England Stars Do Their Bit For Charity

Millingtons Tackle in Chorley held a brilliant charity fishing day at Whitmore Fisheries for BBC Children in Need.

Alan Scotthorne and Stuart Conroy with Ian and Stuart Humphrey (and Tommy the Trout!).

Alan Scotthorne and Stuart Conroy with Ian and Stuart Humphrey (and Tommy the Trout!).

Ian and Stuart Humphrey were fortunate to win a day’s fishing with England stars Alan Scotthorne and Stuart Conroy. They were soon catching fish on a mixture of pole and waggler tactics and picking up plenty of tips from two of the very best in the business.

The event was also broadcast live on BBC Radio Lancashire. Thanks to Whitmore Fisheries, Millingtons Tackle and all involved. A great day for a very worthy cause!

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18lb Canal Win For Flint

Drennan Bordon team man Anthony Flint continued his great run of form by winning last week’s Basingstoke Canal Champs. Here’s his account:

anthony-flint-basy-win“At the draw, my hand went in the hat and I drew end peg 1 in the turning bay at Ash Wharf. I wasn’t too keen initially as people had mixed comments about the previous week’s form of the peg. However, when I arrived it looked perfect for a few fish, with roach topping and pike swirling. Confidence was restored… until 20 minutes before the start when 50 canoes turned around in my peg!

“Due to this, the first hour was very slow. I only had a maximum of 3ft of water anywhere, so I fished liquidised bread at 9m down the track and at 13m going up the shelf slightly.

“On the hour mark I caught a big skimmer, then some roach down the track, before it slowed right up. I then switched to my 13m line and caught there for the rest of the match, feeding more bread as it slowed.

“The rig that I caught best on was an AS1 0.2g to 0.08mm Fluorocarbon and a size 20 Kamasan B511 and a No3 elastic. A 4mm size punch was best and I’ve ended up having a lovely day, catching 18lb of mostly hand-sized skimmers with three 1lb+ ones for a match win and nice trophy.”

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Trent Barbel For Simon

Durham-based angler Simon Ashton has recently been targeting the River Trent for barbel and with great success.


Simon with his new personal best barbel of 12lb 5oz.

Simon was rewarded on his very first session with a new personal best barbel of 12lb 5oz which beat his long-standing best from his local River Wear. Since that session, Simon has been back for more and has landed numerous others up to 11lb 5oz.

“I have been using my 12ft 2lb Distance Tench & Bream rods which are great for casting big leads and feeders across the river. On my reels I have been using 15lb ESP Syncro XT Loaded, this offers great abrasion resistance and strength, a must for fishing such big and powerful rivers. My hooklink choice has been 4ft of 15lb gravel braid with a single 8mm pellet presented on a size 14 Specimen Plus hook.”

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Success On The Hampshire Avon

Swindon based angler Mark Woodage has been enjoying some great success on the Hampshire Avon during recent months, but it’s not been easy as Mark explains.


The Hampshire Avon is new territory for me, one of the first obstacles was obvious, I’d need to overcome it’s the crystal clear water. It’s fantastic to be able to watch the barbel at close quarters, but on the other side of the coin, they can see you and your tackle too! To help overcome this I’ve been using the weed as best possible to lay my line in and then by sitting well upstream of my rig to lower the angle of the line. It is so important to have a main line that not only sinks well but is strong and abrasion resistant. ESP Syncro Loaded XT fits the bill perfectly.

As I have been fishing a relatively small bait in the form of 2 West Country BaitsElips pellets superglued to the hair I have been using a size 11 Super Specialist Barbel hook. I have used this range of hooks since their launch, and with great success so I had no reason to change. This has been fished in conjunction with 6 inches of Gravel Braid, tied to a small swivel which is then covered in tungsten putty. Above this, four Float Stops, two either side fix a coated lead in place. This enables the length of the hook link to be adjusted. Completing the set up is a back lead which is fixed between a single float stop and 6 ply PVA string. This enables the lead to stay in position when being cast but allows the back lead to move in the event of a hooked fish getting caught up in weed.

I’ve been very lucky so far this season, landing several fish, including two in excess of 14lb with the best going 14lb 4oz.

