Mark Wells reports back from his open match win at Hampshire’s Willow Park fishery.
I’ve not fished the Small lake at Willow Park for about a year and not been at the ‘business end’ of the lake for even longer, so today’s draw of peg 1 came as a welcome surprise. Since I last fished the peg it has been cleared of some of its vegetation and natural cover and is now much more open. Nevertheless, the banks remain deeply undercut and incised by tree roots but home to plenty of resident carp. To win on the Small lake, you must catch carp and was my only consideration when tackling up.
Fishing down the left-hand margin is not so much about fishing — it’s more like wrestling! The fish you hook are generally small by Willow Park standards, in the 2-4lb bracket, but they are absolutely mental and punch well above their weight. Every hooked fish will try to dive for the roots and tackle needs to cope with the war of attrition.
For my second line, I initially plumbed up at 16m tight to the bottom bank and in the scum. But, with the lake level down, I could only find 8″ of water so I decided to fish a metre shorter in about 14″ of water on the edge of the ‘scum line’. My rig here was a .2g Crystal Dibber on 0.20 mainline to 0.18 hooklength finished off with a 16 Power Hair Rigger with a 6mm banded pellet.
Drennan Sales agent, Julien Watson had a short 45-minute window between appointments and decided to try the new E-Sox Dropshot Holographic Lures out on the river Chet.
“I had pretty much one a chuck on every size and colour, nothing big but really good fun! Proof that collar, tie and cuff links can work as fishing attire in 2015, just like it would have done in the 1950s.”
Click here for more info on our E-Sox Dropshot Holographic Lures.
Hans Moolenaar has made a great start to the pike season, landing a string of fish from a large windswept stillwater.
“The key is to locate the shoals of roach. Once you have found the bait fish, pike will not be far away. And not only that, it is important to not fish to far away from the bank. On this venue, there is a small slope and down from that a small gully parallel to the bank. Too many anglers overlook the margins, thinking they have to fish in the middle of he water”
Hans likes to present his mackerel dead baits on a trace made from E-Sox Super Trace and Size 4 Extra Strong Trebles held in place using Slim Crimps and finished off with red
E-Sox Crimp Sleeves for added visual attraction. This is then fished with a simple semi-fixed lead arrangement on 35lb Piker Braided Reel Line.
“It’s important to make sure that the mackerel dead bait lays exactly in the right spot, I use a bait boat with a built-in depth finder, despite only fishing 25 yards out. Another advantage of using a bait boat is that I can make use of lighter rods as I do not have to cast a heavy lead and bait.”
Hans managed to produce 7 takes applying this tactic within a couple of short afternoon sessions from an otherwise notoriously hard water.
Matthew Fernandez followed his gut instinct and returned to his crucian venue of choice for one last session in hope of landing another personal best.
Matthew with his new personal best crucian at 4lb 1oz.
“I used the same set up from my previous successful session. Opting for two 25g In-line Flat Method feeders, but this time using a Micro Braid hooklink with a size 16 Wide Gape Specialist hook and a single white Buoyant Caster presented on a hair. I fished both rods at 30 yards tight to each other and spombed my ground bait, caster and hemp mix over the top.
“The afternoon was really quiet, not even a single touch on either rod. Then at 7.50pm I lifted into my first fish, a crucian. After a hairy battle in the margins, the she was in the net. The scales swung round to 4lb 1oz, a new personal best! Certainly worth the wait and a second PB in as many trips!
Throughout out the night, I had a few small carp but then at first light I managed to land my second crucain of the trip, weighing 3lb 9oz. Another great result, and a fantastic way to end my season targetting crucians.”
The latest short film in our Bite-Size Tips series is all about a modern method for catching bream and skimmers and some effective hook baits you can try.
Watch the video here »
We thought you might like to see the latest E-Sox advert, featuring all of the recently unveiled Dropshot tackle.
Learn more about all of these items:
Drennan Bordon have added three new team signings ahead of their defence of the Avon Valley Winter League, which starts this coming weekend.
Gavin Millis, Brett Cooper and Anthony Flint are useful additions to an already talented squad. On the new signings team captain Steve Barnett commented, “We needed to strengthen the team up a little bit and these three certainly do that, they are very good all-round anglers who can turn their hand to anything and will strengthen the squad no end, bringing valuable experience and knowledge.”
An action-packed session at Rolfs Lake was an ideal place to test our latest Red Range RX Carp 13m pole.
As the name suggests, this pole is designed for taming match-sized carp. Drennan’s Dan Varney demonstrated that perfectly, after banking some sizeable ‘zoo creatures’ from the famous Oxfordshire venue.
Dan Varney with three of the biggest fish tamed with the Red Range RX Carp 13m.
As well as its undoubted strength, we have really worked on fine-tuning the overall balance and handling of the RX Carp. That’s why we feel it performs so well at its full 13 metres, making it equally at home catching nets of roach and bream on a lake, canal or river.
You get three Carp Kits with the pole, pre-fitted with Side Pull Slots. This allows you to take full advantage of our Roller Cones and Side Pull System for super smooth fish playing. It also comes with plenty of extras, including Skid Bungs, nose cones, PTFE bushes and Side Pull Beads.
The RX Carp 13m has been designed from the ground up to create the optimum balance of performance and value. We’re quite proud of what we’ve achieved for a pole in the sub-£400 price bracket. We think you’ll like it, too!
Learn more about the Red Range RX Carp 13m »
If you’re into big Stillwater feeder fishing check out this week’s Anglers Mail.
Cover star, Simon Ashton tackles Esthwaite Water, in the Lake District for roach and has some great tips and tricks to hopefully help improve your catch rate.
For the full Action Replay, grab a copy of Anglers Mail this week.
Below are some of the fish taken by our French visitors as they sampled some of the great sport on offer here in England.
After an extensive visit of our factories and precision engineering facilities, three of our French sales agents were treated to a day at Rolfs Lake in Oxfordshire.
As well as an insight into English-style methods, it was a great opportunity to put various products to the test, including the award-winning Acolyte Carp and Acolyte Margin Carp poles, plus our latest launch, the Red Range RX Carp.
After a short demonstration by some of our sponsored anglers they were soon wrestling with carp up to 12lb, using yellow and pink Carp Bungee elastic and our super-smooth Side Pull System. We think they rather enjoyed it!