Category Archives: Specimen

Brace Of Great Ouse Perch

Drennan’s Ryan Hayden was rewarded this weekend with a lovely brace of perch from the River Great Ouse after spending the day searching with lures.


With the colour dropping out of the river, Ryan decided to give the lures a go in hope of locating a few big perch.

“After a relatively unsuccessful morning with only one small pike to show for my efforts, a move further downstream resulted in a take on the drop. A perch of about a pound had hit my lure within a foot of the far bank less than a second after it had hit the water. With plenty of water already covered, I hoped I had located a shoal of perch held up tight to the far bank behind a large fallen tree, sheltering from the extra flow.”

A dozen or so casts later, Ryan had hooked and landed two better fish, again from the same area confirming his thoughts that they had been sat out of the extra flow.

Ryan used his 8ft 6in E-Sox Dropshot rod coupled with an FD-3000 reel loaded with 8lb braid, 8lb Fluorocarbon leader and a crayfish lure mounted on an 8g jig head.

“When there is extra colour, I prefer to use creature type baits as they give off much more vibrations into the water than a fish shaped lure. The only downside being that they do not cast as well due to their size and less aerodynamic shape. I find myself using a slightly bigger jig head than normal to achieve the same distance and to be able to confidently feel the lure hit the bottom when twitching it back on the retrieve,” added Ryan.

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Huge Pike Landed On Kayak

E-Sox consultant Steve Rowley has been concentrating on kayak fishing for pike this season, and his results have been pretty good to date.


steve-29-8-pike-kayakHis biggest pike from a kayak so far is a fish of 29lb 8oz, which was landed using his 12ft E-Sox Piker Bait rod, 60lb E-Sox Piker Braided Reel Line, 7 Strand Pike Wire, and size 4 E-Sox Semi Barbless Extra Strong Pike Trebles.

“The rod works perfectly when kayak fishing for pike, and are powerful enough to stop those last minute lunges under the boat,” explained Steve.


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New Personal Best Pike For Simon

Simon Ashton landed one of his long-term targets recently with an impressive 27lb 3oz pike from a very tough venue in North-West England. 

Simon Ashton pictured with his prized catch, a 27lb 3oz pike.

The bite came just after 4pm in sub-zero temperatures. The Durham angler was fishing at range in 42ft of water on a 15in mackerel, flavoured in salmon oil for extra attraction.

“The fish, which beats my previous best 24lb 10oz by a considerable margin, put up an amazing fight in the deep water. To capture one of the lake’s heavyweights means the world to me after 10 years of trying to bank a fish over 25lb.”

Simon used his trusty 12ft E-Sox Piker Bait rods with reels loaded with 60lb E-Sox Piker Braided Reel Line, a simple free running ring to which he attaches a 5oz lead and a 2ft long trace made up of  40lb E-Sox Super Trace material and size 4 Extra Strong Pike Trebles in semi barbed.

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20lb 12oz Pike From Norfolk River

Norfolk-based all-round angler, David Selley landed himself a new personal best pike recently breaking the 20lb barrier with an immaculate fish.


After a biteless morning, David was convinced by his friend to move stretches and try his luck in a mill pool nearby.

“I fished a trout deadbait under a float and had the bite within half an hour of casting out. The fish fought really well, forcing me to back wind at times. She broke my former personal best of 19lb that stood for over eight years, so I was over the moon when the needle of the scales swung past the 20lb mark.”

David used 45lb E-Sox Piker Braided Reel Line and 34lb Super Trace Pike Wire to land the powerful fish.

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Chub Nets Jamie Weekly Award

Former Drennan Cup holder, Jamie Cartwright recently banked this huge 7lb 4oz chub from the River Great Ouse.


The Northampton Specimen Group member used his 12ft 1.5 Series 7 Specialist Avon/Quiver rod and a bolt rig constructed of 2oz in-line lead, a short Tungsten Loaded hooklink and a size 8 Curve Shank hook. Bait wise, he opted to fish a 14mm 3 Foot Twitch lamprey and smoked herring boilie in conjunction with a PVA bag of matching crushed baits.

“It was a freezing cold evening with thick fog and temperatures dropping to -3. But it just goes to show big fish can still be caught if you can get the location right.

“My approach to chubbing could hardly be described as classical, but it’s an approach I’ve arrived at after a lot of thought and trail and error. I’ve sat out quiver tipping for a number of evenings blanking, and it’s soul destroying when the only bite of the night comes as you’ve got your flask in your hands pouring a coffee, and you miss it!”

This impressive capture won Jamie a weekly Drennan Cup award in this week’s issue of Angling Times.

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David’s Biggest Perch Of The Season

David Selley from Thetford tempted this 3lb 12oz perch while roving on a Suffolk river.


