Category Archives: Jon Arthur

Bite-Size Tips: DIY Depth Markers

Here’s another useful addition to our Bite-Size Tips series.


Jon Arthur passes on a simple tip on placing permanent measurements on your top kits, so you can accurately gauge the depth you have been catching. It’s a particularly useful tip for shallow fishing, canals and snake lakes.

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Check out our YouTube Channel for more great tips like this one.

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Bite-Size Tips: Pole Elastic Tensioning

For our latest Bite-Size Tip, we show you a simple and neat way of tensioning pole elastic using a Drennan Dacron Connector Bead.


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Check out our Videos page for more great tips like this one.

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The Carp 6 Close Up

Take a closer look at the Carp 6 pole float in our latest film. 


We talk you through all the key features of this expertly designed and engineered float. The Carp 6 is an extremely versatile pattern that deserves a place in every pole angler’s tackle box. Filmed with Jon Arthur at the excellent Bishops Bowl Fishery in Warwickshire.

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Winter Lessons

Jon Arthur looks back on a few key lessons picked up during a recent F1 and silverfish festival held at the popular White Acres Holiday Park in Cornwall.

floats-AS3sLight Is Right – When conditions are favourable I opt for AS3 floats from 0.1g up to 0.6g. These slim pole floats have a carbon stem that’s far less likely to tangle compared to wire, plus a fine 1.2mm hollow tip that can be dotted down easily to help you spot delicate bites. Wherever possible, I also go lighter in size as this offers much less resistance to a wary fish. I even use ultra light No12 dropper shot on my lightest rigs to help give the hook bait a really slow fall. This can be so important for attracting a fish’s attention in cold and clear water.

Polarised SunglassesBeat The Glare – Although I think delicate floats are generally best, a low winter sun combined with a ripple on the water can make these all but impossible to see at times. For this reason I might also set up a thicker-topped design (such as an AS2 or Carp 5) just for when the surface glare is too severe. I may even set up red and yellow topped floats for the same swim. Combine this with a good pair of sunglasses and you’ll hopefully still spot those bites when other anglers are struggling.

sun-glareSun Chasing – Another trick is to pay attention to where the sun is at the start of the day and then try and think where it will end up. I often like to feed two swims to swap between, left and right, but you might find one of these areas is unfishable at certain times in the day. If in doubt, feed a swim where the sun is reflecting on the surface at the start. This way you can guarantee this spot will be glare free in an hour or so. One thing I have also noticed recently is when the winter sun is casting long shadows it can often be better to fish in the sunnier areas rather the shadowy spots. I can only put this down to the sunnier areas being slightly warmer and therefore helping to encourage the fish to feed.

line-lengthLonger Lines – I never like to cast a direct shadow from my pole over my swim so I generally try to use a longish line of around 40cm or more above my float, so I can keep the pole to one side. I also combine this with a couple of No8 Stotz as backshot above the line to help prevent the wind from catching it. I also like to use a Ghost Kit and have recently sprayed some of my older top kits with a white primer to achieve the same effect. I know it won’t reduce the shadow but I believe it helps to decrease the pole’s silhouette against the sky. Any edge I can get at this tricky time of year is worth it.

dark-gbBest Of Both – I always go for a ‘sweet fishmeal’ mix in winter rather than 100% fishmeal. By diluting the fishmeal content with a low-feed, canal-type blend you can get away with feeding a bit more generously without the risk of overfilling. I am always experimenting with mixes but my latest concoction is a bit of everything, including Dynamite Milled Expander. Sonubaits F1 Dark, Sensas Black Lake and VDE Black Turbo. Some days I even add finely sieved topsoil from my garden to dilute it even further. The main points are that it is fine, dark, sweet and fishy without being too filling.

worm-headWonderful Worms – It always makes me wonder why I don’t fish chopped worm more often in winter on commercial venues much closer to home. It catches everything down in Cornwall and really sorts out the quality fish. In fact, if you are trying to avoid catching carp in a silverfish-only match I often find I have to cut out the worms completely as they home in on it like a magnet! Rather than big chunks I like finely minced feed and usually fish a tiny head or 10mm to 15mm segment over the top. I find these smaller pieces are taken much more readily.

double-pinkiePinkie Power – Two dead pinkies or a single big maggot are my other two top hook baits. Pinkies are a must-have winter bait and I like a mixture of red and brighter flouros to experiment between. I always prepare mine before a session with hot water, rather than freezing them like most people I know, as I like them to be ultra soft and stretched out. Each to their own, but this system works really well for me!

