Category Archives: Specimen

8lb Tench Highlight Of Session

This 8lb personal best tench was the biggest of three fish caught recently by Shaun Turner from a local gravel pit.


He found a clean gravel bar in between weed beds and spodded out a mixture of small particles and groundbait before casting his In-Line Flat Method Feeder baited with maggots over the top.

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Martin Bowler Banks A 59lb Carp

Top big fish angler Martin Bowler has caught a colossal 59lb carp from an undisclosed UK venue.


The star of Catching The Impossible has already set the carp world talking, as it’s an unknown fish from a secret water.

You can check out the amazing full story in this week’s Angling Times.

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Duo Land Perch To 3lb 15oz On Reservoir

Specialist angler, Adam Perna joined his friend James Aris on a trip to a local trout reservoir this week in search of perch.


“After a slow start, we ended up with 5 perch a piece. James fish varied from 2lb 8oz to 3lb 5oz, while I managed to land a catch of fish going 3lb 2oz, 3lb 4oz, 3lb 7oz, 3lb 10oz and my biggest from a reservoir at of 3lb 15oz. 

“All of my fish were taken on the drop shot tactics using the 7.5cm Big Eye Fry E-Sox Dropshot Holographic lures in the green perch pattern presented on a size 6 hook and an 8lb Dropshot Fluorocarbon leader.

“We caught all the fish in 3 productive areas of relatively shallow water which we considered hotspots in a vast expanse of water.”

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Nine Specimen Bream For Hans

Hans Moolenaar banked nine bream up to 6kg during a recent session on a Dutch stillwater.


“I have been chasing big bream, and this weekend some of these ladies came to the net!” the Dutch specialist angler informed us. “In all I had nine bream, only one a little bit short of 4kg, three between 4kg and 5kg, and five were even larger than 5kg. The biggest two were 6kg (13.23lb) and 5.8kg (12.78lb). A little bit short of Simon Ashton’s amazing catch, but I had a few more!

hans-bream-2“The water is 170 acres and despite the cold Northern winds, rain and dropping water temperatures, if you know they are there, waiting for the right moment to spawn, you have to be there too. Make an ambush at the right spot and sit it out.

“The tools used are 45g In-line Flat Method Feeders and Specimen Plus size 10 hooks. 

“I was more than pleased with the 6kg bream, which is one of the biggest I have ever caught, but I am still chasing a 7kg bream.”

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Feeder Tips With Grant Albutt

Grant Albutt passes on some invaluable advice on feeder fishing on small lakes in this week’s Angling Times.


The match ace visits Woodland View Fishery in Worcestershire to pass on some sound advice on short rods and close-range feeder setups.

Also inside, Martin Bowler reveals a catch-all rig that has accounted for a number of surprise specimens. The New Gear section also takes a closer look at the very latest Carp 6 pole float.

Pick up the May 9th issue of Angling Times to learn more.

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Iain McDonald Wins 2016/17 Drennan Cup

A huge congratulations to Iain McDonald who has been voted the 2016/17 Drennan Cup winner!


With five weekly Drennan Cup Awards under his belt, Iain’s dreams came true as he took a comfortable win with 53 points separating himself and second place.

He said: “The fact that my name will be mentioned in the same breath as my fishing heroes hasn’t quite sunk in yet. I’m a bit overwhelmed, to be honest, I never expected the result or the response from fellow anglers, I am totally gobsmacked!”

An incredible brace of double-figure tench was arguably the highlight of what was a truly memorable campaign for the Kent-based angler. The 45-year-old from Canterbury netted two stunning 10lb+ tench during a session at Mid-Kent Fisheries.

That day Iain had turned up with carp on his mind, but when he saw how busy his chosen lake was he decided to go after the tench instead. He opted to fish a swim in a deep bay and started to feed a clear area with maggots and hemp. An hour later he spotted a shoal of big tench hovering over his baited area in the clear water.

He cast out a 2oz feeder filled with maggots with a short 4in hooklength tied to a size 12 hook baited with maggots. Ten minutes later he had banked a new personal best tench of 10lb 5oz, followed an hour later with an even bigger specimen at 10lb 9oz.

That catch was just one of five weekly awards earned by Iain during the season; the others awarded for a 15lb 4oz barbel, a 1lb dace, a 4lb 3oz perch and a 2lb 10oz river roach.

Drennan Cup 2016-17 Results:

iain-mcdonald-drennan-cup-winner-2016-17-tench1st: Iain McDonald – 4lb 3oz perch, tench brace of 10lb 9oz & 10lb 5oz, 15lb 4oz barbel, 1lb dace & 2lb 10oz roach.

