Category Archives: Specimen

Big Orfe Brightens Paul’s Day

Specialist angler Paul Elt made a 5-hour round trip to fish for golden orfe and was rewarded for his efforts with a stunning fish of 5lb 8oz. 

paul-elt-orfeHe arrived at the lake to find it empty, but with a strong north westerly wind blowing down the lake.

“I began on the float but presentation was very tricky. I had a few small tench, but by lunch with the odd fish rolling at range, I switched to my 12ft 1.75 Specialist Avon/Quiver and Oval Groundbait Feeder, incorporating a helicopter rig with a size 14 Wide Gape Barbless hook. To start I made half a dozen casts with this feeder to put down an initial bed of Green Swim Stim groundbait with a scattering of maggots.

“It was around an hour later before the first fish made a mistake. At 5lb 8oz I was more than happy! Another two orfe to just over 4lb were landed shortly after with a couple of tench, before a good fish managed to slip the hook at the net.”

“The trip was well worth it, and what they lack in the fight, they more than make up in appearance!”

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Red Letter Kayak Day – Steve Rowley

E-Sox Consultant Steve Rowley has become addicted to pike fishing from his kayak, and his burning ambition this winter was to catch his first ever kayak thirty pounder.


31lb 12oz pike caught from the kayak

Steve caught a 27lb 02oz earlier in the season from the kayak but was soon surpassed by his lovely 29lb 08oz that we covered a few weeks ago. Then right at the end of the season, Steve had a real red letter day, catching a 25lb 04oz, 26lb 14oz and his first ever kayak thirty at 31lb 12oz on the same afternoon.

“To catch three fish over twenty-five pounds in a day is something very special, but to catch them on my kayak is an unbelievable bonus. I knew the second the thirty went in the net that I had achieved my main goal of the season” said Steve.

Steve anchored his Channel Kayak Pro over sixteen foot of water just past an area he had seen lots of small fish activity previously and it wasn’t long after casting out the first fish of the day made it’s way to the net.

Steve used two E-Sox Piker 12ft Bait rods, each coupled with Series 7 BR 9-40 Specimen reels loaded with 60lb E-Sox Piker Braided Reel Line, a simple float setup, and traces made from Seven Strand Pike Wire and Size 4 Semi Barbed E-Sox Extra Strong Trebles.

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Len’s 7lb 5oz Thames Chub

Len Arbery caught this excellent chub weighing 7lb 5oz just over a week ago from the Thames. The former Drennan Cup winner and well respected big fish specialist explains how he caught it: 


After the weekend’s rain I was quite surprised to see the middle Thames in perfect chub fishing condition. That is, with a bottle-green colour and having little flow. My usual touch-legering tactics accounted for a 4lb 2oz chub after about an hour spent in the first swim. That was the only bite, so I moved farther downstream to large slack area.

After noticing a couple of ‘unhittable’ small indications on the quiver I changed tactics to a coil of silver-paper as a bite indicator. I then missed the first bite, but made no mistake with the second!

This hooked fish took quite some line off the clutch, more like a carp than a chub but, after a tremendous tussle, a chub it proved. And what a chub at 7lb 5oz! It was 23 inches long with a 16 inch girth.

I had two further bites here before ‘drawing stumps’ – one from a 3lber, the other a very pleasing specimen weighing 5lb 2oz.

My tackle included an original Drennan Bomb Rod, Drennan Feeder, a fixed-spool reel, loaded with Whiplash braid. A short link leger stopped 3ft from a size 6 T6 Raptor hook, completed the outfit. Bait was plain old-fashioned cheese paste.

This 7lb 5oz chub is my second biggest ever (the best being last season’s 7lb 8oz). It is also my second ‘seven’ this winter, which has also seen me land fish of 6lb 5oz and two 6lb 12oz specimens.

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Champ Lures 4lb 6oz Perch

Jamie Cartwright caught this immaculate 4lb 6oz perch from the Great Ouse on a lure last week. Here’s the former Drennan Cup Champion’s account of a memorable capture:


I arrived at the river bright and early on Sunday morning. The first thing I did was set up my lure rod in an attempt to track down a shoal of fish. I also had a bucket of lobworms and a couple of pint of red maggots with me as a back up in case I struggled with the lures, but I had been enjoying a rich run of form with the lures of late, so for now the lid would stay on the worm bucket.

I started casting my roach pattern Savage Gear 4 Play Shad all the way across to the far bank and began twitching it back along the bottom, trying to keep in contact with the lure at all times. To help with this, it’s crucial to use a jig head that is heavy enough to allow you to feel the lure hit bottom, but not too big so the lure behaves unnaturally.

In my third swim, I had an aggressive take as a clearly big fish made its mistake. I was beginning to think it was probably a pike, as it was feeling pretty heavy, although it didn’t seem to be darting about as pike tend to do. As it came up under the rod tip I was genuinely surprised by the size of the perch that appeared out of the gloom. I scooped up my prize and let out a huge sigh of relief, as I could see the lure clearly in the corner of the fish’s mouth during the latter stages of the fight and I was very nervous of the hook dropping out or snagging up in the rushes under the rod tip.

On the scales it weighed 4lb 6oz, which is my lure-caught personal best by exactly 1lb. It also fulfilled an ambition I’d set myself back in January, which was to catch a 4lb perch from the Great Ouse before the season was out. I followed that fish up with a few more perch weighing 3lb 1oz, 2lb 15oz, two 2lb 14oz and a 2lb 6oz, which certainly made it a day to remember. I just hope I can enjoy a few more days like that before the season ends.

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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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