Silver In Serbia

Dean Barlow reports back after a hard-earned silver medal with the Preston England Feeder team at the World Feeder Champs.


Now the dust has settled, it’s time to reflect on the World Feeder Champs in Serbia. This was always going to be a tough test, as this year we were flying out to the DTD Canal in Novi Sad, where our Preston Innovations England team was hoping for a record-breaking third gold medal in as many years.

The official practice started on the Monday and it was clear to see that the venue had changed from our previous trip four weeks earlier. Catfish had become a prominent species along with three different types of skimmers! We worked out that there was probably 20 different species of fish to catch!

The canal itself has two steep concrete banks with rocks at the bottom. We found it was important to not fish on the hard rock and to find the softer bottom where most of the species fed. This was around 22 to 24 metres out.

By Friday the team was picked and a plan was made ready for the start on Saturday morning. I must add that the weather was unbelievable. One day it would be 37 degrees and the next we would have thunder and lightning!

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Quality Tench And Crucians

Daniel Everitt had his best ever start to the traditional coarse fishing season after landing four crucians over 2lb and 12 tench up to 6lb from a Warwickshire reservoir.


He opted for a super sensitive float setup with a No4 Glow Tip Antenna float with the cocking shot set just off the bottom to detect tiny lift bites. Main line was 4.4lb Float Fish to a size 16/3.8lb barbless Wide Gape Pellet hooks to nylon.

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Big Win At Packington

Round 2 of the Matrix Commercial Championship was won by Jon Arthur with a quality 100lb 7oz catch at Packington Fisheries. 


The second heat of this four-match series was spread between Molands and Gearys lakes at the popular Midlands fishery. Unsettled conditions saw the usually reliable F1s in a finicky mood and it was bigger carp that dominated the frame.

My plan was to kick off on the feeder, but I noticed a few carp cruising around, so I had a quick go with a mugging rig,” Jon explained. “I managed five carp through the day on this, fishing meat on a 0.3g Crystal Dibber to Pink Bungee, 0.18mm Supplex and a size 16 Carp Bandits.

“The rest of my fish were caught on a 30g Method Feeder with pellets and groundbait and either maggots, meat or pellet on the hook. I only had two tiny areas amongst all the overhanging foliage to cast to but it was important to get really tight to the bank. My 10ft Acolyte Plus Feeder rod was brilliant with a BR 9-30 reel loaded with 6lb Feeder & Method Mono to a 0.18mm Supplex hooklength.

“I ended with around 16 carp and 12 F1s to top off a lovely weekend’s feeder fishing!”

The next round of the Matrix Commercial Champs is at Meadowlands Fishery.


  • 1st Jon Arthur (Drennan) 100lb 7oz
  • 2nd Andy Leathers (Browning) 72lb 15oz
  • 3rd Rob Brennan (Garbolino) 64lb
  • 4th Jason Brown (Maver Midlands) 63lb 13oz
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Float Skills Dominate On the Trent

Round 1 of the Drennan Coors Trent Masters saw the river still carrying extra water from the previous week’s floods and was always going to be tricky, but stick float and waggler tactics still dominated.


Coors AC member Steve Hardwidge drew peg 23,  just below the island on the Bailey’s section, and fished mostly stick float with bronze maggots. He included 6lb of small chub in his 12lb 6oz winning catch.

Harvey Clapham with his runners-up net.

Harvey Clapham with his runner-up net.

Wayne Swinscoe was joint 5th on the day.

Wayne Swinscoe was joint 5th on the day.

Runner-up on peg 15 on Municipal was Harvey Clapham who is a regular winner at Burton. Starting on the stick float was slow but a switch to waggler and bronze maggot in the steadier water brought a steady stream of chunky roach for 10lb 10oz. Third was Robbie Quinn who also fished a stick float for 10lb 6oz of roach from peg 1 on Bailey’s.


  • 1 S Hardwidge (Coors AC) 12lb 6oz
  • 2 H Clapham (Coors AC) 10lb 10oz
  • 3 R Quinn (Shakespeare) 10lb 6oz
  • 4 R Winfield (Sensas) 8lb 4oz
  • =5 W Swinscoe (Drennan Bait-Tech) 7lb 4oz
  • =5 P Bick (Shakespeare) 7lb 4oz
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Great Tips From Stu Conroy

In our latest article Stu Conroy passes on some excellent advice on reducing a problem we all experience from time to time – foul-hooked fish!


Download the article (233Kb PDF File)

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Fun And Fish At The School Games

A fantastic day was had by everyone at Barford Lakes for the School Games Angling Finals!


This event saw 16 teams of three young anglers from Yr7-13 competing as part of the 2016 Norfolk School Games. This is the biggest school sports event ever held in the county with over 18,000 youngsters competing in 23 different sports.

Barford Lakes near Norwich proved to be a perfect venue for the Angling Finals, with three fish-filled lakes and lots of bites from species of all sizes.  Thankfully the early morning rain quickly passed and the young anglers fished in good conditions with plenty of fish cruising around and splashing on the surface.