18-silverfish-matchFine Gear – My most common hook and hooklength combo for winter F1s and silvers is a size 18 Silverfish Match to a 15cm hooklength of 0.09mm Supplex, dropping to a 20 Silverfish Maggot if things are difficult. My main line is still quite thick 0.14mm Supplex. This helps to avoid tangles and also guarantees I only lose the hooklength if I accidentally hook a rogue carp. I also switch to traditional solid elastic when it goes really cold. My favourite four winter grades are a single No5 for skimmers, No6 for deeper water and slightly better fish, doubled-up No3 for something fractionally stronger and double No4 for deeper water and bigger F1s. All of these are matched with a Side Pull Kit.

jon-arthur-lake-win-twin-oaksDraw Well! – This is possibly the biggest lesson you must accept when fishing a winter competition. Fish shoal up tightly when it’s cold and clear, so it doesn’t matter if you’re a World Champion or a humble club angler, if the fish are not in front of you, you cannot catch them. You will always find areas where the fish have shoaled up in numbers. This is usually the wider and/or deeper parts of a lake. However, you should also never give up as, when the light levels drop, reluctant fish begin to swim about. Even if you haven’t seen a roach, bream or F1 for over four hours I would always be ready for a late flurry of action. This happens very regularly at this time of year.

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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)
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Latest Video: Short-Pole & Maggots

In our latest video, Jon Arthur demonstrates how to make the most of a couple of pints of maggots and a simple short-pole approach.


jon-arthur-hillview-lakesAfter an action-packed session at the fabulous Hillview Lakes, the reward was a tidy mixed catch including roach, perch, skimmers, bream, F1s and carp. It’s a simple and very effective way to fish, so watch the film and see if you can mimic Jon’s expert advice. We also shot some Bite-Size Tips from the same session, which should appear in our Videos section very soon.

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If you are ever in Gloucestershire, we recommend you give Hillview Lakes a visit. It consists of two large lakes and four snake lakes spread over eight acres. It’s a really pleasant and well-kept fishery that still fishes really well throughout the autumn and winter. There are even a number of Scandinavian-style log cabins on site if you want to make a holiday of it. Visit to learn more.

Venue: Hillview Lakes
Location: Cherry Orchard Lane, Twyning, Tewkesbury, Gloucestershire
Postcode: GL20 6JH
Telephone: (+44) 78405 79087, (+44) 1684 296719

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Drennan Duo Through To Final

Well done to Alan Scotthorne and Jon Arthur for qualifying for the Preston Innovations Pole Fishing Pairs Final at their first attempt.


Part of Alan Scotthorne’s catch from Barston Lakes (Image courtesy of Keith Vaughan).

The first qualifier for this silverfish and pole only event was held at Barston Lakes in the West Midlands. The venue fished unbelievably well with big weights of mostly skimmers and bream recorded in every section.

The Drennan duo managed an impressive combined weight of 130lb 6oz to qualify for next year’s Grand Final.

Pairs Qualifiers:

  • 1st Andy Power & John Harvey – 142lb 4oz
  • 2nd Des Shipp & Adam Wakelin – 130lb 9oz
  • 3rd Alan Scotthorne & Jon Arthur – 130lb 6oz
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Team Drennan Top At Alders Farm

Team Drennan topped the inaugural Joseph James Law event at Alders Farm yesterday with an excellent 53 points out of a possible 60.

Team Drennan: (from left) Jon Arthur, Dan Varney, Grant Albutt, Colin Spencer, Joe Roberts.

