Match ace Grant Albutt had a nice surprise after slipping the net under 98lb and 99lb albino cats during a specimen hunting session in France.
Grant was hoping to target specimen carp during a trip to Domain de Goncourt, but it was the lake’s catfish population that stole the show:
“I had an amazing week. Not many carp for me – the biggest being 32lb – and it’s been so frustrating as I’ve been smashed up by catfish all week. I just couldn’t manage to get one even close to the bank. I finally had one at 55lb. Then, just after dark, I’ve had a run and played a fish for 25 minutes and seen this enormous creature come up 25 yards out! The fight on these fish is something else. This fish weighed in at 98lb. A fish of a lifetime!
“I had it on four Dynamite halibut pellets fished over a bed of high oil trout pellets on a size 5 ESP Cryogen Gripper hook.
“On the last day, at 1.30am, I was again woken up by my rod screaming off. I thought it was a big common until I saw its tail. It was another albino! At first I thought it was the same fish, but it weighed a pound more at 99lb. We’ve looked closely at the pictures and it’s definitely a different one. I’m absolutely over the moon to catch one, but two is amazing!
“Thanks to Steve Cole and Max White for all your advice, help and tackle, plus Paul McRae and Andy who I took over. Great times!”
France’s Benjamin Fruit shows you how to catch bream on the pole in the latest edition of Method Fishing magazine.
The talented match angler and Drennan fan stars in Issue 6 of the 100-minute video and e-Mag for the up and coming French media channel.
Watch the trailer or visit www.methodfishing.com to learn more.
Top match angler Grant Albutt caught this immaculate looking 41lb 8oz common carp yesterday during a week-long trip to France.
The fish was caught from La Saule Paquot Lake in France. It fell to a single tigernut, hair-rigged on a size 6 ESP G4 hook to 15lb Sink Link and fished over a bed of parti blend.
“I decided to go to France to try and catch a fish of a life time – for me anyway being a match angler!” he explained. “Fair play to all the carp anglers out there as it certainly is a waiting game. The trouble is I like being busy and I don’t know what to do half the time, twiddling my thumbs! Well at 10.30 in the morning, boom, off it went and I landed this stunning common.
“To say I’m buzzing is an understatement. I’ve still got five days left, so I might get one even bigger!”
Greg Sire had a productive match on Tirelles Lake at Cloyes sur le Loir, catching an estimated 300 fish for a section win and 2nd overall.
The contest was split into two 2.5 hour heats with a lunchtime break in between. Greg’s catch weighed 9.55kg and consisted of roach, perch and two skimmer bream.
All the fish were caught on the pole at six and 12 metres. On a windy day Greg found a 2g float was best to present his hook bait over a bed of groundbait and heavy soil containing joker and worms. His size 16 hook was baited with either single maggot or a maggot and bloodworm cocktail.
Well done to Stephane Szczupak from Paris who has won the First Division Departmental Yvelines (78) series.
The event was held over three rounds on the River Seine. Conditions became tougher as the series progressed, which forced anglers to use a wide range of silverfish tactics to keep bites coming.
Stephane won the first heat with 7.5kg of roach and bream at 13 metres. Round 2 was much more difficult but targeting bleak at 9m gave him a winning 1.4kg net. On the third and final round he managed another winning catch, this time with a hard-earned 2kg of roach.
Greg Sire has qualified for the France Cup at Bethune in the North of France after catching around 200 tiny catfish for a section-winning 6.34kg.
This species of catfish (poisson chat) is now extremely common in many French venues. They are an invasive species and much smaller than the Wels Catfish common in Britain. They are also notoriously tricky to handle due to their prickly spines!
“I caught catfish on the bottom at 12.5, 11.5 and five metres and fed casters and chopped worm in a heavy groundbait and leam mix,” Greg explained. “Any bream or carp type groundbait is normally good with worms, sweetcorn or two or three red maggots on a strong but fine size 14 hook. A heavy 3g to 4g pole float is also ideal to get the hook bait quickly to the bottom where the catfish live.”
Benjamin Fruit has sent in some nice pics from last week’s Master du Gard event fished in the South of France.
This was a two-day pairs competition held on the Canal Du Rhône in Saint-Gilles. The popular event was run by Team Milo 30 and saw 78 teams involved. Any method is allowed and, interestingly, each pair must fish the same peg.
“Fishing with my partner Damien Lendami, on both rounds we caught bream and carrassio on groundbait feeder tactics with worm on the hook and a lot of worm in our feeders,” Ben explained. “We finished 3rd in section on the the first round with 11.5kg after fishing a very long 60m distance. The next day we won the section with 18kg and finished 8th out of the 78 teams!”
The event was eventually won by Benjamin Billaut and Jérémie Boissière with a perfect points score.
Sébastien Renard has sent in this nice catch shot from a recent practice session at Saint-Gilles in the south of France.
The Drennan enthusiast caught a mixed bag on both the pole and feeder while fine tuning tactics for the Master du Gard competition.
Greg Sire from France caught his first tench of 2016 during a short session after work.
“I fished for two hours on a small lake near my house,” the Drennan fan explained. “I chose to pole fish at 10 metres and only used 1kg of special roach groundbait and some bloodworm.
“In the first hour I caught many roach and rudd, then I put two bloodworm on my Kamasan B590 hook to a 0.07mm hooklength and, 10 minutes later, this tench was in my keepnet.”
Derek Hammond is the 2015 Drennan Rive Silverfish Festival Champion after scoring a perfect two section wins and amassing a 48lb 5oz total.
The experienced Oxfordshire matchman won his section on Python on Day One and then put in a great performance to win the match outright on Pollawyn on Day Two.
His 33lb 8oz weight from Peg 15 consisted of quality skimmers to 3lb plus a few bonus perch and barbel. He caught most of his weight on a 5m swim with double dead red maggot over groundbait and chopped worm.
The best rig was a 0.6g John Walker Special on 0.13mm line to a 0.11mm hooklength, size 18 Silverfish Pellet hook and Aqua 4-6 F1 & Silverfish Bungee. His reward was £700 and a shiny new Rive seatbox.
Second overall was Grant Albutt who also had two section wins but a slightly lower 46lb 11oz total. Jon Jowett also had maximum points and his 38lb 12oz total weight earned him third overall.
Despite the tough weather conditions it still proved to be a great event fished in good spirits with prizes awarded to all of the 84 competitors courtesy of Drennan and Rive. Thanks to Gary Barclay for organising the event and also to Clint Elliott and all of his team at White Acres Holiday Park for looking after everyone so well.
Click here to view our Facebook Photo Album from this excellent event >>
Overall Top 10:
1st Derek Hammond (Drennan Oxford) 14pts (48lb 5oz)
2nd Grant Albutt (Matrix) 14 (46lb 11oz)
3rd Jon Jowett (Drennan Northwest) 14 (38lb 12oz)
4th Callum Dicks (Maver) 13 (56lb 1oz)
5th Simon Willsmore (Drennan) 13 (54lb 11oz)
6th Andy Bennett (Guru) 13 (51lb 12oz)
7th Darren Davies (Drennan) 13 (51lb 5oz)
8th Des Shipp (Preston) 13 (39lb 13oz)
9th Martin Kirk (Sensas A4) 13 (33lb 14oz)
10th Jon Arthur (Drennan) 12 (38lb 5oz)