Angling Times Tuesday, March 3, 2009
Drennan contenders Three trots for best roach Keen roach angler Ross Lawson’s trip to the London AA-controlled Britford stretch of the Hants Avon ended with t he c apt u re of t h i s personal best 2lb 7oz roach – thanks to river keeper Stuart Wilson. The 49-year-old air traff ic controller t ravel led f rom h is Romsey home to target the roach hotspot near Salisbury with trotted maggot tactics. Ross was shown to a productive swim by Stuart and proceeded to hook the specimen on just his third trot down.
Patrol route produces
Targeting an area where he had frequently seen barbel patrolling in clear conditions was the key to Ian Lowe’s capture of this immaculate specimen weighing 13lb 5oz from the River Teme. The Oldbury, West Mids-based rod, who beat his personal best by just over 1lb, took the fish less than an hour into his session after it picked up his glugged Teme Severn pellet hookbait. “On its first run the fish headed straight for some tree roots downstream but thankfully I managed to turn it just in time. The fight lasted just over five minutes, but it seemed to last forever! It really is the fish of a lifetime,” enthused Ian.
Fish the Pike Champs ACA/Fox British Pike Champs Qualifying Matches 2009
Vauxhall Lakes. Philip Jones on 01933 396962 Wileys, Newbury. Alan on 0118 9619006
Saturday, March 7 to Sunday, March 8 Wellington Country Park, Odiham Road, Riseley, Reading. 24-hour pairs. Steve Parker on 0118 9753015 or 0791 8025472
Saturday, March 14 Old Nene, Ramsey St Mary’s. Keith Rayment on 01487 814077
Sunday, March 8 Barden Park, Tunbridge. Paul Laws on 0208 4675958 Cockbank, Whittlesey. John Palmer on 01733 208191 or Paul Davis on 07951 897669 Tewitfield Coarse Fishery, Burton Road, Carnforth, Lancashire. Chris Brookshaw on 01229 828038 or 07731 468860
Sunday, March 15 Hermitage Lake, Whitwick, Leicestershire. L Fradsham on 07813 289203 Sunday, March 29 Finch Farm Fishery, Maidenhead. Mike Delaney on 07990 525642 Spade Oak, Little Marlow, Bucks. George Emmett on 01628 676847
Chew has to be the No1 pike water �� Yet another 30lb predator is proof
By Ben Miles firstname.lastname@example.org
Chew Reservoir has reinforced its reputation as the country’s finest big-pike water this week following the capture of yet another massive fish, this one weighing 38lb 8oz. The latest giant, banked by venue regular Alan Buckingham, is one of three 30lb-plus fish taken in the last fortnight from the Bristol Water-owned venue, and the 29th over the mag ic 30lb barrier since the beginning of last year. It’s a record that leaves many of the countr y’s so-called ‘big-pike waters’ firmly in the shade. But what is it that gives Chew Valley the ability to produce big fish with far more re g u l a r it y t h a n P it sford, Blithfield and Grafham? M a rk Bu rd a s s, a sen ior lecturer on f isheries ma nagement at Spa rsholt College in Hants, believes its down to two main factors – a rich and diverse supply of prey f ish and the venue’s
Alan Buckingham is the latest angler to cash in at Chew Reservoir, with this pike of 38lb 8oz.
unique topography. “Chew not only holds big numbers of trout, but also vast shoals of roach and other coarse fish that are incredibly rich in proteins and oils and make a perfect diet for growing pike,” said Mark. “Perhaps just as importantly, other trout waters are very deep in places and it’s common k nowle d ge t h at pi ke a re ambush predators that prefer to feed in shallower water. This
is why Chew always outperforms the other venues – it’s uniform in depth, which is good for the coarse fish as well as the trout. “These factors combine to create the perfect breeding ground for huge pike.” Meanwhile, Alan Buckingham, who has fished every pike trial at the venue since it opened to predator anglers, believes the management of the venue also has a large part to play in its
continuing success. “Chew is quite simply as near perfect a water for pike as you can get, and I’m convinced that t he f isher y ma nagement, coupled with the outstanding handling of the pike demonst rated by v isit i ng anglers, is a big reason for that. This is borne out by the way all the big fish seem to survive capture so well,” said Alan, who smashed his old pike personal best of 27lb 5oz.
