You can watch Alan Scotthorne in action with the unique Acolyte Hook Resistant Landing Nets in our latest film.
Category Archives: Alan Scotthorne
Team England are in Italy this weekend competing in the 23rd European Championship.
The teams-of-five event sees 24 nations competing over two days on the Bianco Canal at Rovigo, on the 20th and 21st of May. England will be hoping to go one better than last year’s event where they took a well-earned silver medal in Holland.
This year’s talented England squad is a mixture of youth and experience with Alan Scotthorne, William Raison, Callum Dicks, Matt Godfrey, Matt Derry and James Dent involved. James is the only angler without senior World or European experience and earns his call up after impressive performances in the past two Home Internationals. Team manager Mark Downes is also assisted by Steve Sanders this year, following Mark Addy’s retirement.
This year’s venue is in the north east of Italy, around 50km from Venice. It’s a large navigable canal averaging 90m wide and 4m deep. Being just 15km from the sea with no sluices it is also subject to tidal variations which can see the flow change direction and the levels rise and fall by up to a metre.
The key species will be bream and skimmers up to 2kg, but other possible species include carassio, mullet, catfish and bleak. Pole fishing over an initial bombardment of heavy groundbait is likely to be the dominant tactic, with large lollipop-style flat floats as large as 25g to 30g playing a major role when the canal flows.
The two four-hour matches will be fished to international rules in this float-only event. This includes strict bait limits, a 10-minute pre-baiting period and a 13m pole limit.
Despite last year’s resounding victory, Wales will sadly not be defending their crown as European Champions. Financial difficulties mean they have chosen to focus their attentions on the World Championship held in Belgium later on in the year.
Good luck to all of the competitors. The Italians are red-hot favourites and will be extremely difficult to beat on home soil, but we know Drennan Team England will be doing their very best to get on the podium!
Drennan Barnsley have been practicing hard in Spain for the inaugural World Feeder Championship For Clubs.
The talented team that will be competing in Spain over the weekend consists of Alan Scotthorne, Lee Kerry, Andy Power, Eddie Brydon and James Dent. A number of key squad members are also involved, including Gavin Leversidge, captain Glenn Lawrence and England legend Denis White. Gavin has very kindly sent us the following report, live from the bank:
We qualified at the back end of last year for the very first World Feeder Championships for Clubs along with Preston Telford. The tackle and four of the team left early last Friday for the 1,400-mile journey to the venue, which is a river called the Rio Júcar (or Xúquer in Spanish) in the town of Fortelany, about half an hour south of Valencia.
The venue varies massively. Starting at A Section it’s very rocky on the near and far bank as well as overhanging trees all the way down. This area is 25 metres wide, so it flows a bit more than the rest of the river and is the better of the sections. Andy Power was best in practice from this area on Thursday with nearly 30kg, but all of the others caught as well.
The four days of official practice kicked off on Tuesday with Drennan Barnsley in D Section. This was the same as before with rocks on either bank, but 55 metres wide. We all expected it to be a lot better, but we had a major shock as the river had been in flood big style, with at least 2 metres of extra water! The water was freezing as well! The session was horrific as we managed only a handful of carp, some carassio, sunfish and eels.
We feared the worst the following day when we were in B section. By then, however, the water had miraculously warmed overnight and the colour dropped out. Some early carp got our hopes up, but the middle was very hard! Big Alan even managed a terrapin, which the venue seems to be full of!
We managed a few more fish towards the end of the session, so we finally had something to work on. A good session on Thursday has also lifted our spirits.
The whole venue is very peggy, so some areas are much harder than others. One big thing to also mention is the power of these fish. I have never seen and felt fish so powerful, ever! You can get broke on 0.25mm hooklengths! The rocks are proving a massive problem, too, with fish lost due to them rubbing on the rocks or getting snagged.
Yesterday was also the official parade and ceremony in the evening, which was an absolutely fantastic turnout from the locals clapping us all the way round.
Today is the last day of practice and hopefully we can get a bit of a plan together.
Good luck Drennan Barnsley!
Pictures courtesy of Gavin Leversidge and also our Spanish friends at Drennan HTF España who are the sponsors of one of the World Championship sections.
Alan Scotthorne had a huge surprise during a feeder session at Lindholme Lakes after netting this huge pike on featherweight match tackle!
The five times World Champ caught the colossal fish while feeder fishing on Loco Pool at Lindholme Lakes. The fish took three maggots on a size 16 Kamasan B911 hook to a 0.13mm (2.6lb) Supplex Fluorocarbon hooklength and was hooked squarely in the mouth!
“I struck at a proper bite and felt a large weight nodding on the end,” he explained. “At first I thought I’d got a massive bream… until this great ‘crocodile’ surfaced!”
“I had to quickly unscrew my landing net and put a much bigger one on to get it out. Although I never weighed it I’m sure it’s close to 30lb, if not more. I actually caught a 28lb pike when I was a lad and still have it set up in a case in my tackle room. This fish looked bigger than that!
