Tench On The Lift Method

Drennan’s Ian Brooker recently had a great session on a local gravel pit, catching six tench to 8lb 2oz during a short morning feeding spell.


All of the fish were caught using the classic lift method in a swim he’d raked a couple of days before. Ian used a 14ft Matchpro Ultralight float rod, centrepin loaded with 6lb line fished straight through to a size 14 Specimen hook with either big bunch of red maggots or a piece of lobworm.

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Drennan Cup Winner 2015–16

A huge congratulations to Dai Gribble who was voted this year’s Drennan Cup winner!


Dai Gribble was presented with the Drennan Cup at Linear Fisheries.

As well as collecting the famous trophy, Dai also received a win­ners’ cheque for £2,000, which helps reward the time and dedication spent chasing the biggest coarse fish in the country.

In the closest-ever finish in the Drennan Cup’s 31-year history, Dai became the envy of the big fish scene when votes cast by previous weekly winners put him just two points ahead of Yorkshire’s Tony Smith.

Dai sent shockwaves through the angling world when he began his campaign with an incredible string of tench hauls. He first banked a huge 13lb 3oz fish that was backed up by no fewer than seven other double-figure specimens during an unforgettable session in May at Medway Valley Fisheries in Kent.

Just a few weeks later he switched to another venue and made tench fishing history when he banked the biggest-ever tench caught by design weighing in at a colossal 14lb 12oz. The specimen later graced his net for a second time, this time, an ounce heavier at 14lb 13oz!

Not only did he land 16 double-figure tench during the spring, but his summer was completed when he struck gold again, this time with another species – a 20lb 10oz bream, along with six other ‘doubles’ that secured his third Drennan Weekly Award of the season.

“By the end of June I’d made five catches that were all once-in-a-lifetime achievements in their own right, and anglers that I hold in the highest regard were saying ‘Dai you’ve got the Drennan in the bag’. I didn’t even dare to dream that this could be the case,” he told Angling Times.

Peter Drennan said: “In any other season Tony Smith with four awards across four different species would have walked away as the overall winner. But a run of giant tench and most of all a truly massive 20lb+ bream drew a tiny majority of the discerning voters in favour of Dai. 

“What a fantastic season both of these dedicated specimen hunters have enjoyed, so serious congratulations to them!”

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Terrific Tunnel Barn Farm

A great day was had yesterday for Round 1 of the Drennan Knockout Cup at Tunnel Barn Farm in Warwickshire.


There were 146 anglers lining the banks and it was Dale Shepherd who came out on top with a match-winning 129lb 15oz. The commercial fishery specialist used chopped worm tactics for a great weight of carp and F1s from peg 33 on House Pool. That earned him a cool £1,300 jackpot and a well-earned place in Round 2.

The top 10 anglers all had over 100lb of fish and you needed 67lb to make the top 60 qualifying weights. Thanks to Tunnel Barn Farm for hosting the event. Round 2 will be on the New Junction Canal in South Yorkshire. For the full story, check out Match Fishing magazine.

Top 10:

  • 1st Dale Shepherd 129lb 15oz (House 33)
  • 2nd Mark Malin 127lb 11oz (New 42)
  • 3rd Robbie Griffiths 123lb 5oz (New 39)
  • 4th Steve Barraclough 123lb 2oz (Canal 15)
  • 5th Tyrone Hull 115lb 8oz (Extension 24)
  • 6th Jon Arthur 111lb 13oz (New 10)
  • 7th Kerry Kirkwood 109lb 2oz (Canal 9)
  • 8th Andy May 104lb 4oz (Extension 30)
  • 9th Scott Geens 102lb 1oz (New 35)
  • 10th Steve Openshaw 101lb 6oz (High 47)
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The Drennan Knockout Cup 2016 Begins

Good luck to all 145 competitors competing in Round 1 of the Match Fishing Magazine Drennan Knockout Cup today at Tunnel Barn Farm.


Some of the very best anglers from England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales are involved and these are a mixture of invited stars and qualifiers. The top 60 weights will earn themselves a place in Round 2 on the New Junction Canal. The weather forecast is good and we know everyone will get plenty of bites at this brilliant venue. It’s all set be a great match!

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My First Classic

Dan Varney has just spent a successful week in Ireland competing in his very first Classic Fishing Festival. Here’s his report from the historic three-day event.


When good friend Steve Hemingray invited me to go on the Waterways Ireland Classic Fishing Festival on the Erne system the temptation was too huge to resist! This is a three-day event with over 200 anglers competing for one of the most prestigious titles in Ireland.

The Lough Erne system consists of the lower lough and the upper lough with the river that runs through Enniskillen joining them together. At this time of year the fish travel from the lower lough to the river to spawn. When you catch this right it can lead to some of the best fishing in the world!

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Top Tips From White Acres

Fresh from winning last week’s White Acres Milo Festival, Alan Scotthorne passes on some really useful tips that are sure to help your fishing.


