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. Read their tips each week in Angler’s Mail magazine’s unbeatable All The Answers section.

We hope you enjoy the blog, written by Alex. Share it with your friends on Facebook and Twitter by clicking the icons above.






WE WERE already glowing after a stack of tench and brown goldfish, then terrific carp of 25 lb and 24 lb to me on floaters, and 24 lb on freelined corn to Carl (a new pb). That was part 1 of the fun.

Now our catfish rods were readied for the night at Tanyard’s Speci 3 lake. Could this be the night when our quest for a cat had us purring with delight…?

But before we could sit back and properly chill out, there was time for more carp action. They were up for it. I had another take on the surface; it was smaller than the previous two mid-20s but a stunner as you can see here!

I was beginning not to believe how well the session was going. Carl had a low double-figure common on stalked corn in the margins, another immaculate looking fish.

By this time the light was starting to fade so we cooked our pasta and settled down for the catfish for the night; fresh big lumps of mackerel and new lively livebaits.

I got into bed thinking about the catfish and how it was so warm today that they must feed and really hoping that one of the rods would go off with a big cat.

And sure enough at 11pm I had a screamer! I picked up the rod and set the hook as it was a running rig and felt one massive weight on the end.

My heart was pounding as I shouted over to Carl that I had hooked a catfish. My clutch was tightened hard but the creature kept pulling line. I could feel every now and then the fish went on a sudden run; it was certainly capable of pulling me off my feet! I leant back with all my might and slowly the cat came towards me…

About five minutes later I had it near the net, it came up, I slipped the net under it but it would not fit. It was massive!

It went on a few more runs but eventually Carl had a go netting the beast and managed to curl the fish around so it went safely in the net. We both looked at each other in disbelief. We had done it! Caught a cat fish!

Carl struggled to lift it on to the mat as it was so heavy, but we managed to get it into the sling and weighed it.

At 43 lb 4 oz we were speechless. For many years, the British catfish record was almost exactly that size from Wilstone Reservoir in Herfordshire, caught way back in 1970. But of course in our lifetimes a lot has changed what with imports and home-grown catfish packing weight on.

We simply never thought we would have caught a creature so big and so long!

I tried to lift it on my own but didn’t manage so we both lifted it while a friend kindly took some great snaps (below). Carl and I both went into the water with this frightening predator.

We could see how they mash up their prey, in their grisly sandpaper-like pads.

We released the 40lb+ cat, watching it swim back into the depths!

We woke the next morning not quite believing what had happened that night. We both agreed that it had without doubt been the best session ever!

Our quest for a catfish was now over. In March we had a plan and a couple of months later, success! What next…?

We hope you also have been on the bank, and if you are after cats make sure your tackle is very very strong!

Here’s a video from our unforgettable session.





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Carl and Alex appear in Angler’s Mail magazine this week in the brilliant New Season Tips Special. Do not miss this brilliant issue!

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