With five weekly awards in the net and each for a different species, it was always going to take some beating to steal the cup away from his sights.

bob-pickering-21lb-bream2nd: Bob Pickering – 21lb bream

A 30-year quest to land a huge bream finally came to an end for Bob Pickering when he landed a 21lb fish from a tough northwest mere. The dedication involved in targeting the 90-acre venue in search of its elusive bream for three decades is remarkable.

simon-daley-avon-barbel3rd: Simon Daley – 7lb 9oz chub, 15lb 10oz River Itchen barbel, Hampshire Avon barbel of 15lb 8oz & 16lb 5oz.

Simon had a season to remember on the river this year, landing two huge barbel on the Hampshire Avon along with a massive chub over 7lb, but his highlight had to be breaking the River Itchen barbel record back in early autumn.

matt-jackson-roach4th: Matt Jackson – Chalkstream roach of 2lb 4oz, 2lb 8oz & 3lb 5oz 8dr.

On a dark, cold, February morning, Matt Jackson was on the banks of the river before sunrise to ensure he had the best chance of catching his quarry. He ended up doing it in style, landing the biggest roach of 2017, weighing 3lb 5oz 8dr.

Weekly Drennan Cup prizes are awarded to anglers who have caught spe­cimen fish by design. Weekly win­ners receive a £80 prize, while the overall cham­pion each season gets £2,000 plus their name engraved on the prestigious trophy.

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Success With Tench In Holland

Dutch specialist angler Hans Moolenaar has been catching plenty of tench this spring.


“My eyes are normally set on large bream at this time of year, but with the bream not showing, countless tench are keeping me busy,” he explains.

hans-fish-4Hans has been using a 56g In-line Flatbed Method Feeder fished on 6lb Feeder & Method Mono with a short 10lb Sink Braid hooklink and a size 10 ESP Cryogen Classic hook.

He has also managed a personal best 2.6kg (5lb 11oz) gibel/giebel carp during one of these sessions.

“In Holland we call this a ‘giebel’ (Carassius gibelio) but in England you would perhaps call this the wild form of the goldfish. It’s very similar to a crucian carp (Carassius carassius), but not exactly the same. A natural giebel of 40cm is quite normal. This one was 48cm.”

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Huge 27lb 7oz Bream Brace

simon-bream-brace-on-matSimon Ashton defied the odds after landing two of only three known specimen bream from Manor Lake on the Linear Fisheries complex.

This great brace consisting of 14lb and 13lb 7oz fish was landed within minutes of each other at the Oxfordshire venue. Both came at dawn after Simon spotted a fish roll and recasting at distance.

Simon caught both fish on helicopter rigs fished on 10lb ESP Syncro XT Loaded main line with large 70g Oval Blockend feeders. His short hook links were made up of 10lb ESP Soft Ghost Fluorocarbon and Boilie Hooks. One rig was baited with worms using a Pushstop and the other with Buoyant Maggots, both great bream baits in their own right.


Simon’s maggot rig.

The biggest of the two bream set a new personal best for Simon, making the long journey south well worth the effort.

Simon commented: “I was gobsmacked when I saw the first giant slab slide over the landing net. There are only three known bream in the lake, so to land two of them in one session is unbelievable!”

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Immediate Success For Simon

All-round specialist angler Simon Ashton set his sights on landing a double figure bream from a new venue this Spring and succeeded on his very first session!


Here is Simon’s account of the trip:

One of my angling resolutions for 2017 was to target some specimen bream with the hope of landing a new personal best along the way. The problem with living up in Durham from a specialist angler’s perspective is that you have to travel and by that I mean 90 miles or a lot more in some cases,  so the right venue is a must.

With a new venue in mind, plans were made to do a recce trip. All I had to go by was a tip off from a friend that it had done a couple of bream upwards of 8-9lb in recent weeks. So, on Friday morning, I set off and headed south on the A1, van packed to the roof with the kit.

I opted to fish off the back of a cold easterly wind that was set for the duration of the session. I began by spending some time with the echo sounder to scope out the lake bed. I found a big change in depth, going from 26ft to 8ft quite rapidly. This sort of feature can never be overlooked when bream fishing, especially when the wind is blowing into it.

I set up on the point swim leading into a large shallow bay. After a few casts with a 3oz lead, I clipped up at 45 yards just at the bottom of the shelf. The whole area was relatively clear with some lovely clean gravel. Presentation is always paramount, so if you can find clear spots like these, fish on them.

Continue reading

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Catfish Success For Jack

Jack Crook has been having some great success with catfish on a local Oxfordshire stillwater.


jack-crook-50-8-catfishThe Drennan employee’s last two specimens from the Club Lake at Orchid Lakes have weighed 48lb and 50lb 8oz on the scales.

Both fish put up a great fight and were tamed on a running lead setup with a 30cm ESP Shock Braid hooklink tied knotless knot style to a size 2 Big T hook.

Jack’s all-important hook bait is the tail section of a mackerel.

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