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.



AS an angler there are many branches of our sport to explore, and this year we have really put in the time and effort to try and become more proficient carp fishermen. We hope you enjoy reading this blog about our quest to catch a 20lb carp – and view our latest video at the bottom of the page.

Alex with his 20

If you are to reap the rewards of a fishing season, it is best to focus your efforts on a local venue which you can get to know like the back of your hand. If you are able to suss out a particular lake you will have more success than spending short sessions on several different waters.

So this year we decided to concentrate our efforts on our local Tanyard Fishery. It is well managed, safe and clean with beautiful lakes, and holds the sort of fish we so desperately wanted to catch: long lean commons, koi and huge mirrors to over 30lb! Although the specimen lakes hold 30s we decided to aim for a 20. Alex achieved his goal on Speci 1 after four nights at the venue but I had a fair amount of waiting to do before my 20 graced my net.


A couple of months after Alex’s success we returned to Tanyard but decided to fish Speci 2, the hardest lake on the fishery. Alex managed to catch a 30lb 4oz mirror, one of the biggest fish in the lake! He was doing something right it seemed.

Alex lands a 30lb 4oz mirror

All I had to do was try and land a fish 4lb bigger than my PB of 16lb 8oz. This was easier said than done – I frustratingly managed to net 3 different fish of that exact weight in the next few sessions!

Tanyard Fishery Specimen Lake 3

At the end of our summer holidays we planned a three-night trip to speci 3 so that I could target my 20 whilst Alex hoped for one of the catfish. This time round I had luck on my side.

It was early afternoon and I was sat in my bivvy on Speci 3 staring at the lake looking for signs but very little was stirring. I told Alex I was going stalking but he didn’t reckon it was worth it and that I should stay where I was. But for some reason, when I’m carp fishing, I have to go to the fish, especially on smaller venues with lower stock. So I picked up my float rod, threaded the eyes with 10lb low diameter line and tied on a size 8 wide gape hook.

My second cast with freelined corn was successful. It landed in front of a mirror carp slurping bugs from the weed. Almost instantly it’s mouth devoured my corn and I stuck… WHIZZZZZ! My clutch struggled to keep up as the fish swam straight through a bunch of pads.

Steady pressure drew the fish back towards me and eventually I landed the mirror. It heaved the needle on the scales right round to… 16lb 8oz! Yet another carp to equal my PB. I started to wish we were on our quest for an upper double, but no, I was determined to land a 20, but how long would it take?

The next morning I strolled back up the path to Speci 2 and filmed myself showing the baits I was using. I then proceeded to film the take from a 15lb common which was a real beauty!

All of a sudden a huge common drifted into the shallow bay in front of me…. I lowered my hookbait right off the rod tip around a foot in front of the fish. It dipped down over my bait. With a shake of the head and a strike from me, the fish was hooked.

It all happened so fast. I was trembling with excitement as it looked massive. Alex came along to film me netting a carp that weighed bang on 20lb and was a perfect example of a long dark common.

At long last, Carl nets his PB, a 20lb common

As it swam away I felt incredible; my first 20, a common, and on the most exciting method of carp fishing. Stalking is the way forward!

Check out the video we made here…





  • 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.



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 get this week’s Angler’s Mail magazine to read a special news report on the World Carp Classic, and lots, lots more.