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.

Posted in Catch Reports, Specimen | Comments Off on Catfish Success For Jack

Tench At Flaxlands

Steve Clarke spent an enjoyable afternoon at Flaxlands Fishery in Wiltshire, topped off by this nice tench.


Steve used a Drennan Pellet Feeder filled with groundbait and caught all of his fish on a banded 6mm Sweet Plum Boosted Pellet.

Posted in Catch Reports, Feeder, Tench | Comments Off on Tench At Flaxlands

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.


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.

Posted in Catch Reports, Crucian Carp, Drennan Cup Award, Specialist, Specimen | Comments Off on Two 4lb Crucians For Matthew

Leaning Into A 13lb Carp

Gareth Sykes took this excellent photo of his son Toby playing a very large carp, caught at Mill Barn Coarse Fishery in Essex.


“Pictured is my youngest Toby Sykes (Age 5) with a Drennan 13ft Power Carp Waggler, Series 7 Float Reel and a loaded peacock waggler, playing a 13lb mirror taken on fibre paste,” he told us.

Well done Gareth and Toby. A great photo!

Posted in Catch Reports | Comments Off on Leaning Into A 13lb Carp

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)
Posted in Chris Vandervleit, Match Fishing, Where To Fish | Comments Off on Everitt Wins Lake John Festival

Grant Albutt Bags 98lb and 99lb Catfish

Match ace Grant Albutt had a nice surprise after slipping the net under 98lb and 99lb albino cats during a specimen hunting session in France.


Grant was hoping to target specimen carp during a trip to Domain de Goncourt, but it was the lake’s catfish population that stole the show:

“I had an amazing week. Not many carp for me – the biggest being 32lb – and it’s been so frustrating as I’ve been smashed up by catfish all week. I just couldn’t manage to get one even close to the bank. I finally had one at 55lb. Then, just after dark, I’ve had a run and played a fish for 25 minutes and seen this enormous creature come up 25 yards out! The fight on these fish is something else. This fish weighed in at 98lb. A fish of a lifetime!

“I had it on four Dynamite halibut pellets fished over a bed of high oil trout pellets on a size 5 ESP Cryogen Gripper hook.

grant-catfish-2“On the last day, at 1.30am, I was again woken up by my rod screaming off. I thought it was a big common until I saw its tail. It was another albino! At first I thought it was the same fish, but it weighed a pound more at 99lb. We’ve looked closely at the pictures and it’s definitely a different one. I’m absolutely over the moon to catch one, but two is amazing!

“Thanks to Steve Cole and Max White for all your advice, help and tackle, plus Paul McRae and Andy who I took over. Great times!”

Posted in France, Grant Albutt, Specimen | Comments Off on Grant Albutt Bags 98lb and 99lb Catfish

Shaw And Swetnam Top Pair At Messingham

The well attended Drennan Pairs held at Messingham Sands on Easter Monday saw 80 anglers on the Swan Pond and Islands Lake.

messingham-pairsA three degree fall in water temperature over the weekend put paid to big weights and although carp dominated the top individual places, it was an all-out silverfish attack that secured the top two pairs positions.

The Rotherham duo of Mick Shaw and Carl Swetnam claimed the honours with 9 points, followed by Alan Gregory and Kevin Johnson on 11 points, with Steve Eyres and Ian Coatham in third with 14 points.

Mick Shaw was top weight on Islands peg 31 with an excellent 81lb of skimmers and roach. His pairs partner Carl Swetnam caught 57lb of silvers on Swan peg 38 to seal the win.


  • 1st Mick Shaw and Carl Swetnam, 9 points
  • 2nd Alan Gregory and Kevin Johnson, 11 points
  • 3rd Steve Eyres and Ian Coatham, 14 points
  • 4th Steve Bingham and Simon Drayton, 17 points
  • 5th Mike Smith and Danny Hoggard, 22 points


  • 1st Dave Woddiwiss, Grimsby 87-09
  • 2nd John Andrews, Barnsley 85-12
  • 3rd Mick Shaw, Rotherham 81-00
  • 4th Scott Brough, Scunthorpe 79-04
Posted in Catch Reports | Comments Off on Shaw And Swetnam Top Pair At Messingham

Messingham A Team Win The Drennan Teams Of Five

The Drennan Teams Of Five event held on Good Friday saw 70 anglers enjoy consistent sport with an average catch of over 60lb per man.


Although a cold wind made things uncomfortable for some, the fish fed well. Weight played a decisive role in the outcome, as there was a tie on points for the top places.

Individually, Ken Pacey led the way with 137lb of carp from peg 53 on the Islands Lake. Steve Ellis came up trumps with his paste approach from peg 13 on the Swan Pond with 129lb of carp and Steve Donaghue wasn’t too far behind with 121lb from peg 26 on the Little Swan.

The Teams saw a tie on points between Scunthorpe Tackle and Messingham A. Both scored 22 points with Messingham claiming the spoils with a 446lb total weight.

Third and Fourth places also tied, each with 30 points, with Barnsley just pipping Grimsby by less than 10lb to take the honours.