Lots of species were caught, including carp, tench, bream, roach, rudd and perch. It was also great to see a variety of methods being employed, from whip fishing at close range for silverfish to a more stealthy and patient big-fish approach with feeder tackle. Some of the more experienced anglers also tempted quality fish by fishing a waggler towards the middle of the lake with loose fed pellets.

The West Norfolk SSP trio put in a great team effort on Match, Pleasure and Top Lake to win the event with six points, just ahead of North Norfolk SSP and Breckland SSP (A) who both tied on seven points.

Top individual on the day was Zak Worby who caught an impressive net of quality carp and F1s on Pleasure Lake for 56lb 11oz – a great effort in just three hours! Just behind was Josh Smith who tempted an equally impressive 44lb 15oz haul. Third place and the best weight on Match Lake was Ewan Clark with a very hard-earned 29lb 2oz catch.

It was a superbly run event by Active Norfolk and Sarah and all the team at Barford Lakes were fine hosts. Reigning UK Champion Jon Arthur was also there to present lots of prizes, pass on advice and ensure everyone caught some fish.

A brilliant day and lots of smiles all around for the future generation of anglers!

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A Golden Reward

After many years targeting a local venue in search of crucian carp, Andy Lewis finally slipped the net under his target species on a recent trip.


Andy’s setup consisted of a 15ft Matchpro Ultralight rod coupled with a small fixed spool reel loaded with 4lb Supplex mainline. For delicate bite indication, he used a 1.6g Glow Tip Antenna Waggler fished just over depth at the bottom of the marginal shelf. After laying an initial bed of bait consisting of groundbait and 1mm pellets Andy kept alternating between casters and corn on the hook and it wasn’t long before the resident tench were queuing up.

“After catching numerous tench up to 6lb, I received a much more delicate dip and the tip began to dance before lifting out of the water. After a short battle, the fish was safely guided into the waiting net. It weighed 2lb 5oz, much lighter than expected, but a truly stunning fish nonetheless and one I have been after for a long time.”

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The Right Decisions

Alan Scotthorne looks back at a recent three-day event at Tunnel Barn Farm where crucial changes made all the difference.


I have just had a great run at festival fishing so when I rolled up at Tunnel Barn Farm for the Daiwa Pole Fishing Masters I couldn’t wait to get started. This was a three-day festival and my first day draw was on Club Pool peg 11. After watching the match on Sunday and having a quick practice on Sunday afternoon I was sure luncheon meat was going to be the number one bait. This lake holds a good head of carp which also swayed me even further to think this. As it turned out the carp just did not feed, making F1s the only fish to target.

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2lb Rudd On Floating Crust

Kevin Sanders banked two impressive rudd at the weekend from a Fenland waterway.

kevin-sanders-rudd-1kevin-sanders-rudd-2“The conditions were far from ideal with the river full from the previous night’s storm. The rudd were not in the mood for feeding but after a frustrating day I managed to snare two late on, both weighing 2lb 4oz,” he explained.

Kevin fished with a 3.5g Loaded Crystal Waggler to present bread crust on a size 8 Super Specialist hook to a 3.3lb Supplex Flourocarbon hook link and 3.2lb Float Fish main line.

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A Flying Visit

We recently had the pleasure of David Burleigh’s company after he kindly flew across from Northern Ireland for a visit.


David is an Irish international who has competed in three World Championships and also owns the very impressive Fishing Tackle & Bait store in Enniskillen, just a stone’s throw from the mighty River Erne.

david-burley-viewLike everyone who visits our Drennan HQ he was genuinely surprised to see actual manufacturing and engineering of tackle. Visitors are always surprised to see products such as AS pole floats being constructed, E-S-P Bobbins being machined on CNC lathes and even powergum and catapult elastics being extruded.

After a tour of one of our warehouses it felt only right for David to sample some English fishing before his flight home. A quick session after bream on the idyllic Club Pool at Orchid Lakes was called for!

david-burley-pottingdavid-burley-bait-trayWith high temperatures and little wind the bream were typically reluctant to begin with. It also seemed impossible to feed off the hordes of little roach feeding up in the water. Chopped worm, corn, casters and groundbait were all a magnet for these smaller fish. A bucket full of bait would probably not have fed them off!

It was only when a new swim was fed with 4mm hard pellets and corn that David could finally get a hook bait in the swim long enough to tempt his target species. Even a soft 6mm Yum Yums hooker pellet was being snaffled on the drop by roach, however, so the only solution on the day was a hard pellet. This was a much more resilient and roach-proof hook bait and did the trick. Several quality bream gave a good account of themselves on Green Bungee before it was sadly time to call the session to an end.

david-burley-catchIn hindsight we could have had a great day simply whipping in roach after roach (just like what Dave is used to back in Ireland!) but it turned out to be a nice thought-provoking session trying to work out how to single out the bigger bream.

David was all smiles afterwards and we are sure he flew home with a fresh perspective on the quality, enthusiasm and attention to detail that goes into everything Drennan produces!

Thanks to Orchid Lakes at Dorchester in Oxfordshire for their kind hospitality. 

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