Category Archives: Where To Fish

Drennan Spring Festival – Day 4

The fourth round of the Messingham Sands Spring Festival upset the form book, which sets things up for an exciting final round tomorrow.

messingham-spring-fest-4After three successive lake wins, Simon Gale looked to have an unassailable position going in to Day 4. However peg 12 on the Swan Pond let him down badly and his 51lb catch was only good enough for 8th place on the lake. This slipped him down to 2nd place on the leader board and turns the competition wide open.

Swan Pond.

Swan Pond.

Steve Bingham won the day with 116lb 8oz from peg 54 on the Islands Lake. Despite a slow start he eventually caught carp on 8mm pellet on the waggler and the peg got stronger as the match progressed.

Second on the day and top scorer on the Swan Pond with 100lb 7oz from peg 6 was last year’s festival winner, Andy Bailey. Andy caught quality carp at 14 metres with 11mm hard pellets.

Day 4 Result:

  • 1st Steve Bingham, Upton 116-08
  • 2nd Andy Bailey, Doncaster 100-07
  • 3rd Simon Drayton, Upton 95-11
  • 4th Sean Holbroke, Barnsley 78-02

Top 10 after four matches:

  • 1st Kevin Johnson 10
  • 2nd Simon Gale 11
  • 3rd Andy Bailey 14
  • 4th Jack Turner 15
  • 5th Steve Ellis 15
  • 6th Sean Holbroke 16
  • 7th Steve Bingham 17
  • 8th Simon Drayton 18
  • 9th Don Hudson 19
  • 10th Mark Lidgard 22
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Drennan Spring Festival – Day 3

After scoring his third consecutive lake win, Simon Gale has the wind in his sails and looks to be odds-on favourite to win the Drennan Spring Festival at Messingham Sands.

messingham-spring-fest-3While the conditions have been best described as wintry, with another prolonged hail storm today, the fishing remains red hot. Simon drew peg 8 on the Islands Lake where he fished pole in the margins with 11mm pellet to land some cracking carp for a 92lb lake win.


Simon Gale.

Overall match winner on the day was Jack Turner who drew peg 4 on the Swan Pond for the second time in his rotation. He improved on his first day total of 126lb by fishing 8mm pellet on both the bomb and the pole. Despite a fishless first two hours, he went on to catch 30 carp for a 168lb total.

The silverfish are also still feeding well and worth catching as second-placed Kevin Johnson’s 96lb mixed bag shows. That consisted of skimmers, perch and roach from peg 8 on the Swan Pond.

Day 3 Result:

  • 1st Jack Turner, Scunthorpe 168-06
  • 2nd Kevin Johnson, Messingham 96-09
  • 3rd Simon Gale, Grimsby 92-00
  • 4th Steve Ellis, Scunthorpe 78-02

Top 10 after three matches:

  • 1st Simon Gale 3
  • 2nd Kevin Johnson 6
  • 3rd Jack Turner 9
  • 4th Steve Ellis 12
  • 5th Mark Lidgard 13
  • 6th Andy Bailey 13
  • 7th Don Hudson 14
  • 8th Sean Holbroke 14
  • 9th Geoff Wilde 15
  • 10th Steve Bingham 16
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Drennan Spring Festival – Day 1

Day One of the Drennan Spring Festival at Messingham Sands got off to a great start, with 11 anglers recording over 100lb from the Swan Pond and Islands Lakes!

messingham-spring-fest-1Although carp dominated most of the weights, it was an all-silverfish catch from peg 37 on the Swan Pond that led the way. This consisted of 245 roach, skimmers and perch caught on maggots, pellets and corn for a total of 127lb 8oz. This was just 1oz ahead of second placed man Simon Gale who was drawn on peg 2 on the Islands Lake!

Jack Turner was very close behind in third place with 126lb from peg 4 on the Swan Pond and Jamie Wilde completed the top 4 with 122lb from peg 31 on Islands.

Day 1 Result:

  • 1st Kevin Johnson, Messingham 127-08
  • 2nd Simon Gale, Grimsby 127-07
  • 3rd Jack Turner, Scunthorpe 126-03
  • 4th Jamie Wild, Barnsley 122-09
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Messingham Sands Latest

Carl Swetnam’s eyes lit up when he drew peg 15 on Tripp Lake in the penultimate round of the Drennan Silverfish League and it certainly didn’t disappoint. 


Carl Swetnam

Despite being pestered by carp for the first half of the match at the prolific Scunthorpe venue, his dead maggot and groundbait approach still produced a 108lb winning weight. That comprised a real mixture of skimmers, roach, ide, F1s and crucians.

