Category Archives: Drennan Cup Award

Two 4lb Crucians For Matthew

Matthew Fernandez managed to land two 4lb 2oz crucians and a third just under at 3lb 10oz during a 48-hour session on a southern venue.

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Matthew managed to drop into a favored swim, despite the lake being very busy with other anglers. Opting to fish at a range of 25 yards he fished two rods, both with 35g In-line Flat Method Feeders and short 7lb Micro Braid hook links with size 16 Wide Gape Specialist hooks baited with either a single white Buoyant Caster or a 7mm Dynamite baits boilie.

“It was slow going on the crucian front, but numerous tench and a 30lb mirror carp kept me busy until my target species came along. By the end of the session, I had landed three crucians weighing 4lb 2oz, 4lb 2oz and 3lb 10oz. A great result considering how tough it had been fishing.”

Matthew won a weekly Drennan Cup Award for his capture in the 18th April issue of Angling Times.

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A Drennan Cup Special

Check out all of the weekly Drennan Cup winners from the past season and their amazing captures in this week’s Angling Times.

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With the last of the awards given out for the 2016-17 season, it’s now time for those eligible to vote on who they think should win the Drennan Cup.

Voting forms have been sent out to all of the previous weekly winners and will need to be returned to Angling Times with your top four choices by the 14th of April.

If you are eligible to vote and have not yet received your voting form, please contact Ben Miles at Angling Times.

Congratulations to everyone lucky enough to win an award last season and tight lines for the coming season!

The March 28th issue of Angling Times is out now!

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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:

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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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Chub Nets Jamie Weekly Award

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

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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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7lb 15oz Chub Tops Lee Navigation Chub Haul

Gary Norton turned his attentions to chub due to favourable conditions and was rewarded with five chub to a magnificent 7lb 15oz from a local stretch of the Lee Navigation. 

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“The conditions were crying out for a chub session, so rather than sitting there blanking on the pits for carp I decided to have a go. It proved a decent call, as I am led to believe this is one of the best hauls of chub from the Lee Navigation in 10 or so years.”

Gary managed to keep the bites coming by continually loose feeding casters to gain their confidence. He fished a waggler with a 2lb 8oz hooklink and a size 18 Super Specialist hook baited with a single caster to catch all of his chub.

Gary Norton won a weekly Drennan Cup award in this week’s Angling Times for this impressive capture of big chub.

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Season’s Biggest Roach

Specialist angler, Dan Woolcott landed a huge 3lb 11oz roach from Highbridge Fishery in Norfolk recently, smashing his previous personal best in the process by a whole pound.

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Dan explains: “Highbridge is a very unusual water. It’s a large clay bedded lake of 6.5-acres and is up to 35ft deep at times. It is used by a farm for irrigation purposes so the water level fluctuates enormously at times. Although it seems pretty featureless, I have managed to locate a few features during the summer when the water has been at it’s lowest. 

“There is one small shoal of around eight to ten large roach in the lake so you can imagine how pleased I was to finally catch one of my target fish from the venue. I planned to fish the venue for the weekend, but after landing the fish after just seven hours I decided to go home and celebrate.”

Dan caught his huge roach by fishing to a small ledge he had located when it was incredibly low and he baited the area with a mix of hemp, dead maggots and Scopex flavoured corn.

His helicopter rig consisted of a single grain of corn mounted directly onto a size 12 Wide Gape Specialist hook on a 5lb Fluorocarbon Fly Leader hooklink, 6lb Supplex mainline and a 30g Stainless Oval Cage Feeder.

This impressive capture earned Dan a weekly Drennan Cup Award in Angling Times.

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First-Ever ‘Two’ For Matthew

With only a couple of hours spare after work, Matthew Fernandez opted to fish an area he had previously located some big roach on the River Itchen.

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“The bigger fish had always evaded me, but on this short session, I was into a few roach straight away, which was a good sign. I then hooked and lost at the net a roach easily over two-pound, my heart sunk, as I thought that was my only chance gone. But then the very next trot through the swim the float sunk in the same place and I struck into what felt like another huge roach. Thankfully, this one managed to make its way into the landing net and weighed 2lb 8oz, my first two, and a new personal best.”

Matthew used his 13ft Acolyte Plus float rod coupled with a centerpin loaded with 3lb 2oz Float Fish to which he fished a small 2BB Stick float and 2lb Supplex Fluorocarbon hooklink to a size 16 Super Specialist hook baited with two red maggots.

This impressive capture earns Matthew a weekly Drennan Cup Award in this week’s Angling Times.

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17lb 8oz Nene Barbel

Martin Gray set a new personal best after landing a huge barbel from the River Nene near Peterborough.

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Martin Gray holding his new personal best barbel.

After moving into his fifth swim of the day, Martin baited the central channel with a few boilies before making his first cast. Using a double 12mm boilie hookbait mounted on a hair tied to a size 6 wide gape hook and 20lb Anchor Braid.

“The bite was a really tentative one, met with solid resistance. The fish then moved off upstream, and from experience, I knew that I was hooked into something special. After catching a glimpse of it I had to dip the rod under the water to allow a huge raft of streamer weed to pass over without snagging the line. That’s when the panic set in. Knowing that I was attached to what looked like a huge fish any mistake could cost me dearly. 

“Thankfully, moments later the fish slid over the eagerly awaiting landing net. The scales settled on 17lb 8oz. I had finally beaten my old personal best! After 5 years of trying to up my PB, I had finally done it. I was completely overwhelmed, to say the least!”

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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.

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“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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Drennan Cup Winner 2015-16

A huge congratulations to Dai Gribble who was voted this year’s Drennan Cup winner!

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Dai Gribble was presented with the Drennan Cup at Linear Fisheries.

As well as collecting the famous trophy, Dai also received a win­ners’ cheque for £2,000, which helps reward the time and dedication spent chasing the biggest coarse fish in the country.

In the closest-ever finish in the Drennan Cup’s 31-year history, Dai became the envy of the big fish scene when votes cast by previous weekly winners put him just two points ahead of Yorkshire’s Tony Smith.

Dai sent shockwaves through the angling world when he began his campaign with an incredible string of tench hauls. He first banked a huge 13lb 3oz fish that was backed up by no fewer than seven other double-figure specimens during an unforgettable session in May at Medway Valley Fisheries in Kent.

Just a few weeks later he switched to another venue and made tench fishing history when he banked the biggest-ever tench caught by design weighing in at a colossal 14lb 12oz. The specimen later graced his net for a second time, this time, an ounce heavier at 14lb 13oz!

Not only did he land 16 double-figure tench during the spring, but his summer was completed when he struck gold again, this time with another species – a 20lb 10oz bream, along with six other ‘doubles’ that secured his third Drennan Weekly Award of the season.

“By the end of June I’d made five catches that were all once-in-a-lifetime achievements in their own right, and anglers that I hold in the highest regard were saying ‘Dai you’ve got the Drennan in the bag’. I didn’t even dare to dream that this could be the case,” he told Angling Times.

Peter Drennan said: “In any other season Tony Smith with four awards across four different species would have walked away as the overall winner. But a run of giant tench and most of all a truly massive 20lb+ bream drew a tiny majority of the discerning voters in favour of Dai. 

“What a fantastic season both of these dedicated specimen hunters have enjoyed, so serious congratulations to them!”

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