April At Messingham Sands

North Lincolnshire’s popular Messingham Sands Fishery has two big events lined up for April.


The Drennan Teams Of Five is on Friday 14th April. This is split between Swan Pond (2 sections), Islands Lake (2 sections) and Tripp Lake (1 section). Teams can also place their anglers in the sections of their choice. Entry is £100 per team (£20 per man) and the event is limited to 25 teams.

Next up is the Drennan Easter Pairs on Monday 17th April. This is on Swan Pond and Islands Lake and pairs can again choose what lake they fish. Entry is £40 per pair (£20 per man) and the match is limited to 45 pairs.

Both events will be decided on points, with weight deciding in the event of a tie. The draw for both matches is at 9am at the Grange Park Golf Club with fishing from 11am to 5pm. To book in for either event, telephone Steve Ellis on 01724 782741 or Kevin on 01724 763647.

Visit www.messinghamsands.co.uk to learn more about this great venue. 

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Guided By Grant

Steve Collett spends a day with top matchman Grant Albutt in the latest issue of the Angler’s Mail. 


The colourful columnist brushes up on his pellet fishing skills during a worthwhile coaching session with Grant. Later on he also gets a glimpse of the aquaculture that goes on behind the scenes at Shatterford Lakes near Kidderminster.

The 21st March issue of Angler’s Mail is out now.

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My Stafford Moor Silvers Week

Drennan Bordon’s Peter Kay reports back from an annual silverfish festival held at Stafford Moor Fishery in Devon.

Peter Kay with a typical Stafford Moor silverfish catch.

The author with a quality Stafford Moor silverfish catch.

It was that time of year again for my annual pilgrimage down to Stafford Moor for the BT/Polerigs Silvers Week. New owners, Jo and Paul, have done an immense amount of work in the past year, not only to the banks but the fishing was to prove excellent with the general size and condition of all species a credit to their hard work.

The Sunday practice match proved disastrous for yours truly, smashing four sections of my pole in the 80mph winds, four seconds after I decided enough was enough and to pack up! D’oh! Thanks to Ray Wood for lending me spares for the week otherwise it would have been a very early bath and drive home. This typifies the generosity between anglers in our unique sport.

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Canal Win For Matt Herbert

Drennan Bordon anglers filled three of the top four frame places in the latest Hungerford AA open.


Matt Herbert with his winning catch.

The match was held on the Kennet & Avon Canal at Upper and Lower Dunmill. Despite strong winds and clear water, over 10lb was needed to frame behind Matt Herbert’s 12lb 11oz winning catch.

“After drawing peg 1 at Lower Dunmill I knew there was a good chance of a few fish,” he explained. “The canal was pretty clear and my main line was at the bottom of the far shelf, down the peg slightly due to the strong wind. Here I fed three balls of groundbait with some finely minced worm and dead pinkies. I also fed a line down the middle with two balls with the same feed and a chopped worm line down the track in front of me, which is where I started.

“With no bites I moved on to my groundbait line down the middle and again no bites, so I had to look a bit earlier than I wanted on the three-quarter line. After 30 minutes I had my first skimmer and caught on this line most of the day, catching skimmers and the odd perch.

Matt's peg.

Matt’s peg.

“The wind made presentation very difficult, which is a shame as I’m sure there was 20lb to be had – especially as it’s an end peg!

“Well done to Kevin Rowles for 2nd and my team mate Brett Cooper for 3rd and also thanks to John Williams for running another great match. Roll on next week’s match on the Church section!”


  • 1st Matt Herbert (Drennan Bordon) 12lb 11oz
  • 2nd Kevin Rowles (Devizes Angling) 11lb 14oz
  • 3rd Brett Cooper (Drennan Bordon) 10lb 8oz
  • 4th Nick Jones (Drennan Bordon) 10lb 7oz
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Messingham Sands In Terrific Form

The Islands Lake at Messingham Sands was in top form for Saturday’s Drennan Silverfish League with an average weight of over 45lb per angler!

messingham-sands-fisheryThe top three individuals each came from different sections, too, so the fish were feeding well throughout the lake.

The winner on the day was Pete Riley who was drawn on peg 44 on the arm. As with the rest of the competitors, Pete had a real mixed bag of fish. His 65lb included skimmers, roach, perch, crucians, F1s and tench.

The main tactic on the day seemed to be to try and avoid the attentions of carp, which were also very active. One angler returned no less than 58! He still managed 50lb of silverfish but finished last in his 5-peg section.

It was no surprise that the following day’s Open Match held on the same lake was dominated by carp weights. Steve Bingham, drawn on peg 42, weighed a creditable 120lb by fishing pellet and meat on the bomb.

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Drennan Silverfish League Round 10

The top five all needed over 20lb of fish in the 10th round of the Drennan Silverfish League at Rycroft Fisheries.


Runner up, John Eccles.

