Category Archives: Chris Vandervleit

Everitt Wins Lake John Festival

Bill Everitt is this year’s Lake John Drennan Festival winner after scoring a perfect two section wins at the prolific Essex venue. 


The top four: (From left) Runner up Chris Vandervleit, winner Bill Everitt, 3rd place Simon Willsmore and 4th place John Weedon.

A popular winner, local expert Bill managed a section winning 96lb 12oz on Day One from peg 37 (nearly doubling fishery manager Colin Bartlett off the next peg!) and followed that up with another section win on Day Two, this time with 83lb from peg 36.

lake-john-festival-2017-chris-vlake-john-bill-everitt-2017Lake John’s famous head of quality skimmers dominated weights and Chris Vandervleit caught the biggest bag of the competition with 147lb 4oz from peg 30 on Day One. That helped him to second overall on weight count back, after tying with Simon Willsmore and John Weedon on points.

Lake John Fishery manager Colin Bartlett commented: “A big thanks from me personally to everyone that took part. Really enjoyed the company, the fishing and of course the banter. The England Disabled team are also £280 better off because of everyone that took part. Well done lads!”


  • 1st Bill Everitt (Redbridge, Lake John) 14 points (179lb 12oz)
  • 2nd Chris Vandervleit (Drennan, Bait-Tech) 13 points (218lb 4oz)
  • 3rd Simon Willsmore (Rive, Spotted Fin) 13 points (189lb 8oz)
  • 4th John Weedon (Image) 13 points (152lb 4oz)
Posted in Chris Vandervleit, Match Fishing, Where To Fish | Comments Off on Everitt Wins Lake John Festival

Vandervleit And Penny Win The Series

Chris Vandervleit and Geoff Penny have topped the Drennan Pairs series held at Lake John Fishery.

lake-john-silverfish-pairs-1The final match at the popular Essex venue was won by Bill Everitt with an impressive 81lb of carp and quality skimmers from peg 18.

Chris Vandervliet was 2nd on the day with 58lb and Geoff Penny was 3rd with 53lb, helping them to the overall pairs title with 214 points.

Lake John’s fishery manager Colin Bartlett commented: “That’s it for another year and yet another great series! A big thanks to all the lads that once again took part in this fantastic event (their words, not mine!), thanks to all the hardworking catering staff and a big thanks to everyone at Drennan.”

lake-john-silverfish-pairs-2Pairs Result:

  • 1st Chris Vandervliet & Geoff Penny, 214 points
  • 2nd Bill Everitt & Rob Dean, 209
  • 3rd Ken Farrell & Martin Amos, 193

Visit to learn more about this terrific venue.

Posted in Chris Vandervleit | Comments Off on Vandervleit And Penny Win The Series

Fishing, Fun And Celebrities At Lake John

We were invited to a very special event yesterday, which included fishing with TV star Les Dennis and musician Dave Peacock from the famous Chas & Dave double act!


All smiles after a great day at Lake John: (From left) Dean Barlow, Les Dennis, Dave Peacock, Chris Vandervleit.

The event was organised by Colin Bartlett, the larger than life character who runs the popular Lake John Fishery in Essex. Although the wind and rain tried its very best to thwart the day, the fish still obliged and the two celebrities caught a few for the cameras. They were aided by top-flight match anglers Chris Vandervleit and Dean Barlow, who both kindly volunteered their tackle and expertise to ensure they caught a few fish.

TV star Les Dennis with Dean Barlow.

TV star Les Dennis with match ace Dean Barlow.

Les Dennis is famous for countless TV roles, including presenting Family Fortunes for 15 years and more recently starring in hit soap Coronation Street. He is now about to star as Uncle Fester in the Addams Family musical, which will soon be touring the UK. This was only his second time fishing, but he was soon, quite literally, into the swing of it with some chunky little roach on maggots.

“I loved it,” he commented as he posed with the team’s combined catch for the cameras. “It might have been a bit wet, but I can’t wait to go fishing again!”

Dave Peacock was paired up with fellow Londoner, Chris Vandervleit.

Dave Peacock was paired up with fellow Londoner, Chris Vandervleit.