“I know my Drennan Barnsley Blacks team mate Nick Speed also had a massive 20lb+ pike out of this lake recently, but I’m not sure it’s the same fish as there are loads in the lake. This is the biggest one I’ve ever seen and most probably my personal best fish.
“I was actually practising for the World Club Feeder Champs which I’m fishing in Spain in a few weeks. I was trying different feeders and getting my tackle right for the big carp we’re expecting to catch. It’s safe to say if I can land a pike like this with an Acolyte Plus 12ft Feeder it’ll have no problems with Spanish carp!”
The latest episode of Feeder Fishing stars Alan Scotthorne and his fellow England and Barnsley Blacks team mate Lee Kerry.
The talented pair tackle Worsbrough Reservoir in Yorkshire for the 60-minute HD video and 50-page eMag. Using contrasting tactics they disclose plenty of tricks to help you get more from feeder fishing when the conditions are tough.
Inside the eMag, editor Joe Carass also takes an in-depth look at the Acolyte Ultra 11ft Feeder rod during a session on a local stillwater.
Visit www.feeder-fishing.co.uk to learn more.
Alan Scotthorne reflects on an outstanding team performance which saw his Drennan Barnley Blacks squad win last weekend’s Angling Trust Winter League Final.
What a great result for my Drennan Barnsley Blacks team on the Winter League Final! We had put in a good amount of practice on both the Fenland Drains and at Decoy Lakes. The lakes were really difficult to formulate a plan on with so many different pools to contend with, so this was almost left to each angler to sort out their own route on the day. The drains were again difficult, but we had a loose plan in place with each angler making sure they had fished a number of sessions to help familiarise themselves with each section.
For me I arrived early on Friday and had a run round all the sections. Not having fished the drains last year I wanted to know exactly where I was going once we had drawn our pegs. Also I had not fished the last two sections at Benwick and Factory Bank, so I had at least seen these pegs if I found myself in one of these sections.
Alan Scotthorne spent an enjoyable session on a little known stretch of river last week, catching over 20lb of roach.
He chose to tackle the River Torne with his son Oliver for a spot of pleasure fishing, but also to brush up on his whip fishing skills in readiness for the forthcoming Winter League Final on the Fens. Being just 12m wide and no more than 5ft deep, the Torne at Belton is not unlike the Old Nene at March – but a good 100 miles nearer to his Yorkshire home!
Alan soon had the fish queuing up on his 5m whip swim by feeding regular small balls of punch crumb with punched bread on the hook. He chose to use a 0.4g AS7 pole float, which he had slightly modified by cutting down the wire stem because of the extra shallow nature of the swim. A simple bulk and one No9 dropper was all that was needed with a size 20 barbless Silverfish Match hook to a 0.08mm hooklength. Swapping between 4mm, 5mm and 6mm Brass Head Bread Punches kept the fish coming as he amassed well over 100 pristine roach.
Alan fished the Doncaster & District Angling Association controlled stretch of the River Torne at Belton, South Yorkshire.
James Dent earns a European Championship call up as the Drennan Team England squad is announced.
This year’s Euros is to be held on Italy’s Bianca Canal in Rovigo on the 20th and 21st of May. The squad includes the experienced and ever-impressive Alan Scotthorne and William Raison, plus Callum Dicks, Matt Godfrey, Matt Derry and debutant James Dent.
James is a former Under 23 international who has earned his place after impressive performances in the last two Home Internationals. Manager Mark Downes commented: “James is an outstanding young angler with a wealth of experience on rivers and he showed his pedigree in the recent Home International at Shrewsbury by winning the two-day event with a perfect 2 point score.
“The two Matts shone in last year’s Europeans in Holland while Callum did brilliantly in last year’s World Championship in Bulgaria.
“With the experience of Will and Alan I feel this team has a chance of improving on last year’s silver medal, although beating the Italians in Italy is never easy.”
England U20s and Daiwa Dorking manager Steve Sanders also joins Mark Downes in a management role, following Mark Addy’s retirement last year. Mark added: “This is a two man job. Steve and myself have worked well together at youth level and we are both excited about taking that into the senior championships. Like myself, Steve likes to win and I am sure our combined experience will help Drennan Team England scoop even more medals.”
The team has been selected early as the event has temporarily moved from the end of June to mid May.
Pictured is Alan Scotthorne leaning into another quality fish caught with a Drennan Ultralight Bomb & Feeder rod.
The Ultralight Bomb & Feeder is an ideal choice for registering the shyest of bites in winter, whether you are targeting delicate biting silverfish or finicky carp and F1s. It has an extremely forgiving action which allows you to use the lightest of hooklengths with confidence.
This clever combo rod can also be extended from 10ft to 11ft without ‘breaking down’. Greater casting distances can be achieved in its 11ft mode, while the shorter 10ft length is ideal for confined swims and netting fish closer in.
Arguably one of the best winter ‘bomb rods’ ever produced!
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:
I 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!