weather, where Michael landed a couple of hard fighting barbel, but I could only manage a small chub before the river flooded and we had to go home! Well this week I have been back to that very same spot but this time with luck on my side.

Because Michael can drive now, he phones up quite often and kindly offers to drive me down to the river. And that was where we were heading last Saturday night, back to the weirpool where I had previously lost a total of four barbel.

I had however made some changes to my tackle: my light feeder rod replaced by a tougher carp/tench model, my medium feeder reel replaced with my Okuma Longbow Baitfeeder filled with 15lb line. Now 15lb line may sound a little crazy considering the average fish is around 5-7lb but even these barbel fight hard and will easily reach the various snags scattered around the pool.

When we arrived there was already an angler fishing the pool; he was very friendly and told us about a few other areas on the river where good chub and barbel can be found.  As he would be fishing for another hour we decided to walk downstream. Whilst Michael tied up some rigs, I fished a fast shallow swim with no success. An hour passed and as dusk was approaching, we returned to the pool.

A revisit to the Sussex Ouse – would the barbel be having it?

Filming a bite

Before casting out I always like to stir the barbel into a feeding mode, so I balled in some method mix with plenty of added Fish Frenzy Crab and Shellfish pellets. I left the swim to settle for half an hour but I was itching to cast out! Michael had already flicked his rig to a snaggy area so I decided to set my trap too. Both us used a PVA bag of Chapel Baits Halibut Pellets to add some attraction to our hookbaits.

We were beginning to wonder when the barbel would make an appearance when out of the blue Michael’s rod tip pulled right round and his bobbin bounced up against his rod. Typical I thought to myself, Michael’s going to have another one!

But as I started to film my friend’s fish, my alarm burst into life as line was pulled from a tight clutch. “Yes, yes, yes,” I exclaimed, “we are both in!” But all too soon my excitement levels dropped. I thought that Michael’s fish had taken out my line and given me the bite. It was very dark now and I was all over the place, trying to figure out what was going on.

Then I spotted my fish kiting round next to the weir sill and that was when I realised I did in fact have my own fish on the line and we were not just tangled up. At this point I was getting quite excited and Michael had to tell me to calm down. It was alright for him, he had caught lots of barbel from this river, but this was to be my first! I drew my fish slightly closer towards me and after several more runs it gave up and was led like a dog on a lead into my net.

Michael’s barbel however was fighting considerably harder and I expected it to be bigger too, but surprisingly when we eventually netted it, it looked a little smaller. On the scales mine went 7lb 15oz and Michael’s 6lb 14oz. As we held them up for a self take neither of us could describe how much we enjoy this type of fishing. The barbel were almost gold in colouration, long, lean and a real challenge from a low and clear little river. They are a challenge that I recommend you try at some point as nothing beats the bite and fight from a barbel.


Carl (left) and pal Michael with their barbel.


As I write this, the rivers are rising considerably so why don’t you grab your big gripper leads, some pellets or meat and head to your local river!

Tight lines – until our blog here next week!


  • 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.

Below is their most recent video, the brilliant third part of “Quest for a 20 lb carp” where Carl achieves what his younger brother achieved big style earlier this summer.





>>> Click HERE to read Carl & Alex’s other blogs for this website.


Here’s the list of all our exclusive new daily 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, Marukyu 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


Be sure to read this week’s Angler’s Mail magazine (on sale now) for big value angling coverage, including must-read exclusives galore!