Sean Ashby consolidated his position at the top of the league with another class performance. The former World Champion drew peg 28 on Donno Lake and struggled on the long pole for the first 90 minutes before switching to a 5m line and an edge line down the rushes. Loose feeding casters with light, strung-out rigs he put together a nice net of quality roach and the odd good skimmer for a winning 30lb 14oz.

John Eccles is Sean’s main challenger and kept up the pressure with the runner-up spot. He drew peg 3 on Carp Lake and caught a nice bag of skimmers on the long pole with dead maggots over groundbait for 28lb 9oz off.

In the league standings, Sean is still in front with 142lb 15oz, but John is not far behind on 125lb 9oz. With Sean having to miss the last match, John still has a chance to overtake him and win the league.

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Red Letter Kayak Day – Steve Rowley

E-Sox Consultant Steve Rowley has become addicted to pike fishing from his kayak, and his burning ambition this winter was to catch his first ever kayak thirty pounder.


31lb 12oz pike caught from the kayak

Steve caught a 27lb 02oz earlier in the season from the kayak but was soon surpassed by his lovely 29lb 08oz that we covered a few weeks ago. Then right at the end of the season, Steve had a real red letter day, catching a 25lb 04oz, 26lb 14oz and his first ever kayak thirty at 31lb 12oz on the same afternoon.

“To catch three fish over twenty-five pounds in a day is something very special, but to catch them on my kayak is an unbelievable bonus. I knew the second the thirty went in the net that I had achieved my main goal of the season” said Steve.

Steve anchored his Channel Kayak Pro over sixteen foot of water just past an area he had seen lots of small fish activity previously and it wasn’t long after casting out the first fish of the day made it’s way to the net.

Steve used two E-Sox Piker 12ft Bait rods, each coupled with Series 7 BR 9-40 Specimen reels loaded with 60lb E-Sox Piker Braided Reel Line, a simple float setup, and traces made from Seven Strand Pike Wire and Size 4 Semi Barbed E-Sox Extra Strong Trebles.

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24lb Ghostie On Acolyte Rod

Grant Albutt tamed this immaculate 24lb ghost carp on his 11ft Acolyte Carp Waggler rod!


The top match angler and fishery manager caught the specimen from Masters Lake at Shatterford Lakes near Kidderminster.

“I drove round Masters and noticed a few big fish just under the surface, so I thought I’d go and get my rod and have a chuck,” he explained. “Using an Acolyte 11ft Carp Waggler rod with a 5g Pellet Waggler produced this stunning ghostie at just over 24lb! I wouldn’t really recommend this type of rod for deliberately targeting specimen fish, but what a rod!”

Grant fooled the fish with a piece of punched meat held on with a Pushstop to a size 12 hook and a 0.30mm Supplex Fluorocarbon hooklength.

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Vandervleit And Penny Win The Series

Chris Vandervleit and Geoff Penny have topped the Drennan Pairs series held at Lake John Fishery.

lake-john-silverfish-pairs-1The final match at the popular Essex venue was won by Bill Everitt with an impressive 81lb of carp and quality skimmers from peg 18.

Chris Vandervliet was 2nd on the day with 58lb and Geoff Penny was 3rd with 53lb, helping them to the overall pairs title with 214 points.

Lake John’s fishery manager Colin Bartlett commented: “That’s it for another year and yet another great series! A big thanks to all the lads that once again took part in this fantastic event (their words, not mine!), thanks to all the hardworking catering staff and a big thanks to everyone at Drennan.”

lake-john-silverfish-pairs-2Pairs Result:

  • 1st Chris Vandervliet & Geoff Penny, 214 points
  • 2nd Bill Everitt & Rob Dean, 209
  • 3rd Ken Farrell & Martin Amos, 193

Visit www.lakejohnfishery.co.uk to learn more about this terrific venue.

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Maximise Your Chances On The River

Find out how Paul Glenfield makes the most of a winter river session by combining specimen and match tactics. Join the former Thames Champion on the banks of his favourite river for a session that’s full of surprises.


Paul Glenfield kicks the session off on the bread feeder.


An early chub on the bread!

The tail-end of the season can offer some fantastic river sport if you time things right. Here on the Thames at Wallingford there’s a touch of extra colour and flow, but it’s fining down quite nicely. These are ideal conditions to get out and enjoy a few hours on the riverbank!

Fish can shoal up tightly in the winter, so location can often make or break a session. My advice is to head for a town stretch with an obvious fish attracting feature, such as the road bridge that’s upstream of me today. With the natural cover this offers, plus the variations in flow it creates, you can be confident that there will always be a few resident fish about. Bridges are also a magnet for people who love to feed the resident ducks and swans, so there’s always a bit of free food going in for the fishes.

I’ve gone for a two-pronged float and feeder approach to get the most from today’s session.  A loaf of bread, some maggots and hemp are all I’ll hopefully need for a decent day.

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