Singer and bass guitarist Dave Peacock had eight top-40 singles with Chas & Dave. He also clearly enjoyed his day, as roach and small skimmers regularly came to the net. As one half of a very famous Cockney duo, he naturally still lives in London and very near to Lake John Fishery. “I remember catching roach on the River Lea when I was a kid,” he explained. “Fishing’s definitely come a long way from bent pins and cork!”

Alongside the celebrities, Colin was also having his lake professionally netted as part of his pro-active fishery management policy. Quality bream, perch, carp, tench, roach and hybrids were quickly returned to the lake while thousands of juvenile silverfish were removed, ready to be rehomed at another local fishery.

The silverfish breed so prolifically at Lake John that it’s important to thin out them each year like this. This keeps oxygen levels high and allows the mature fish to grow. It is also one of the reasons why Lake John is so famous for bags of quality roach, bream and skimmers throughout the year, as well as countless double-figure carp up to 40lb.

John Weedon is the England Disabled team manager and was also on the bank, putting on a great display of pole and waggler tactics. This was to help raise awareness for the disabled team, which relies heavily on the generosity and donations of others to be able to compete in the World Championship each year.

With so much going on at Lake John it turned out to be a very busy and successful day with plenty of smiles, plenty of fun and, of course, plenty of fish. That’s exactly what we have come to expect from this very special venue!

Posted in Articles, Chris Vandervleit, Dean Barlow, In The Media | Comments Off on Fishing, Fun And Celebrities At Lake John

Every Peg Has Its Day

Chris Vandervleit proved every peg has its day after a match win at Lake John Fishery from an area he wouldn’t normally fancy.


I have always said that there is not a bad peg at Lake John Fishery; there are some I definitely prefer not to draw but every peg on this venue has its day. For the third round of the seeded pairs competition I drew peg 41, which was certainly one of the pegs I would have preferred not to have found myself on! My partner for the series was Geoff Penny and he had drawn peg 10, an area with a lot of form. With this in mind my target weight was 10lb for good points.

Peg 41 is one of the deepest pegs on the venue (approximately 7ft on the long pole) and target species are normally roach. For some reason the lake’s skimmers and bream seem to avoid the area, probably because it’s in a corner. However, with a cold wind blowing the peg offered a bit more shelter from the elements.

special-g-darkAfter plumbing around I decided to fish slightly to my left at 11.5 metres. Here I fed Bait-Tech’s new Special G Dark groundbait, squatts and dead red maggots. This was my long pole line. I also fed three short pole swims. The first was a loose fed caster swim 4m out in front of me where it was 6ft deep. I also fed some groundbait and casters six metres to my right, next to a small clump of rushes in 4ft of water, and finally a swim to my left with groundbait and dead red maggots in about 6ft of water.

AS1-floatsRigs for the day were AS1 floats on 0.12mm Supplex main line with 0.10mm hooklenghts and size 18 Drennan Silverfish Maggot hooks. I used a 0.3g float in the shallowest swim, and 0.5g for the other two lines which were the same depth. The long line rig was an AS6 0.8g with the same lines and hook.

chris-v-peg-41At the start of the match I cupped in four balls of groundbait on the long line and a couple of balls on my left and right lines. In each ball was a pinch of dead red maggots. Hook bait was single dead red maggot.

After about 15 minutes of fishing my long pole line I’d caught three small roach and a small skimmer for about eight ounces. A look closer in on my 4m line produced a couple of hybrids about 8oz each, then a foul-hooked skimmer of about 2lb graced the net. Very welcome!

chris-v-peg-41-breamBack on the long pole produced a few small skimmers and after an hour and a half of I had reached my target weight. A look on my short left-hand line straight away produced a 3lb bream. This really built my confidence as the lake was fishing hard by Lake John’s standards. The rushes swim also produced a few roach, hybrids and skimmers and for the rest of the match I alternated between all of these lines, nicking odd fish.

At the weigh in my pairs partner Geoff had weighed in 22lb 8oz of waggler caught skimmers for 7th in the match and my 29lb 8oz gave me a surprising match win and mega points in the league.

Posted in Chris Vandervleit | Comments Off on Every Peg Has Its Day

Latest Video: PVA Bag Tips

Pick up some great tips on fishing with PVA bags in our latest video, starring top match angler Chris Vandervleit. 


