Category Archives: Canal

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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Latest Video: Bream On The Canal

Join Dean Barlow on the towpath to learn how to catch quality fish from a winter canal. 


Despite the bitterly cold conditions, Dean still managed to catch an astounding net of bream for the cameras, passing on some excellent tips and advice along the way.

Dean fished the Oxford Canal with special thanks to Oxford & District Angling Association.

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A Great Start To 2017

Alan Scotthorne kicked off the year in style with an impressive catch of bream from the Stainforth & Keadby Canal. We got the England star to explain how he did it:

alan-scotthorne-stainy-winI always fish the Stainforth & Keadby Canal matches through the winter months and it’s the only canal I know that almost guarantees you plenty of bites, even on the coldest of days. It’s always been known as a bloodworm mecca, but over the last couple of years it’s been very difficult – maybe almost impossible – to make the frame using only his bait. You now really need to catch on hemp in the closing stages of the match or strangely on casters in the opening couple of hours of the competition.

When the first matches start in October, a good ploy is to start  on caster and finish on hemp if you are looking to win the match, discounting bloodworm altogether. I have tried a lot of times with slightly different approaches to catch a winning weight on bloodworm alone, but with the fish being very small and the canal being quite deep it’s difficult to put big numbers of fish together, given that they don’t seem to come in closer than nine metres of pole. One match I caught 286 fish for just short of 14lb but only won the section as 36lb of bream won the match. As I said, plenty of bites but you need to be more selective to actually win.

This season, match organiser Lee Kerry decided to try a competition where you needed to win your section to qualify for a big final match which guaranteed a good pay day for the winner. After three matches I was looking like I might not make this final. This included one near miss by just two ounces and really not having a chance on the other two qualifiers with end pegs dominating my area. With two qualifying matches left, the pressure was on a little!

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A Day To Remember

Andrew Quarmby gives his account of the final round of the Avon Valley Winter League, where he enjoyed a very memorable day’s fishing on the Basingstoke Canal.


A fantastic winter catch from the Basingstoke Canal.

Fishing for Drennan Bordon for the last round of the Avon Valley Winter League, I turned up to find I was on a proper flyer – the end peg in the turning bay at Ash Wharfe! This peg is around 25m wide and is known to be good for skimmers.

Given the peg I was on I was aiming to go out with a bang! I assembled two positive rigs for fishing bread punch. These were set up to fish at 6m in the central track and at 13m at the top of the shelf (it was the exact same depth from 13m to 16m).


Bread punch was the winning bait.

Both had a 0.09mm bottom to a size 16 hook with a soft 1-5 solid elastic. A waggler for fishing further across and a negative bread rig for the 13m swim with a smaller size 20 hook were also assembled in case it was hard. As there was a cold easterly blowing down the canal I was uncertain what would happen.


Andy’s peg on the Kennet & Avon Canal.

A full 250ml pot of bread kicked off the 6m swim. No bites for the first five minutes and, just as I was starting to worry, I had 10 skimmers and six big roach in 30 minutes!

The rest of the match was pretty simple, swapping between the two positive lines. Every time I topped up it got slower, so I found the best solution was to completely fish it out first.

The icing on the cake was a cracking 3lb tench with all its winter colours. I even managed a few fish on the waggler late on. I ended up with 24lb 11oz to win the match by quite a distance. The team also won on the day, together with the league, and I ended up 3rd out of 100 anglers in the individual points league. Happy days!

drennan-brass-head-bread-punchesDrennan Brass Head Punches are available in two sets: Small (2.5mm to 7mm) and Large (7.5mm to 11mm). The brass head cuts cleanly into a slice of bread and a special slot allows for quick and efficient hooking. They are ideal for targeting all kinds and sizes of fish throughout the winter months; a time of year when punched bread really comes into its own!

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A Close Frame On The Canal

Just one point separates Drennan Oxford and Sensas A4 after four rounds of the Angling Trust Oxford Winter League.


The Kennet & Avon Canal at Hungerford (Image courtesy of Ian Young, Drennan Oxford).

Round 4 was held on the Kennet & Avon Canal at Upper Dunmill, Hungerford. Mild conditions meant the canal fished well, with lots of small roach showing and better fish on the end and feature pegs.

