Jon Arthur looks back on his efforts on a well-run series held across four top commercial fisheries.
Matrix Commercial Champs winners (from left): 2nd place Jon Arthur, 1st place Adam Wakelin, 3rd place Wayne Sharman.
I must say that I have thoroughly enjoyed the Matrix Commercial Champs series. This is the first time I’ve entered this event and it’s got everything I want: four very good venues within an hour’s drive, generous pegging, decent 12pm to 5pm fishing times, a leisurely 10am draw and, of course, a nice and friendly atmosphere.
Round One – This was held at Makins Fishery and with the whole of Phase 2 used for 50 competitors there was only one ‘cosy’ section. This was five pegs on Little Reptile, which is of course where I drew. I have only ever seen this tiny lake with three anglers pegged on it, but the decision to put five on there turned out to be justified as there was little to separate the weights. It also meant you could see everyone else in your section and gauge exactly how you were doing.
On what turned out to be a hot, sunny and difficult day for most I managed to just win the section with around 40lb to set myself up nicely for the rest of the series. I caught a few carp across to the island on maggots over groundbait, mugged a few on meat shallow and bagged around 10lb of silverfish on worms down the middle to help me just edge it and take maximum points. Looking back, it was that extra boost of silverfish I caught in the quieter periods that swung the verdict my way.
Alan Scotthorne is really enjoying his river fishing at the moment – especially after two great recent performances on the River Thames and the River Trent.
Having got through to the last 30 anglers for Match Fishing magazine’s Drennan Knockout Cup, I felt it was important to go for a practice on the Thames at Culham and Abingdon, which was to hold this Round 3 qualifier. With five anglers progressing to the next round from each 10-peg section, I felt that a method that was ‘safe’ was my best option if I wanted to guarantee getting through.
I caught lots of roach and could also catch bleak on a whip line, fished up to five metres out, plus I had a roach a chuck over groundbait on a long pole swim. That gave me three ways I might catch enough to get through to the next round. Having caught close to 20lb and consensus of opinion being that 14lb would do the job this was my train of thought for the next day match.
Drennan fan Daniel Clayton had this chance encounter with a feathered friend while fishing with his Red Range Carp 11m pole.
It proves that angling is not necessarily just about catching fish. Being on the waterside and capturing rare moments like this can really make your day!
Click here for more details on the Red Range Carp 11m. (*Birds are sadly not included in the package!)
Steve Clarke had a great recent session at Flaxlands Fishery, catching over 35 carp on bomb and pellet waggler tactics.
“I fished peg 27 on the big lake at Flaxlands and opted to fish the bomb,” he explained. ” I was armed with a Drennan Carp Bandits rig and decided to give one of Ruth’s Special 11mm pellets a go. A few hours and 20 carp later you might say they work very well. Casting under a far tree was key, while feeding 11mm carp pellets over the top.
“Having seen a few carp take the odd pellet just beneath the surface I decided to get the pellet waggler out, using a Drennan Shorty Pellet Waggler. Feeding 6mm pellets over the top kept the carp interested and after a few hours, just before the rain set in, I managed to bag another 15+ carp, resulting in well over 35 carp in just five hours which included this lovely linear.
“I also got to help out a few anglers which was great especially when I saw them go on to catch a fair few carp. Job done!”
Rising match star Matt Barnett has written this great blog from the River Sorraia in Portugal, where he and his Drennan Team England Under 23s team mates were crowned World Champions!
Carassio and small barbel were the main target species in Coruche.
What an amazing few weeks I have just had! In April I was lucky enough to have been selected to represent my country at this year’s Under 23s Freshwater World Championships, held in sunny Portugal on the River Sorraia, in a beautiful village called Coruche.
The team selected was Alex Clements, Rory Jones, Ricky Marshall, Bradly Gibbons and myself with Mark Downes as manager and Darran Bickerton the assistant manager.
We knew this year would be a hard one as we were not used to fishing in such extreme heat plus the target species are not all present in our rivers back in England. The team decided to go out a week before the week’s official practice, which allowed us to get acclimatised to the scorching 40+ degrees heat! You are not allowed to fish the actual match length, therefore we found a few stretches of river nearby that helped us get into the rhythm and familiarise ourselves with the target species and of course the heat! This was a tremendous help with getting used to fishing 20g wagglers and catapulting balls of stickymag at 45 yards, plus finding ways to prevent it sweating up in the heat, not to mention keeping all of our bait cool!