Team Result:

  • 1st Messingham A, 22points (Ken Pacey, John Alderson Kyle Hartley , Kevin Johnson, Dave Toyne)
  • 2nd Scunthorpe Tackle, 22 points (Steve Richardson, Graham Bontoft, Luke Harrison, Pete Riley, Wayne Easter)
  • 3rd Barnsley, 30 points (Mark Bissell, Martin Day, Sean Sanders, Pete Taylor, Nick Smith)
Posted in Catch Reports | Comments Off on Messingham A Team Win The Drennan Teams Of Five

Messingham Sands Latest

A fall in temperatures saw slightly lower match winning weights at Messingham Sands this week, although sport has still been consistent on all of the lakes. 

messingham-sands-fisheryPaul Seed found quality silverfish in the latest round of the Drennan Silverfish Spring League. Fishing casters on peg 8 on Swan Pond, he caught some really good sized ide and skimmers, topped up with roach and perch for a winning 80lb total.

Ian Coatham seems to have mastered the conditions well and has been very consistent in all of the matches he has fished, including the well attended Thursday Open, when he recorded the highest weight of the week with 143lb. Ian has been fishing positively with 11mm hard pellet on the pole, finding that raising and lowering the bait constantly has encouraged carp to take the bait.

The Syndicate members have found Lenny`s Lake to be in great form with plenty of 20lb+ carp landed, with a best of 28lb so far this season. Catfish also seem to be really keen to feed and a 40lb fish has topped a list including lots of 30lb+ specimens.

Drennan Silverfish Spring League, Swan Pond
1 Paul Seed, Grimsby 80-06
2 Carl Swetnam, Rotherham 78-07
3 Kevin Johnson, Messingham 72-08
4 Luke Harrison, Crowle 63-04

Continue reading

Posted in Catch Reports | Comments Off on Messingham Sands Latest

Big Bagging Baits!

Seven top hook baits for singling out carp and quality fish on commercial fisheries.


Now is the ideal time to think about targeting quality fish at your local venue. As summer approaches the bigger fish will be more active and looking for an easy meal – but so will all the smaller fish! This is where choosing a much larger target hook bait can be vital. A much more selective hook bait should help you single out those bigger specimens. Here’s our top seven options for you to try.

1. Pellets

big-baits-pelletCarp love pellets, but so does almost every other species, big and small! To stack the odds in your favour try an extra large 8mm expander pellet or even two 6mm Yum Yums Soft Hooker Pellets on the hook.

If small fish are still whittling down these larger offerings you’ll need to fish a much more resilient pellet instead. This is where a hard coarse pellet presented on a hair rig comes in. A banded 8mm+ coarse pellet fished on a size 14 or 12 Power Bandits makes a winning combo.

2. Dumbells

big-baits-dumbellSometimes ‘matching the hatch’ with a pellet hook bait over pellet feed is the best ploy. On other days it can pay to experiment with a more standout offering. This is where Bandit Dumbells really score. They are available in five varieties, including white Scopex Syrup, orange Tutti Frutti, yellow Pineapple Punch, pink Crab & Krill and black Inky Squid. These highly visible hook baits are extra durable and packed full of flavours and attractants.

3. Worms

big-baits-wormThere’s only one thing better than a large worm on a size 12 Margin Carp hook – and that’s two large worms! Dendrabaenas are the ideal variety and when presented a few inches overdepth the bites are often unmissable.

A great tip is to slap the hook bait on the water a couple of times immediately after hooking them. This temporarily stuns the bait and stops them wriggling and writhing around too much, which could potentially lead to a masked hook point.

4. Maggots

big-baits-maggotsAll fish love maggots, so in order to use this age-old bait effectively for carp you’ll need to cram plenty on to a large hook. Dead maggots are generally better and less prone to small fish attention. A large bunch of eight or more maggots will create an appetising ‘Medusa’s head’ which is soft and lightweight yet surprisingly resilient. Just like worms, dead maggots are particularly effective when fished over a large bed of groundbait.

5. Sweetcorn

big-baits-cornBeing highly visual and heavy makes sweetcorn a particularly good choice for deeper swims when you don’t want to encourage fish off the bottom. A single large grain on a size 16 or 14 Wide Gape Carp is a good option. Two grains on a size 12 might bring an even quicker bite from your intended target. Corn works well in conjunction with any kind of feed, but is particularly effective over a bed of particles such as hempseed or micro pellets.

6. Meat

big-baits-meatA large cube of luncheon meat is a top hook bait that regularly seems to attract the largest carp in a lake. A large 8mm or 10mm piece of meat works well on a size 12 Wide Gape Carp. Alternatively, try two or three smaller 6mm cubes threaded up the hook.

Where allowed, a chunk of cat meat can be just as good, if not better than standard luncheon meat. The beef varieties are slightly more robust for hooking – and go for chunks in gravy rather than jelly for even greater attraction!

7. Paste

big-baits-pasteFishing with paste is a really exciting tactic on its day. You can often get away with relatively crude tackle and a large blob of the stuff can easily conceal a size 12 or 10 hook. Ready mixed paste and paste powders are available, but most fishmeal-type groundbaits can also be mixed to a paste-like consistency. Really sloppy and wet paste will fool more fish, but stiffer consistencies are better when the lake is towing or if lots of bodies are in the swim causing line bites.

The Carp 2 is a good pole float choice for paste. Its reasonably long, banded tip makes a great bite indicator. Try a Wide Gape Pellet hook for paste. This forged pattern is strong but not overly heavy, so it can be sucked in easier without being detected.

Now get out there and get catching!

Posted in Articles | Comments Off on Big Bagging Baits!