Runner up Dennis Pattinson also fished maggots on peg 10 for a 90lb mixed bag.
The final match is on the Swan Pond next Saturday and will effectively be a two-horse race for overall first place between Carl Swetnam and Kevin Johnson. Both men won their sections this week to keep the interest going right to the end of the 13-match series.

Weights have fluctuated during the week, but 100lb has been a realistic target on most matches. This has put results in anyone’s grasp, as both carp or silverfish approaches could produce a win.

Lenny’s Lake continues to fish well for the Syndicate members, with plenty of good sized carp and catfish reported. Scunthorpe angler Neil Graham pulled out seven carp over the 20lbs mark, the best a 27lb mirror, as well as a 29lb cat, all in the same session last week.

The Drennan Spring Festival Commences today and, in keeping with the past couple of years, poor weather is forecast! Hopefully it won’t be as bad as last year, when winter returned with a vengeance for the entire week. Despite this, the fishing was excellent and fingers are crossed for more of the same this year.

Drennan Silverfish League, Tripp Lake, Saturday
1 Carl Swetnam, Rotherham 108-02
2 Dennis Pattinson, Grimsby 93-00
3 Kevin Johnson, Messingham 84-04
4 Steve Ellis, Scunthorpe 60-07

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Everitt Wins Lake John Festival

Bill Everitt is this year’s Lake John Drennan Festival winner after scoring a perfect two section wins at the prolific Essex venue. 


The top four: (From left) Runner up Chris Vandervleit, winner Bill Everitt, 3rd place Simon Willsmore and 4th place John Weedon.

A popular winner, local expert Bill managed a section winning 96lb 12oz on Day One from peg 37 (nearly doubling fishery manager Colin Bartlett off the next peg!) and followed that up with another section win on Day Two, this time with 83lb from peg 36.

lake-john-festival-2017-chris-vlake-john-bill-everitt-2017Lake John’s famous head of quality skimmers dominated weights and Chris Vandervleit caught the biggest bag of the competition with 147lb 4oz from peg 30 on Day One. That helped him to second overall on weight count back, after tying with Simon Willsmore and John Weedon on points.

Lake John Fishery manager Colin Bartlett commented: “A big thanks from me personally to everyone that took part. Really enjoyed the company, the fishing and of course the banter. The England Disabled team are also £280 better off because of everyone that took part. Well done lads!”


  • 1st Bill Everitt (Redbridge, Lake John) 14 points (179lb 12oz)
  • 2nd Chris Vandervleit (Drennan, Bait-Tech) 13 points (218lb 4oz)
  • 3rd Simon Willsmore (Rive, Spotted Fin) 13 points (189lb 8oz)
  • 4th John Weedon (Image) 13 points (152lb 4oz)
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North West Are Heronbrook Champs Again

Well done to Drennan North West Gold on winning the Heronbrook Spring League for the third consecutive year!


Image courtesy of Heronbrook Fisheries

This highly competitive league saw 29 teams competing over six rounds at the Staffordshire venue. Drennan North West’s winning team included Stuart Conroy, Steve Conroy, Matty Dawes, Robbie Griffiths and Richard O’Connor (four out of these five anglers fished each round).

Drennan North West Gold finished second on the all-important sixth and final round, securing them a hard-earned title. The team’s Silver and Aqua squads also made the final frame, which is a brilliant feat considering the strength of the field.

Drennan North West would like to thank fishery manager Neil Dale and everyone else at Heronbrook Fisheries for organising a fantastic league.

League Result

  • 1st Drennan North West Gold, 205 points
  • 2nd Tri-cast Guru, 233
  • 3rd Dynamite Maver Midlands Bagem, 254
  • 4th Maver Gold Dynamite Oak, 281
  • 5th Nathans Tackle, 287
  • 6th Drennan North West Aqua, 292
  • 7th Drennan North West Silver, 294
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Steve Ellis Wins With Paste

Last weekend’s sunshine saw the fish feed exceptionally well at Messingham Sands with several silverfish weights of over 100lb recorded!


Match winner Steve Ellis is a master at paste fishing.

Steve Ellis is well known for raising a few eyebrows with his positive approach to match fishing and one look at the weather forecast for the weekend saw him mixing some paste up for the Drennan Silverfish League match on Tripp.

The Former Division 1 National Champion certainly doesn’t lack confidence in using this approach for silverfish. Indeed, two years ago he had an amazing 199lb of skimmers in a match on the Swan Pond and proved its worth once again on Saturday. Drawn on peg 15 he fed micro pellets with paste on the hook for a 115lb catch of skimmers, F1s, crucians and ide to total 115lb!