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The 2016 Drennan Knockout Cup Champion

Robbie Griffiths is this year’s Match Fishing Drennan Knockout Cup Champion!


Robbie Griffiths joins a star-studded list of Drennan Knockout Cup Champions!

This year’s four worthy finalists were Ian Didcote, Warren Martin, Steve Barraclough and Robbie Griffiths. All of them fished exceptionally well over the two days on the Match Lake at the ever impressive Docklow Pools in Herefordshire. Steve was the early leader after catching over 100lb on Day One, but with just 26lb separating all four anglers it was well and truly game on for Day Two.

The fishing was slightly more difficult on the second day and, although Ian and Warren caught well, neither could do quite enough to pull back their previous day’s weight deficit. Even with Warren tempting some sizeable margin fish in the closing stages it looked like Steve or Robbie would be victorious going into the last hour. Robbie was catching well on fancied peg 24 and Steve was doing his best to hold on to his lead on the less desirable peg 6. It was neck and neck all the way between the two of them and, even when the final whistle blew, no one was quite sure who had come out on top.


Robbie Griffiths, the 2016 Drennan Knockout Cup Champion (centre), with Drennan’s Grant Albutt (left) and Match Fishing’s Tom Scholey (right).

After a tense weigh in it was Preston Innovations-backed Robbie who was confirmed the 2016 Drennan Knockout Cup Champion with an excellent 164lb 12oz total weight. Nurturing several swims and never exhausting any of them proved to be the winning formula. He was presented with the coveted silver trophy and a £5,000 cheque by former winner and Drennan-backed Grant Albutt and last year’s champ and Match Fishing editor Tom Scholey.

Robbie in action at Docklow Pools.

Robbie in action at Docklow Pools.

Browning’s Steve Barraclough collected £1,000 and was a valiant runner up with 158lb. Matrix’s Warren Martin was just behind in third place with 149lb 1oz and Garbolino’s Ian Didcote was fourth with 121lb.

Thanks to Match Fishing and Docklow Pools for putting on another fantastic Final. The crowd was treated to a brilliant two-day spectacle. You’ll be able to read all about how the anglers caught in a future issue of Match Fishing. The event was also filmed for a forthcoming episode of Match Fishing Live. Well done to all involved!

Overall Result:

  • 1st Robbie Griffiths (Preston) 164lb 12oz
  • 2nd Steve Barraclough (Browning) 158lb
  • 3rd Warren Martin (Matrix) 149lb 1oz
  • 4th Ian Didcote (Garbolino) 121lb
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Trio Of Two’s For Ryan

Drennan’s Ryan Hayden landed three two-pound perch on a short session on the canal over the weekend using simple lure tactics.


A brace of two-pound canal perch for Ryan Hayden.

Ryan used a simple light lure fishing outfit consisting of E-Sox 7ft 6in Dropshot rod coupled with a Series 7 Float reel loaded with 8lb low diameter braid and an 8lb E-Sox Dropshot Fluorocarbon Leader.

“After I had spent an hour working this section of the canal without a single touch using natural coloured lures, I switched over to a brighter lure in the form of an Orange Flash Holographic Dropshot Lure. The very next cast, I received a take, just down the boat channel in the deeper water, the rod hooped over and I was into the first perch of the session”

Two more perch of similar size soon followed for Ryan as he made his way back along the canal. “It was a great end to a short morning session, despite the heavy rain and wind,” he added.

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Barraclough Takes The Lead

Steve Barraclough is the early leader after a gripping first day of the Match Fishing Drennan Knockout Cup Grand Final.

The finalists: (from left) Ian Didcote, Steve Barraclough, Warren Martin, Robbie Griffiths.

Steve Barraclough

Steve Barraclough with one of Docklow Pool’s larger residents.

The Match Lake was in great form at Docklow Pools for the first leg of this two-day Final. It proved an even contest with all four qualifiers catching well. With an hour to go it looked like Ian Didcote was on for a first day victory. That was before the fish decided to feed down the margins! In that final hour everything changed and it turned into a really exciting climax.