In first place was Sensas A4’s Steve Pawson with a level 12lb. He drew the bottom end peg and had a couple of decent perch on pole fished worm to go with loads of roach on pinkie over groundbait. Top Tackle’s Mark Harrington was just behind with 11lb 2oz. He drew near the wires near Hungerford Station and had quality roach on pinkie over squatt feed.
The opposite side of the wires was third-placed Martin Phipps with an all-roach 10lb 11oz at four metres with pinkie over groundbait.

That result helped his Drennan Oxford team win the day with 40 points. Drennan ODAA were 2nd on 33 points and Sensas A4 3rd on 32 points.

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Four Out Of Four For Bordon

Brett Cooper lead Drennan Bordon’s charge to make it four out of four wins in the Avon Valley Winter League.

brett-drennan-bordonThe fourth round was held on an extremely difficult Wey Navigation Canal from Parvis Bridge to Black Bouys. The talented Bordon outfit had five section winners on the day, lead by match winner Brett. Here’s his account:

“I drew on the bends below the scout hut and quite fancied it for a few fish, as there were a few caught there last week. I started on bread punch at 5m and had 15 roach to 3oz before that died. I then had a look on my 3/4 line, where I had fed some joker in groundbait and soil, and caught some more 2-3oz fish and a bonus 8oz roach.

“A boat came around the bend and killed this line for the rest of the match, but by feeding more bread at five metres I continued to catch roach steadily to end with 11lb 1oz, winning the section and the match!”

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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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Oxford Men Through To Canal Pairs Final

Drennan Oxford anglers had a great weekend competing in the Canal & River Trust Canal Pairs Championship qualifier held on the Birmingham-Fazeley Canal.

2nd place, Ian Young

2nd place, Ian Young

1st place, Mick Denton

1st place, Mick Denton

The match winner was Drennan Oxford captain Mick Denton with 20lb 13oz of skimmers from peg A9. His pairs partner Tony Hobbs also put in a tidy performance to help secure them 2nd place overall.

Individual second place went to Drennan Oxford’s Ian Young with 19lb 8oz of mostly skimmers from A20. He and his partner Tommy Boyce also took the last qualification spot for the prestigious final.

Qualifying Pairs:

  • 1st Les Waldron & Michael Gerry 77pts
  • 2nd Mick Denton and Tony Hobbs 73pts
  • 3rd Paul Cowern & Damien Green 68pts
  • 4th Simon Roberts & Derek Jackson 68pts
  • 5th Ian Young and Tommy Boyce 65pts
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Top Scorer On The K&A

Drennan Team England’s Simon Willsmore was crowned the top individual points scorer on the Sensas Kennet & Avon Spring League. 

simon-willsmore-skimmerThis popular event saw 92 anglers (23 teams of four) lining the banks of the Kennet & Avon Canal over four rounds. The team event was won by Devizes PI Thatchers, with Homestores 2nd and Drennan Bordon 3rd, which was the team that Simon was guesting for.

The fishing was tough in areas but Simon’s experience and consistency on catching small fish and winkling out bites shone through.

He ended up with 81 points out of 92. Here’s how he fared on each round:

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Oxford Win The Winter League

Drennan Oxford are this year’s 2015 Oxford Winter League Champions.


Drennan Oxford, 2015 Oxford Winter League Champions

The final round was extremely close with just two points separating the top three teams. Although Drennan Oxford just missed out on winning the final round by a single point, they had done more than enough over the six-round series for overall victory.

The final round saw six teams of eight anglers lining up on the banks of the Oxford Canal from Kidlington to Wolvercote. Despite the mild conditions, some of the sections fished exceptionally hard with a single ounce winning one section!

John Beesley included five quality perch in his winning catch.

John Beesley included five quality perch in his winning catch.

In the individual stakes it was Drennan Oxford’s John Beesley who fared best with a 14lb 15oz catch of quality fish. John drew two pegs below Yarnton Lane Road Bridge and managed five big perch on pole fished lobworm down the middle, backed up with some roach caught further across on bloodworm over joker feed.

Just a few ounces behind was Dick Ashby with 14lb 10oz. The Isis angler drew in the pound below King’s Bridge and managed four large chub on pole fished caster plus some roach and perch on bloodworm.

Third was Carl Eland with a level 10lb of hand-sized skimmers on bloodworm and joker.

The fight for the all-important second team qualifying place was between Sensas A4 and Oxford Isis. These two teams actually tied on 14 points, but it was Sensas A4 who got the verdict on match wins.
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