Chris is a master at fishing with what he fondly refers to as the ‘tea bag’ and has scored countless match wins with the tactic. His latest film, shot at the excellent Lake John Fishery in Essex, is sure to help get the most out of this often overlooked tactic.

Watch the video >>

Venue: Lake John Fishery
Location: Aimes Green, Galley Hill, Waltham Abbey, Essex, England
Postcode: EN9 2BJ
Telephone: 07958 938153

Posted in Chris Vandervleit, Videos | Comments Off on Latest Video: PVA Bag Tips

A Top Weekend At White Acres


Chris’ Day 1 catch from Twin Oaks.

Chris Vandervleit looks back on an excellent performance in the Drennan Silverfish Festival held last weekend at White Acres. 

The Drennan Silverfish weekend at White Acres is a two-day event that I always look forward to, ever since the competition started three years ago. It was great to be down in Cornwall in great company and, despite the up and down weather, it turned out to be a really enjoyable trip.

Day One

On Day One I was drawn in the ‘red zone’ which meant no F1s, crucians or carassio would count. Peg 6 on Twin Oaks was my home for the day. As I arrived I could see small roach topping. This made my mind up to fish shallow at 10 metres for roach and look on the deck for bream and skimmers later on in the day.


Peg 6, Twin Oaks.

My rigs for fishing shallow were the old Drennan Caster floats in 0.1g and 0.2g sizes on 0.12mm Supplex with a size 18 Silverfish Maggot hook and a 0.10mm Double Strength hooklength. For fishing on the deck I set up 0.5g and 0.6g AS2s, with the same main line and hooklengths and a larger size 16 Silverfish Maggot hook.

At the start of the match I loose fed casters. First cast I caught a small roach that fell to a single caster hook bait. After the first hour I had caught 60 more roach for about 5lb, which I was very happy with.

Continue reading

Posted in Chris Vandervleit | Comments Off on A Top Weekend At White Acres

The Drennan Silverfish Festival 2016

Congratulations to Paul Yates for winning the 2016 Drennan Silverfish Festival at White Acres!


Festival winner Paul Yates (centre) with runner-up Kian Wardle (right) and 3rd placed Des Shipp (left).

Paul Yates' impressive Day One catch from Pollawyn.

Paul Yates’ impressive Day One catch from Pollawyn.

This event is now in its third season at the popular Cornish holiday complex and saw 75 anglers taking part. This year there was a 13m pole limit and the fishery was also split into two zones. On Pollawyn, Sycamore, Acorn and Twin Oaks lakes it was silverfish only, while crucians, carassio and F1s were allowed on Trelawney, Python and Jennys. Each competitor had to fish both zones over the weekend.

Only two anglers scored a maximum two section wins and it was Paul Yates who did best with a hard-earned 54lb 12oz total. On Day One he weighed in a terrific 48lb 12oz catch from Peg 27 on Pollawyn, consisting of roach and skimmers at 13 metres plus seven large barbel to 5lb in the latter half of the match. The next day, Paul drew the toughest section in the match, but still mustered a section-winning 6lb 5oz of F1s and skimmers from end peg 23 on Python.

Kian Wardle's section-winning catch from Day Two.

Kian Wardle’s section-winning catch from Day Two.

Kian Wardle also scored maximum points and took 2nd place overall with a 42lb 9oz total. He caught 22lb 12oz of roach and skimmers from peg 11 on Sycamore on Day One. The next day he drew peg 14 in the wides on Python and caught five F1s on the waggler plus skimmers on the short pole for 19lb 13oz.

The chasing pack saw six anglers all on 3 points, but it was the ever-impressive England ace Des Shipp’s 104lb 2oz total that was enough to clinch 3rd.

The top 10 and all of the section winners picked up cash prizes and there was over £3,000 of Drennan tackle up for grabs in the post-match raffle. The £400 random team prize also went to Paul Yates, Tom Scholey, Simon Mottram and Stewart Lister.

Thanks to all of the competitors for taking part, Gary Barclay for organising the event, fishery manager Clint Elliott and all of the hard working staff at White Acres for looking after everyone so well. We hope next year’s event will be even bigger and better!