Long-trotted livebait lures 15lb Severn zander Long-trotting small livebaits close to the deck on the River Severn proved the downfall of this cracking 15lb 7oz zander for Martin Jauncey. The Worcester-based painter and decorator went afloat on the West Mids river with friend Chris Fowles, and between them they caught a dozen pike, including five doubles to 15lb 13oz, and 10 zander. The pair used heavy leads and inline pike floats to get their roach, dace and chub livebaits right down to the bottom where the predators were holding up, opting for single Owner circle hooks to
keep their baits securely on the rigs. “As soon as I hooked the fish I could feel the typical head shakes of a big, heavy zander so I took it easy when bringing it to the boat,” Martin told Angling Times. “I knew it was a ‘fifteen’ as soon as I saw it – I’ve been after one for years. James Benfield’s 21lb 5oz record raised the bar for all of us as well as putting the River Severn back on the map,” he added. Boat partner Chris also got in on the big zed action, landing a fish that pulled the scales round to 11lb 2oz.
GO FISHING 29
Angling Times Tuesday, March 3, 2009
�� Find a great river
We’ve got loads of great running-water venues near you at: www.gofishing.co.uk/wheretofish
�� Learn bait secrets
Get an edge with our great tricks for pepping up your hookbaits: www.gofishing.co.uk/advice This 6lb 3oz chub shows the versatility of the loafer float.
Martin’s loafer kit Rod: 15ft Drennan Float Master – this float rod has the backbone to land a big chub Reel: Okuma Aveon 30 – although I backwind when floatfishing I always set the clutch correctly Line: Drennan 4.4lb Floatfish – although it floats I still use line floatant to enhance this Hooklength: 3lb Team England to a size 12 Super Spade
There are lots of species that respond to a floatfished bait. Bait: Two tins of Dynamite Baits sweetcorn
took umbrage at this intrusion and did its best to smash me in the woodwork. Holding firm, I watched as the striped flank cut through the water inches from danger before submitting to the pressure. I could now see clearly the lobworm hanging from the corner of its mouth while it thrashed its head from side to side. Full of anger, it only gave in to the inevitable when shown the folds of my net – there sitting at the bottom was a big fish easily over 3lb. It was one-nil to the loafer. T r ip t wo p r e s e n t e d a n
altogether different challenge – roach in shallow, fast water. Although difficult to see with the surface displacement and a tinge of colour, I could make out a series of shadows ghosting across the gravel. It appeared a range of sizes were in residence, so what I needed to work out was a tactic that would target the bigger specimens. My odds of success would be slim w ith mag gots and experience has taught me that once the smaller fish begin to be hooked, the rest of the shoal melts away. So I opted for a bait
Although there were none over the magical 2lb mark, the roach gave great sport.
traditionally reser ved for summer – sweetcorn. Standing k nee-deep in mid-river I lowered in my loafer and chosen bait, watching intently as the f low grabbed hold and drew it closer to the shadows below. The question of whether they would take corn didn’t take long to answer, as a bite materialised straight away. A shaking sensation on the rod-tip followed by a silver f lank rolling on the surface confirmed that the culprit was a roach. My size 14 hook did an admirable job, defying every twist and turn until I was able to net more than 1lb of silver. The following hour was filled in a similar fashion in one of my favourite ways to fish – wading, floatfishing and catching roach. While they never reached the magic 2lb mark, it was still two-nil to the loafer. Session three arrived when the Thames began to fine down and chub came on my radar. For once I decided to leave the cheesepaste at home, and instead took a bucket of mashed bread and a fresh loaf – together with, you guessed it, a loafer! About 10yds downstream sat a near-bank raft with, I hoped, a shoal of hung r y f ish in residence. Two tangerine-sized ba l ls of ma sh st a r ted of f proceedings, the milky residue leaking out of each lump as it fell to the bottom. With no more than 4ft of water to deal with, I bulked the shot at the three-quarter point of the rig and allowed just t wo No4 dropper shots. When using large chunks of flake, shots any lighter would see it f loating upwards in an unnatural way. Happy with my tactcics, I
began to f ish, introducing another ball of feed every dozen trots. By being patient I knew the chub would break before I did, and sure enough, less than 30 minutes in and I connected to a big brute of a fish that tried desperately to steal my float. Unfortunately for him that wasn’t part of the plan, so he had to submit to a quick round of photos before I slipped all 6lb 3oz of him back safely. So if you’re unsure what to do in the last few trips of the season, my advice would be to pack a loafer. It really is a multi-functional float that will help you catch more fish.
Martin’s loafer tips 1
Use a small float band on the very tip of a loafer to prevent you moving the bait below when mending the line.
Use a long piece of silicone at the base to stop tangles.
When perch fishing use as small a loafer as possible.
Place bulk shot next to the float if you don’t require it for the flow – that way you can hold back better.
Always make sure your mainline floats.
Martin’s loafer rig
Has your team signed up yet? Join the UK’s biggest matchﬁshing competition – contact email@example.com See page 54
WHO MADE IT INTO THE MONEY? UK’s best weekly round-up
UKCARP MAG Inside this week’s AT
of matches starts on p48
Who’s the No1?