“The first swim I tried produced nothing so, after a walk, I baited another swim in a slight bend and dropped in there,” he explained. “About 15 minutes later I managed a chub just under 6lb. After the chub I caught what I came for, my biggest perch of the season. It is the 7th or 8th fish I’ve had this season over 3lb and the 34th fish over 2lb.”

He baited up with molehill soil containing chopped worms, a liquid lobworm favour and a small handful of red maggots. A lobworm on a size 4 Super Specialist hook was then presented over the top, using a 2SSG link leger with Feeder Braid and a 4ft Drennan Double Strength leader.

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Change Of Tactic Works Magic!

Northampton based specimen angler, and former Drennan Cup Holder, Jamie Cartwright reports on a hectic session for perch on the Great Ouse.


The day started quite well, the conditions were perfect, heavy cloud cover had kept overnight temperatures up around 8 or 9 degrees and the river was carrying a hint of pace and colour after a spell of rain earlier in the week. 20-minutes after casting out my lobworm hook bait it was picked up by a stunning perch weighing 3lb 8oz. Another 20-minutes past before the 1oz Slow Taper Quiver Tip, jagged and pulled round again. The culprit this time was another bristling young perch of around 1lb 12oz, things were looking good!

Not long after taking that second fish the cloud cover cleared and the sun came out and brought an end to the feeding spell, well for the perch at least. A chunky tench had me convinced I was attached to an enormous perch, right up until it rolled over the landing net.After that I sat bite-less for an hour, mulling over my options, I could set up a float rod and try trotting a lobworm through the swim, or I could set up my 8ft 6in Esox Dropshot rod out and take the battle to the perch.

I decided to go for the more mobile approach and mounted a 4″ rubber shad mounted on a 7-gram jig head and made my first cast just beyond the area I had been baiting with the broken lobworms. Rather unpredictably the shad was nailed first cast right over the bait and a stunning perch weighing 2lb 12oz came reluctantly to the waiting net. Coughing up lobworm sections as I unhooked it. Another couple of casts and the shad was grabbed again and this fish felt slightly better than the first, and so it proved, weighing in at a chunky 3lb 4oz, a new lure caught personal best by 8oz! I should point out that I rarely use lures, mainly due to a lack of confidence in them, but my confidence now was sky high, and I was keen to make up for lost time!

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Hectic Grayling Session

All-round angler, Matthew Fernandez managed to get a few hours fishing one morning and decided to visit his local River Itchen for a spot of grayling fishing.


“I arrived at the river early in the morning for a bit of trotting, with only a few hours ahead of me I packed light. As the river was low and clear, I planned to fish quite a few swims in hope of taking a few fish from each area before they moving onto the next.

“Trotted red maggots presented on a size 16 Super Specialist hook suspended under a 3BB Alloy Stick float proved to be the winning tactic. I managed to catch from the off and ended up landing plenty of grayling from most swims, with the best just reaching 2lb that up a great fight on my 13ft Acolyte Plus float rod.”


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Rewarded With A 3lb 8oz Perch

Matthew Fernandez proved that it only takes one bite after landing his new personal best perch weighing 3lb 8oz.


“With conditions being bright and far from ideal, I knew it would be a hard day. But at dusk, I got my first bite on a king prawn fished down the edge which turned out to be a new personal best perch of 3lb 8oz, beating my previous personal best by a few ounces. 

“I used my 14ft Matchpro Ultralight float rod coupled with a centre pin reel loaded with 4lb 4oz Float Fish. Rig wise I set up a light link ledger using Float Stops to trap a small rig ring with a short length of line and two SSG shot pinched on. As I was fishing a whole king prawn I used a large size 6 barbless hook to ensure the hook point would not be masked by the bait.”

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Huge 3lb 3oz River Roach For Mike

Drennan sales representative and big fish angler Mike Davidson landed this fish of a lifetime after making a last minute decision to fish a local chalk stream.


“Recently I was lucky enough to achieve a lifetime ambition of mine by catching my first 3lb roach from a river. It weighed in at 3lb 3oz and was caught from a southern chalk stream on a short evening session.

“After a biteless hour, I switched from a bread flake hookbait over to 10mm bread punch and within 30 seconds of recasting the tip went round. Coincidence maybe, but it certainly did the trick! It beat my previous personal best roach of 2lb 14oz and one I always thought I’d struggle to beat.

“Bread punches are a great addition to a specimen hunter’s armoury and offer a great alternative to flake when fishing for roach,” he added.

Mike used his 12ft Acolyte Ultra Feeder rod with a small fixed spool reel loaded with 4lb mainline, a simple link leger setup and a 2lb Supplex Fluorocarbon hooklength with a size 12 Wide Gape Specialist hook.

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