All-rounder, Matthew Fernandez ventured out on his first tench session of the year this weekend and was rewarded with this huge early season fish of 9lb 8oz!
“I arrived at the lake for the very first time not knowing much about the water, so I dropped on the end of the cold wind. I began by trying to locate any features, such as gravel bars, weed etc. It took me a short while but I eventually located a clean spot at around 40 yards, just in front of a weed bed. I introduced 10 Spombs of hemp which was mixed with Sticky’s Krill Active Mix, micro pellets, and red maggot.
“Early evening I landed my first tench weighing 4lb 8oz. I was hopeful for another bite but as darkness fell so did the temperature. I woke at first light to recast feeders and to introduce more bait into the area. Within minutes my left-hand rod was away and after a hairy battle, the tench was finally in the net. It swung the needle round to 9lb 8oz, beating my previous personal best by six ounces!”
Matthew used a Bolt Rig Feeder in conjunction with a short 4in hooklink of 8lb Supplex Fluorocarbon and a size 8 Super Specialist Barbel hook with two Buoyant Casters presented on a hair.
Drennan’s Ryan Hayden began his bream campaign on a large gravel pit this week and managed to land this lovely dark 9lb 4oz fish on his first trip.
Fishing a quick overnight session in between work, Ryan hoped that the bream had found his prebait from earlier that week.
“Due to the amount of weed in this venue, I opted to fish 56g ESP Mega Method feeders and tuck the hookbait into the feeder to ensure that the it does not get masked by any weed. For my hooklink, I use a short 4″ section of 15lb Gravel Braid to a size 10 Super Specialist Barbel hook tied knotless knot style with a single 10mm boilie tipped with a piece of buoyant corn presented on the hair.
With no sign of fish rolling as dusk fell Ryan hoped they would move into the area later into the night. “At 2:30am, I started to receive a few line bites on my right-hand rod, followed a couple of minutes later by a big drop back on my indicator, fish on!”
Sadly, the rest of the night passed without any more indications for Ryan, but with the first bream in the net, he was certainly pleased to get off the mark.
Top specialist Martin Bowler is a big fan of Drennan Feederbombs as their unique design ensures they cast arrow straight.
“In windy conditions, like I found myself fishing in yesterday, the Feederbomb is without doubt the best tool for the job, maintaining its accuracy even in a cross wind.”
The Drennan Feederbomb is available in four sizes from 15g right up to 45g.
It is time to decide the ultimate winner of the 2015–2016 Drennan Cup!
Check out pages six to 10 of this week’s Angling Times for an excellent run-down on the competition, with details of all the weekly awards from the past season.
As well as having their name inscribed on the famous trophy, the lucky winner receives a cheque for £2,000! The anglers voted into 2nd, 3rd and 4th places also receive cheques and see their names engraved on this unique piece of specimen angling heritage.
Voting cards are sent out to all weekly award winners from previous years. These anglers are then asked to list their top four anglers based on big fish captures from the 2015–2016 season, with four points going to their top pick, down to one point for their fourth. Votes are then gathered by the Angling Times and the angler with the highest amount of points wins the trophy, which will be revealed in late April.
If you’ve been fortunate to win a Drennan Cup weekly award, you are eligible to vote. Contact Ben Miles at Angling Times on 01733 395102 for a voting form if you haven’t already received one.
Former Drennan Cup winner, Jamie Cartwright struck gold on the last day of the season, landing his biggest perch of the year from the Great Ouse.
“After a few days of frustration where the river was very high and coloured, it dropped just right for the final day of the season and allowed me to get out and target perch. After a slow start, I built the swim up with a steady stream of chopped worm and maggot. Eventually, the tip sprung into life, taking three good perch in quick succession. They weighed 2lb 14oz, 3lb 1oz and the biggest at 4lb 5oz.”
All three fish fell to quiver-tipped lobworm hookbaits, fished in sections to replicate the free offerings and to release more scent into the coloured water.
Jamie used his trusty MatchPro Medium Feeder Combo, which allows him alter the rod length depending on the choice of swim without breaking down and re-tackling. This is coupled with an FD 4000 reel loaded with 5lb clear mono to a large size 4 Kamasan B983 hook. At the rig end, Jamie likes to keep everything simple, so he opts for a short paternoster link to which he simply pinches the relevant amount of shot onto.