Shakespeare will have to fight it out on the Grand Union at Loughborough.
AT Team Champs semi-final line-ups Saturday, March 7 Northern semi – Hampton Springs Teams: Chester Tackle Locker, Maver Midlands, Saints, Sam’s Tackle & Bait, Ted Carter Preston, Ted Carter Southport, Tri-Cast Highfield, Western Tackle & Bait Sunday, March 8 Midlands semi – Grand Union Canal, Loughborough
Teams: Browning Hot Rods, Daiwa Trentmen, Fox Match Stanjay, Fox Match Tipton Van Den Eynde, Leicester Sensas, Shakespeare, Trabucco, Tunnel Barn Bandits Midlands semi – Grand Union Canal, Milton Keynes Teams: Chiltern Baits, Drennan Oxford, Fox Match Black Horse, Kamasan Starlets,
Sensas A4, Team SPRO Southern semi – Kennet & Avon Canal, Bathampton Teams: Bathampton Avon Aquatics, Daiwa Gordon League, Devizes Angling Centre, Fox Match Arun, Garbolino Blackmore Vale MG, Guildford Angling Centre, Preston Innovations Thatcher’s, SPRO Dorset Raiders
Shakey eye glory on Grand Union Canal West Mids side aims for a return to glory days By Richard Grange firstname.lastname@example.org
“We’re as strong as we were in the 1980s.” That’s the battle cry of Shakespeare Superteam skipper Mick Hatchard ahead of this weekend’s Angling Times Team Champs semis matches. Then, the nation’s best will by vying for a coveted spot in the big final and the ‘Shakey’ lads will be one team to watch. Fol low i ng a pa i nst a k i ng rebuilding over the last decade, absorbing the major switch from big matches on rivers to
canals and commercials, the West Midlands aces, famed for being the first ‘professional’ team back in the late 1970s with the likes of Ken Giles and Clive Smith, are now gunning for some big-time silverware. According to Mick, this year’s Team Champs is the one they desperately wa nt to w i n, although like many with similar ambitions, one major obstacle stands in their way – Daiwa Dorking. Mick believes his side are equipped to bring down the all-dominant Surrey side, though. Their first task will be qualifying from what on paper is the toughest semi of them all on the Grand Union Canal
at Loughborough. “It’s the hardest semi, and there will be four teams that w ill threaten – ourselves, L e ice ste r, T re nt me n a nd Tipton,” Mick said. “The build-up has been tough bec au se t he weat her h a s prevented the canal showing what it can do. Saying that, we’re winning the league on the canal so we are in touch with the venue and we’re probably one of the best canal squads in the country. It’d be crazy if we didn’t fancy it.” Qualify and the final awaits where presumably the likes of Dorking, Barnsley and Starlets w ill lie in wait. However,
Shakespeare are aiming to reach the final on the Nene.
Sha kespea re have been knocking on the door with five final appearances in the last six years, finishing second in 2006. They have the men, but Mick reckons a touch of international class would be that missing
ingredient that has so far seen the trophy elude them. “Breaking into that top three is our next job, but we’ve never been stronger, and each year that passes sees us grow,” he added.
Who’s the best angler in the East Midlands? That could be decided by the upcoming the East Midlands Match Champs! Running over six matches at commercial fisheries around Leicester, the top six anglers from each match qualify for the grand final on Bank Holiday Monday, May 4, at Mill on the Soar Fishery. Before that, though, come the qualifiers. These are between 25 and 30 pegs with tickets £10 to pre-book, plus £17 on the day, the draw for each match at 9am. For details, ring Townsend Tackle on 01162 126684 or Scottie on 07768 636947: Qualifier dates: March 21 – Mill on the Soar Fishery; March 29 – Holly Farm Fishery; April 5 – Holly Farm Fishery; April 12 – Holmes Farm Fishery; April 25 – Peatling Pools.
The Barns Fishery isn’t one of the South West’s best-known waters, but it might be after this year’s Kernow League. To be held on two lakes at the Newquay fishery over May 2, 3 and 4, the event is open on a first come, first served basis to the first 36 anglers to book in with entry at £55 plus an optional £15 superpool. For details, contact John Forster on 07727 024037.
Hillview Fisheries boss Keith Hill is to hold a special memorial match in memory of Stourbridge angler Tony Parker, who has lost his battle against cancer. One of the Midlands’ top match anglers over the years, Tony, 66, was a member of the Lifestyle match squad and also a regular at the Tewkesbury water. Keith has had donations of cash from regulars at the fishery, which he is to use to place a memorial bench and plaque behind one of Tony’s favourite pegs at the fishery. The date of the match will be announced shortly.