Browning backed Steve fished a steady match on peg 26, picking off mostly F1s on the long pole and pellets much of the day before making a tactical switch down the edge. That rewarded him with some huge fish to 15lb – possibly the biggest fish we have ever witnessed in the Final.

Warren Martin

Warren Martin leans into a quality fish.

Steve ended up with a very healthy 102lb 5oz, with Preston’s Robbie Griffiths not too far behind on 91lb 5oz from fancied peg 8. Garbolino’ Ian Didcote is currently third with 76lb 7oz from peg 6 and Matrix’s Warren Martin is just behind with 75lb 10oz from peg 24.

The anglers now have to swap pegs today and fish on the opposite bank. It’s certainly all to play for, so come down to Docklow Pools and watch what promises to be a brilliant conclusion to a great Final!

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The Drennan Knockout Cup Final

Today is the eagerly anticipated Match Fishing magazine Drennan Knockout Cup Grand Final at Docklow Pools!


The competition began with over 150 anglers; a mixture of hand-picked stars and qualifiers. The event progressed through knockout heats on canals, lakes and rivers to really test everyone’s skills. This culminated in our four finalists. They are former Knockout Cup champ Ian Didcote, Fish’O’Mania champ Warren Martin, northern ace Steve Barraclough and in-form commercial expert Robbie Griffiths. Each has done exceptionally well to make it through to the two-day Grand Final.

Docklow-pools-2016The venue is the fantastic and ever-reliable Docklow Pools near Leominster, Hereford. This historic venue has been the home of the Knockout Cup Final for 10 years and has everything you could wish for in terms of quality fishing, idyllic surroundings and first-class facilities. As always, spectators are also welcome to turn up and watch this unique event.

The runner-up will walk off with a £1,000 cheque and the winner will earn themselves a cool £5,000 and the all-important Drennan Knockout Cup trophy. May the best angler win!

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Team Drennan Top At Alders Farm

Team Drennan topped the inaugural Joseph James Law event at Alders Farm yesterday with an excellent 53 points out of a possible 60.

Team Drennan: (from left) Jon Arthur, Dan Varney, Grant Albutt, Colin Spencer, Joe Roberts.

Team Drennan: (from left) Jon Arthur, Dan Varney, Grant Albutt, Colin Spencer, Joe Roberts.

This 12 teams of five contest was spread across Ash, Pines and the Specimen Lake at the prolific venue at Brickhill, near Milton Keynes.

Drennan’s talented quintet consisted of Grant Albutt, Joe Roberts, Jon Arthur, Dan Varney and Colin Spencer. Between them they managed two 1sts, two 2nds and a 6th place to take the £1,000 winner’s cheque kindly donated by sponsors Joseph James Law. Team Garbolino finished 2nd with 50 points and Preston Innovations were 3rd.

Team Drennan also had two lake winners as Dan won Specimen Lake with 48lb 12oz and Colin won the match outright with an impressive 249lb 11oz from peg 3 on Ash. He used his favourite paste tactics over small amounts of micro pellets, starting on a top four and then chasing them further out later in the day.

Catering and refreshments were also generously included and as the event was such a resounding success Joseph James Law and Alders Farm have vowed to run it again next year.

Visit www.aldersfarm.com to learn more about this unique venue.

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17lb 8oz Nene Barbel

Martin Gray set a new personal best after landing a huge barbel from the River Nene near Peterborough.


Martin Gray holding his new personal best barbel.

After moving into his fifth swim of the day, Martin baited the central channel with a few boilies before making his first cast. Using a double 12mm boilie hookbait mounted on a hair tied to a size 6 wide gape hook and 20lb Anchor Braid.

“The bite was a really tentative one, met with solid resistance. The fish then moved off upstream, and from experience, I knew that I was hooked into something special. After catching a glimpse of it I had to dip the rod under the water to allow a huge raft of streamer weed to pass over without snagging the line. That’s when the panic set in. Knowing that I was attached to what looked like a huge fish any mistake could cost me dearly. 

“Thankfully, moments later the fish slid over the eagerly awaiting landing net. The scales settled on 17lb 8oz. I had finally beaten my old personal best! After 5 years of trying to up my PB, I had finally done it. I was completely overwhelmed, to say the least!”

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