Drennan Silverfish Festival 2016 Top 10:

  • 1st Paul Yates (Drennan) 2pts (54lb 12oz)
  • 2nd Kian Wardle (Garbolino) 2pts (42lb 9oz)
  • 3rd Des Shipp (Preston Innovations) 3pts (104lb 2oz)
  • 4th Chris Vandervleit (Drennan) 3pts (92lb 5oz)
  • 5th Frankie Gianoncelli (Preston Innovations) 3pts (85lb 15oz)
  • 6th Jon Arthur (Drennan) 3pts (79lb 6oz)
  • 7th Dean Barlow (Drennan) 3pts (63lb)
  • 8th Andy Power (Preston Innovations) 3pts (42lb 15oz)
  • 9th Darren Davies (Drennan) 4pts (95lb 1oz)
  • 10th Lee Kerry (Preston Innovations) 4pts (56lb 4oz)
Posted in Chris Vandervleit, Darren Davies, Dean Barlow, Jon Arthur, Match Fishing, Paul Yates, Silverfish | Comments Off on The Drennan Silverfish Festival 2016

Bonus Fish On The Fens

chris-v-old-neneAfter a year’s absence from the Fenland Drains, Chris Vandervleit bounced straight back to winning form last weekend.

His 10lb 1oz catch was enough to win his section in the East Midlands Winter League practice open on the Old Nene in Cambridgeshire.

Chris made the most of an end peg draw at Halfpenny Toll Bridge at Benwick to catch a bonus tench and a bream on chopped worm plus around 3lb of smaller fish.

“It made a nice change to get back on a natural venue with 66 anglers fishing,” the match ace commented.

Posted in Chris Vandervleit | Comments Off on Bonus Fish On The Fens

Vandervleit Storms The Lake John Two-Dayer

Chris Vandervleit won the two-day Match Fishing Scene event at Essex’s Lake John Fishery with a huge 348lb 8oz combined weight!


Chris Vandervleit showed his class at Lake John with quality carp like this.

The venue expert managed 22 carp on Day One for a match-winning 199lb 4oz. He took that impressive weight from peg 36, using an Acolyte Ultra 10ft Feeder rod and casting to the island willow trees, with his favourite PVA ‘tea bag’ tactics and a banded pellet on the hook. Chris then followed that up with a 149lb 4oz of mostly carp on the pole with maggots over Bait-Tech F1 groundbait from peg 7. He used his Acolyte Carp pole, 0.4g Margin Crystal, 0.22mm main line, 0.20mm hooklength, pink Carp Bungee and a size 14 Kamasan B911 X-Strong.


Quality skimmers and bream also fed really well at Lake John.

Lake rules insist that all double-figure carp have to be returned immediately and only count as 10lb. That meant Chris’ weight would have been even greater as he had to put eight fish back that were all over 15lb, with two possibly going 20lb!

Match organiser Carlos Tomayo had the best all-silverfish haul of the weekend with an impressive 80lb from peg 27.

Fishery manager Colin Bartlett commented, “All in all it was a great event with great banter and hopefully a bunch a of new faces that we will see in the near future. Thanks to and all those that took part from all at Lake John Fishery!”

Posted in Chris Vandervleit, Fisheries | Comments Off on Vandervleit Storms The Lake John Two-Dayer

Another Brilliant Week In Ireland

Chris Vandervleit looks back on an enjoyable week competing in the Lakeland & Inland Waterways 2016 World Pairs Angling Championship with Gary Miller. 


Chris Vandervleit’s 12.25kg Day 5 catch from Garadice Lake.

The World Pairs in Ireland is a festival that Gary Miller and I always look forward to. This year was our third year in the event. This is an event decided by total weight rather than points. Last year we managed to come sixth, so we were hoping to get higher up the leader board this time.

As per normal we stayed at The Angler’s Rest in Ballyconnell. The first person to greet us and buy us our first Guinness was the owner, Francis McGoldrick, a very good angler, excellent host and now a very good friend.

Continue reading

Posted in Chris Vandervleit, Ireland, Match Fishing | Comments Off on Another Brilliant Week In Ireland