After coming 2nd overall at White Acres a couple of weeks ago I really felt in tune with my fishing. So, when I had the chance to go back and fish the White Acres Milo Festival I jumped at the chance! This time I again scored a maximum 36 points (four section wins) and my dropped result was a 2nd in section, so this time I went one better and was the winner.

To say I was happy was an understatement. Missing out on practice on carp lakes through the summer due to my international commitments, I always feel I am just behind the leading carp match regulars, putting me at a slight disadvantage. To win these festivals you often need things to go for you and I did have the ‘rub of the green’ a couple of times, but still felt I had fished reasonably well throughout the week.

Here are a couple of small adjustments I made during the week that made a big difference to the end result...
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Big Bream For Hans

Hans Moolenaar landed this impressive 13lb bream during a productive springtime session.


hans-bream-baitHans began his session on the large stillwater by laying a bed of groundbait laced with maggots and micro pellets boosted with Sweet Fishmeal Yum Yum Bait Booster.

He then fished a small 35g In-Line Flat Method Feeder over the top and presented a single 10mm Method Boilie on a short Super Specialist Sinkbraid hook link.

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RX Carp Pole Review

The UK Match Angler website is worth checking out for a nice in-depth review on the Red Range RX Carp 13m pole.


The UK Match Angler team explains: “It’s very rare that you’ll find an informative review on a budget end pole, but here’s one that deserves the ‘Full Monty’ based on how it performed on the bank and the package you get for your money.”

The RX Carp 13m gets a thorough test at Cromwell Lake in Cambridgeshire, where it successfully tames carp to 9lb.

Read the full review on the UK Match Angler website.

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Tench On The Acolyte Plus 13ft

Tony Peet caught this terrific fish during a session with his Acolyte Plus float rod. 


Acolyte-Plus-Rods“I fished a stillwater in the North West to try out my Acolyte Plus 13ft, hopeful of a decent tench,” he explained. “I fished 6lb Float Fish through to a Carp Bandits size 14 to 4lb hooklength and set the float a few inches overdepth in 5ft of water.

“The rod was just right for this kind of fishing. I’m a big fan of my Acolyte Ultra, but the Plus just gives you that little more when you need it, without losing that great, light feel.”

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Bagging At Barford Lakes

Dan Varney sampled the fine sport on offer at Barford Lakes with two of the latest rods in the Red Range family. 


Barford Lakes in Norfolk is a premier fishery with an excellent reputation for quality carp to 10lb+ and proved to be an ideal testing ground. The Red Range 10ft Method Feeder and the Red Range 10ft Pellet Waggler were unveiled earlier this week and, as with the entire Red Range family, they offer fantastic value and performance.

red-range-method-feeder-10ft-16red-range-method-feeder-10ft-15Dan matched up the 10ft Method Feeder with a Red Range 6–40 reel loaded with 8lb Feeder & Method Mono. A 25g In-line Method Feeder was threaded onto the line and a pre-tied size 14 Carp Feeder Method Bandits completed a simple, strong and very effective setup.

Soaked micro pellets were moulded onto the feeder before casting. These were the fishery’s own 2mm feed pellets that interestingly include some green and red pellets for extra visual attraction. The main hook bait was a banded 8mm fishery pellet.

red-range-10ft-pellet-waggler-11red-range-10ft-pellet-waggler-14For the 10ft Pellet Waggler a smaller Red Range Float 6–30 reel loaded with 5lb Feeder & Method Mono was chosen. This lighter and thinner reel line really helps with casting distance and good float control but was still strong enough for catching lots of hard-fighting carp. The float itself was a 4g Loaded Pellet Waggler locked into position with a pair of rubber Float Stops. Completing the setup was a hand-tied size 14 Power Bandits hook to nylon.

dan-varney-barford-carp-3 dan-varney-barford-carp-5Regularly loose feeding 8mm fishery pellets was the key to drawing in the carp and getting them competing up in the water. Anything from three to 10 pellets were fired in very regularly to ring the dinner bell. As it was such a sunny day the float was set around 3ft to begin with, to target the uppermost layers of the 12ft deep swim.

Dan’s strategy was to start on the bottom with the 10ft Method Feeder while regularly firing a few 8mm feed pellets over the top. This meant he was priming both the waggler and the feeder swim at the same time. He could therefore swap between the two methods to keep in touch with the fish and maximise the peg’s potential.

dan-varney-barford-carp-4red-range-method-feeder-10ft-17Alternating between the two rods worked a treat. The Method Feeder produced some good early fish then, as the session progressed, the Pellet Waggler brought even more action. Interestingly, the fishery’s 8mm red-coloured pellets were also noticeably better on the hook than the natural brown variety.

We were kindly allowed to retain a few carp for a quick catch shot before quickly releasing them. It certainly didn’t upset the swim afterwards as Dan returned to his box and was straight back into catching mode again!

Many thanks to Barford Lakes for their kind hospitality.

Venue: Barford Lakes
Location: Chapel Street, Barford, Norwich, Norfolk
Postcode: NR9 4BJ
Telephone: 01603 759624
Website: www.barfordlakes.com

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