Category Archives: Specimen

Big Roach

cfa-october-2016-cover-webDrennan’s Ryan Hayden visits a very special lake in search of huge roach in this month’s issue of Coarse Fishing Answers.

Over the duration of the session, Ryan landed numerous 2lb plus roach by adopting a very different approach to those usually associated with roach fishing.

To find out exactly how Ryan tackled this very weedy carp lake for roach, grab a copy from your local newsagent now. Also available for download on Apple and Android devices.

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Roving Approach Proves Key

Drennan’s Ryan Hayden made the most of the rain this weekend and landed this stunning 10lb 7oz barbel on a short morning session.


With the river being low and clear for many weeks, Ryan made the most of the rain on Saturday and arrived at the river just after dawn the following morning knowing the river would have a tinge of colour.

“I opted for a mobile approach, baiting a handful of swims and leaving them to rest before fishing each of them in turn for 30-minutes. The river looked great, but until my last swim, I had only had indications from small chub and roach.

“On the final swim of the day all came good, less than a minute after carefully lowering the rig into position on a deep gravel run the rod tip began to twitch, followed by the rod arching over and the clutch bursting into life. The fish was very long and made several long runs before making it into the net.”

Ryan used a 1.75 Martin Bowler Specialist Barbel rod, 9-40 Specimen BR Reel loaded with 15lb ESP Syncro XT Loaded and a simple combi-rig made up of 15lb Micro Braid and Super Specialist Barbel hook baited with a single boilie.

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Trent Barbel for Jamie

With an opportunity to fish the River Trent Jamie leapt at the chance and was soon heading north in search of barbel.


Jamies biggest barbel from the session, an immaculate fish of 10lb 10oz.

Jamie arrived early morning on the famous stretch of the Trent and initially cast out his rods with single baits and catapulted a handful of matching boilies over the top before setting his shelter up as heavy rain was due any minute.

Once the rain had eased off, Jamie then got to work and set up his spod rod with a 5oz gripper style lead to which he attached a 200mm re-usable cable tie. The idea of this being to attach palm-sized PVA bags of 3-foot Twitch’s Lamprey and Smoked Herring flavoured boilies and feed pellets. This would then be cast out onto the spot and left for 30 seconds for the PVA to dissolve, giving a relatively tight area of feed, much more accurate than catapulting boilies and pellets out.

“I opted to fish a 14mm boilie on one rod, and a 22mm on the other to avoid the attentions of the bream. To ensure each of my hookbaits laid flat on the bottom I cut a slither off of each allowing them to do so.

“I managed to land four barbel during my session, and every one of the barbel fell to the smaller bait fished on top of the bed of feed I had put out, rather than the big bait fished just downstream of it. The biggest two weighed 10lb 10oz and 9lb 6oz, with the other two estimated around 7lb.

“My 12ft 2.25 Martin Bowler Big River Barbel rods were tested to the limit, and they came through in far better shape than I did! Chucking 8oz leads, 60 yards, sounds a doddle in theory but repeatedly doing it, and with accuracy key, it really took its toll on my arms. I opted to use 15lb ESP Syncro XT Loaded for my mainline and 30 inches of 20lb semi-stiff Tungsten Loaded for my hooklink, both chosen for their abrasion resistant qualities. My hook choice was also chosen with strength in mind and I opted for either a size 6 or 8 ESP Cryogen Gripper hook depending on the size of the bait.

“I certainly saw enough to lure me back and try for a bigger fish over the coming months,” Jamie added.

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Target Big Rudd Now

Learn how to target big rudd with former Drennan Cup holder Jamie Cartwright in this week’s Anglers Mail.


Check out Jamies ‘On the bank’ feature on pages 36-38 of this week’s Anglers Mail to find out his tips and tactics to help you go and catch yourself a new personal best rudd this summer.

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Wye Double For Theo

Terry ‘Theo’ Theobald ended his week on a high after landing an elusive double from the River Wye.