Carl  Swetnam finished second by fishing maggots over groundbait for a real mixed bag of fish totalling 103lb from peg 13. The same method provided him with a win the following day from peg 3 on the same lake, this time with 124lb on a day when carp dominated the top places.

Most of the matches last week enjoyed good turnouts as conditions persuaded more of the warmer weather anglers on to the bank. Thursday saw 46 competitors line up on Islands Lake for the open match, which was won by Mick Crosby with 78lb of carp from peg 54.

The Easter Match fishing programme at Messingham Sands also looks to be well supported with plenty of people booked on to the Teams of Five event on Good Friday and the Bank Holiday Pairs on Monday.

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Quality Sport At Newlands

Stu Lennox took a break from specimen carp hunting to spend a productive afternoon after bream and skimmers.

Fishing alongside match ace Dean Barlow, the pair decided to target Newland Angling Club‘s Bents Pool in Oxfordshire. Arriving just before lunchtime, Stu was soon catching lots of small hybrids and roach on the pole before deciding to try and single out some of the lake’s bigger residents. A timely switch to the In-line Method Feeder brought a string of bronze-flanked bream over the next two hours.

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245lb Wins At Messingham Sands

Match weights are increasing rapidly at Messingham Sands as the water temperature rises and the carp begin to feed well. 

messingham-sands-fisheryPeg 56 on the Swan Pond, which is one of the shallowest areas at the Scunthorpe venue, was the hot draw last week. Andy Bryant won a well attended Friday Open from it with 139lb and Steve Peacham was really pleased to pull the same peg out on Sunday. His optimism was not misplaced as he weighed a whopping 245lb by fishing the pole in the margins.

Saturday’s Drennan Silverfish League, which was fished on Islands Lake, provided some really consistent sport with an average weight per man of just over 50lb. Some really good roach and hybrids showed but the main weight boosters were skimmers, crucians and odd tench. The winner, drawn on peg 39, swapped between casters shallow and 6mm expander pellets over groundbait, enjoying a really good run of skimmers late in the match.

The Opening day of the Syndicate proved to be a good one for Ryan Farnham as he netted a 24lb mirror carp and a 34lb catfish from the Party Peg on Lenny’s Lake.

Carp in the North and South Lakes are showing well on the surface and a number of double figure fish were caught on floating bread last week. Ian Beech landed a nice 17lb common carp from the South Lake, although he was actually fishing for roach at the time!
Brian Skoyles fished the North Lake in midweek, targeting big perch on prawns. The species list caught solely on this bait was quite impressive, as were the size of some of the fish, including carp, bream, chub, eels and some really good roach, unfortunately a big perch was missing from it as they didn’t show on the day.

Drennan Silverfish League, Islands Lake, Saturday
1 Kevin Johnson, Messingham 69-13
2 Danny Taylor, Crowle 64-12
3 Steve Richardson, Scunthorpe 60-03
4 Carl Swetnam, Rotherham 57-01

Saturday Open, Hollywood
1 Tommy Grice, Doncaster 60-02
2 Mark Lidgard, Brigg 50-03
3 Jim Urry, Scunthorpe 48-13
4 Steve Bingham, Upton 41-15

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Messingham Sands Latest Match Results

After a week of frosts, easterly winds and an overnight temperature of minus 4 degrees, expectations for Saturday’s Drennan Silverfish League were lower than normal. The fish obviously hadn’t read the script, however, as they fed really well all around the Lake!

kevin-johnson-messingam-sandsThe winner was Messingham Sands fishery manager Kevin Johnson who found a good mixture of quality skimmers, ide, roach and perch totalling 89lb from peg 12 on Swan. Alternating between 6mm expanders over groundbait on two long lines, and casters at 4 metres, fish came steadily throughout the match.

Second place went to Dennis Pattinson with an excellent 67lb of roach, skimmers and ide caught shallow on maggots from peg 6.

There was an added bonus on the day for those with an eye for wildlife, as a pair of ospreys flew around the fishery for a while as they made their way North!

The cold weather resulted in fewer carp being caught than normal, but this was not the case on Tripp Lake on the following day’s match when Steve Ellis fished 11mm hard pellet and paste to win comfortably with 118lb from peg 26. Gary Hansford claimed second place with 77lb of carp caught shallow on pellet.

Drennan Silverfish League, Swan Pond, Saturday
1 Kevin Johnson, Messingham 89-02
2 Dennis Pattinson, Grimsby 67-05
3 Mick Wills, Crowle 59-03
4 Steve Richardson, Scunthorpe 57-05

Tripp Winter League, Sunday
1 Steve Ellis, Scunthorpe 118-09
2 Gary Hansford, Grimsby 77-05
3 Carl Swetnam, Rotherham 69-15
4 Nick Houghton, Hull 65-13

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