Drennan employee Ian Brooker spent an afternoon just before the close season roving the banks of the River Loddon in search of chub.
“As soon as I got to the river I grabbed my ball of cheese paste and went for a wander, baiting half a dozen swims with a few small lumps of paste along the way,” he explained.
“The plan was to fish each swim for no more than 20 minutes, with the hope of nicking a quick bite. I managed six chub that afternoon with the biggest going 6lb 12oz, which bizarrely leapt out of the water like a salmon when I hooked it!”
Ian opted for a Series 7 12ft 1.5 Avon/Quiver rod with a 1oz Slow Taper Feeder Tip and 8lb Feeder & Method Mono fished on a running paternoster direct to a size 10 Kamasan Barbel Maxx hook. Leaving the tag end long enabled him to thread a leger stop, which he moulded the paste around.
Drennan’s Ian Brooker managed to land this impressive barbel on the float recently from the River Loddon.
As it had been a cold night and with snow flurries and hail showers on the drive to the river I decided to feed the chosen swim for a little longer than normal. After 45 minutes of feeding, I began my first trot. After a couple of runs down through the swim, I hooked a very powerful fish that charged upstream and buried itself in snag before the hook pulled.
I poured a tea from my flask and fed the swim for another 10 minutes then next run down hooked into another big fish. For the next 10 minutes, I couldn’t move it off the bottom as it charged around the swim, with only a 3lb Supplex hooklength I couldn’t apply too much pressure. Patience finally won and after further 10 minutes, I managed to eventually squeeze it into the net. It went 11lb exactly and was caught on my favourite float rod, a 14ft Matchpro. Unfortunately, the session went downhill slightly after that, as I lost a few fish over next couple of hours before the swim completely died.
Less than a week after landing a huge Thames chub of 7lb 10oz Mike Davidson has managed to land another huge chub of 7lb 4oz.
Like London buses, two came along in quick succession for the Drennan Sales Agent. The area was somewhere he had been meaning to fish for a while. After going over the area previously in his boat with the echo sounder he located a nice deep hole of 14ft, which was over double the depth of the surrounding area.
Mike applied the same tactics, using a light link leger on a 12ft Acolyte Ultra Feeder rod, in conjunction with a 2lb 6oz Supplex Fluorocarbon hooklength and a size 6 Specimen hook.
Before Mike even made a cast, he spent 15 minutes upstream introducing small pieces of flake into the head of the swim. After gaining their confidence, the huge fish came just five minutes after making his first cast into the swim.
Gaz Fareham has been making the most of recent sessions on the Hampshire Avon in search of big chub.
The run up had been looking good as we’d had a few floods come through in January, but it had been fining down quite nicely and I was hoping the Stour would be in fine trim for some trotting; my favourite way to fish for chub in the winter. It was looking great, up until a few days before, when it battered down relentlessly for two days. The Stour is quite responsive to rain, and sure enough, within 24 hours it was chocolate brown and charging through like the Ganges!
I went down for a look on the first Monday of the holiday and the Stour looked essentially unfishable, certainly with the sort of tactics I had in mind anyway. I needed a plan B for the week. I knew a few mates, Marcus and Brett, had been fishing the Avon over the last few weeks and, although it was slow going, had taken a few nice fish to 6lb 13oz, with the possibility they thought of a few rogue big ‘uns creeping around.
Terry Theobald recently spent a day of the banks of the Dorset Stour in search of chub and was certainly rewarded for his efforts.
Theo used his trusty 15ft MatchPro Ultralight float rod with a small fixed spool reel loaded with 4lb 4oz Floatfish mainline and a simple trotting setup consisting of a 6.4g Loafer float, 6g Olivette and a size 18 Super Spade Hook To Nylon.
Theo fed nearly a gallon of red maggot through the swim to draw chub upstream and to keep them competing. Single red maggot proved to be the way forward and by the end of the day he had landed no less than 10 chub, from 2lb all the way up to an impressive fish of 6lb 14oz!