Team Drennan: (from left) Jon Arthur, Dan Varney, Grant Albutt, Colin Spencer, Joe Roberts.

This 12 teams of five contest was spread across Ash, Pines and the Specimen Lake at the prolific venue at Brickhill, near Milton Keynes.

Drennan’s talented quintet consisted of Grant Albutt, Joe Roberts, Jon Arthur, Dan Varney and Colin Spencer. Between them they managed two 1sts, two 2nds and a 6th place to take the £1,000 winner’s cheque kindly donated by sponsors Joseph James Law. Team Garbolino finished 2nd with 50 points and Preston Innovations were 3rd.

Team Drennan also had two lake winners as Dan won Specimen Lake with 48lb 12oz and Colin won the match outright with an impressive 249lb 11oz from peg 3 on Ash. He used his favourite paste tactics over small amounts of micro pellets, starting on a top four and then chasing them further out later in the day.

Catering and refreshments were also generously included and as the event was such a resounding success Joseph James Law and Alders Farm have vowed to run it again next year.

Visit to learn more about this unique venue.

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White Acres Ups, Downs And Maybes

Jon Arthur reflects on an up and down week competing in the star-studded White Acres Preston Innovations Festival.

Part of Jon Arthur's 63lb mixed bag from Peg 24 on Pollawyn.

Part of Jon Arthur’s 63lb mixed bag from Peg 24 on Pollawyn.

I always look forward to any chance I get to fish a Cornish festival. The Preston Innovations Festival held every October is the biggest one that everyone wants to qualify for and win. This year there were 160 anglers competing and a top-24 finish would guarantee a place in the hallowed Parkdean Masters Final with a cool £25,000 up for grabs.

I had made the final the last two years and was really hoping it would be three on the trot. As soon as I saw my section rotation, however, I knew it would be an uphill battle. I had drawn in the ‘section of death’ with superstars such as Alan Scotthorne, Steve Ringer, Andy Power, Andy Bennett and Matt Godfrey for company, to name just five! I was still really up for it, though, especially after having to sadly miss all the Spring festivals this year. I was a bit rusty but well prepped and raring to go.

I was lodging with my good friends Rob Wootton and Neil McKinnon again, but sadly our ‘head chef’ Nick Speed couldn’t stop with us this time. We had to make do with humble pub grub this year, which was a big drop in standards, but we just about survived! On to the fishing…

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A Close Campaign

Jon Arthur reflects on his 2016 UK Champs quest, a prestigious event which this year saw 80 top anglers competing at Lindholme Lakes, The Glebe, Boddington Reservoir and Barston Lakes.


The all-important draw on the final round at Barston. (Image courtesy of UK Angling Champs)

Statistically I knew I was up against it trying to defend the UK Champs title I won last year. However, I had a back-to-back victory once before, so nothing was impossible. More realistically I knew time was against me this year, so I tried to participate with a more relaxed attitude. The main aim was to do well enough on Round 1 to keep my reputation intact and then try and get a top-10 finish. Everyone enters this event hoping for that magical top-10 placing. Anything above that feat would be fantastic!

Round One – Lindholme Lakes

A decent start after Round 1 at Lindholme.

A decent start after Round 1 at Lindholme. Image courtesy of UK Angling Champs)

I pulled out Peg 52 on Laurels and, to be honest, I didn’t really fancy it. I was up the narrower end of the lake and stuck in a corner in one of the smallest bays. With a big tree blocking any chance of fishing my right-hand margin, my options were really limited. The wind was also hacking down the other end of the lake, so I fully expected those pegs to do best, but thankfully it also meant there was some wind blowing into my area. I also had a proper ‘section of death’ in the shape of Darren Cox immediately opposite, plus Rob Wootton and Steve Ringer amongst others!

It was a slow start for everyone but I managed a couple of fish on pellets short before switching to casters further out on two lines; one down the edge and another as diagonally away from the bank as I could comfortably fish. I ended up catching shallow on both spots, between 12 inches and 15 inches deep. I had lots of F1s and although they weren’t too big I still had plenty of them.

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