Method feeder tactics produced the goods for Matthew Fernandez on his recent crucian session at Marsh Farm.
Arriving at Harris lake early in the morning he found that the weather had taken a turn for the worst. With high winds and rain, he settled into a swim on the end of the wind. Matthew then baited the marginal shelf next to some lily pads with a few balls of Sticky’s Manilla Active Mix, maggot and micro pellets before setting up, in hope to draw a few feeding fish into the swim.
Matthew opted to fish two rods, each with In-Line Method Feeders due to the high winds. His hooklink consisted of a short 3″ section of Micro Braid and a size 16 Wide Gape Specialist hook baited with a single buoyant caster.
“It was a slow start but by 5pm I’d landed eleven crucians to 3lb 1oz with the rest also nudging over the 2lb barrier.”
The sixth and final round of the Oxford Summer League was held on the River Thames at Medley and Folly Bridge.
Tony Hobbs won three of the six rounds individually.
With the river clearing after the recent algae bloom, and very blustery winds, it was expected to be a harder match than recent but the river still fished very well, especially on the Medley sections.
Individual first place on the day went to in-form Tony Hobbs (Drennan Oxford Yellow) with 19lb 5oz. Drawn on Peg 2 below the Poplars, he fished 14m pole with worm and caster over chopped worm and caster feed for two bream and 12lb of roach and perch. This was Tony’s third match win of the series!
Second place went to his team mate Steve Townsend with 15lb 8oz from the bottom end peg at Medley. He had perch and roach on a 5m whip and maggot over groundbait and caster feed.
Third was John Williams with 13lb 4oz and Oxford’s Dave Kirk was fourth with 12lb 15oz.
Drennan Oxford Yellow were top team on the day with 39 points and worthy league champions.
The individual aggregate saw Drennan Oxford’s Tom Hobbs and Tony Hobbs both on 41 point, but it was Tom who got the verdict with four section wins over Tony’s three.
- 1st Drennan Oxford Yellow 231pts
- 2nd Drennan Oxford Blue 201pts
- 3rd Devizes MG 196pts
Drennan Barnsley Blacks have been crowned Division 1 National Champions after an amazing team performance on the River Trent.
The team lived up to being pre-match favourites and topped the event on a wind-lashed river which saw 44 teams of 10 involved. A great result from a massively talented team!
- 1st Barnsley Blacks 380pts
- 2nd Lincoln & District 367pts
- 3rd Scunthorpe Tackle 345pts
- 4th Daiwa Dorking 341pts
- 5th Derbyshire Angling Fed 326pts
Team Drennan have won the 2016 Angling Trust Masters!
Team Drennan (from left): Steve Conroy, Grant Albutt, Jon Arthur, Paul Yates, Stu Conroy, Chris Vandervleit.
This annual event saw 14 teams of 6 competing on a very windy Glebe Fishery in Leicestershire. The Drennan team consisted of Steve Conroy, Stu Conroy, Grant Albutt, Jon Arthur, Paul Yates and Chris Vandervleit. The talented team all finished 3rd or higher in their 14-peg sections to win with just 13 points ahead of Marukyu Red on 22 points.
Individually the match was won by Warren Jennings with 198lb 12oz from Lake 7.
- 1st Team Drennan 13pts
- 2nd Marukyu Black 22pts
- 3rd Team MAP 23pts
- 4th Shakespeare 27pts
E-Sox consultant Steve Rowley took to his kayak for a short early morning perch session and was rewarded with this stunning fish of 3lb 9oz.
Steve patrolled the margins searching for shoals of fry, once found, he then covered the area with a small Mepp’s Spinner using his 9ft E-Sox Piker Lure rod coupled with a fixed spool reel loaded with 35lb Piker Braided Reel Line, and a Spin Trace due to the amount of pike present.
“I caught a few smaller perch, and a couple of small pike before the big fish hit. What I found really interesting was, if I didn’t get a hit on the first few turns of the reel handle after the cast, I wouldn’t get a hit at all.”