Within an hour of setting up, Theo’s rod hooped over and the battle commenced. “It felt like a much bigger fish from the off, it was hugging the bottom and using the flow to his advantage,” added Theo. Once safely landed, the scales tipped around to 10lb 6oz, a rare fish on the River Wye.

Theo used his 1.75 Martin Bowler Specialist Barbel rods, in conjunction with a long 15lb braided hooklink and a size 8 ESP Cryogen Gripper hook. A combination of tackle tough enough to target these strong fighting fish in such a powerful and snaggy river.

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Eleven Crucians For Matthew

Method feeder tactics produced the goods for Matthew Fernandez on his recent crucian session at Marsh Farm.


Arriving at Harris lake early in the morning he found that the weather had taken a turn for the worst. With high winds and rain, he settled into a swim on the end of the wind. Matthew then baited the marginal shelf next to some lily pads with a few balls of Sticky’s Manilla Active Mix, maggot and micro pellets before setting up, in hope to draw a few feeding fish into the swim.

Matthew opted to fish two rods, each with In-Line Method Feeders due to the high winds. His hooklink consisted of a short 3″ section of Micro Braid and a size 16 Wide Gape Specialist hook baited with a single buoyant caster.

“It was a slow start but by 5pm I’d landed eleven crucians to 3lb 1oz with the rest also nudging over the 2lb barrier.”

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Perch On The Kayak

E-Sox consultant Steve Rowley took to his kayak for a short early morning perch session and was rewarded with this stunning fish of 3lb 9oz.


Steve patrolled the margins searching for shoals of fry, once found, he then covered the area with a small Mepp’s Spinner using his 9ft E-Sox Piker Lure rod coupled with a fixed spool reel loaded with 35lb Piker Braided Reel Line, and a Spin Trace due to the amount of pike present.

“I caught a few smaller perch, and a couple of small pike before the big fish hit. What I found really interesting was, if I didn’t get a hit on the first few turns of the reel handle after the cast, I wouldn’t get a hit at all.”

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3lb Rudd Sets New Personal Best For Matthew

After wading through countless small rudd, Matthew Fernandez finally lifted into a much bigger fish which set a new personal best for the Southampton based angler.


“I arrived at the water eager to get fishing and after a lap of the lake, I dropped into a swim where I had seen rudd showing on the end of the wind. I found a clear spot at around 50 yards and introduced 10 Spombs of Sticky’s Krill Active Mix, maggot and hemp. I then fished two rods over the top with helicopter rigs, each with a 35g Feederbomb, short 3in Supplex hooklink and a size 16 Wide Gape Specialist hook baited with two maggots. It didn’t take long and I was soon catching plenty of small rudd, nearly one every cast. I lost count of the smaller rudd up to a pound before the big fish finally slipped up.”

This impressive rudd also landed Matthew Fernandez his first weekly Drennan Cup Award in this week’s Angling Times.

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Huge Rudd On First Trip

All-round angler, Matthew Fernandez from Southampton managed to slip the net under two personal best rudd during his first trip to a new venue.


Matthew with his biggest rudd weighing 2lb 14oz.

“With nothing to really go by on the signs of fish, I dropped in a swim on the end of a fresh wind. I located a clear spot at 60 yards and introduced several spombs of Sticky’s Krill Active Mix with hemp and maggot.I fished two Drennan 30g maggot feeder bombs helicopter style with short 4lb 3″ Drennan

“I fished a 30g Feederbomb helicopter style with short 3″ hooklink of 4.4lb Supplex Fluorocarbon with size 16 Super Specialist hook baited with two maggots and a tiny piece of foam to pop the rig off of the bottom.

“In the early hours of the morning, two bites came straight after each other resulting in two rudd, both personal bests for me! The first rudd weighed 2lb 14oz and the second weighed 2lb 8oz!”

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Whiskers On The Wye

Check out this week’s Angling Times to find out how Martin Bowler and Peter Drennan got on during their recent trip to the River Wye.


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