Dai Gribble proved why he’s one of the UK’s best all-rounders when he turned his attentions to running water and landed this 7lb chub.
The Korum-backed angler from Staffordshire dug out some home-made cheese paste from his freezer and set off to a tough southern river.
He didn’t have to wait long before his legered hookbait was taken by the mint-conditioned fish on his very first cast. It was beaten with 6lb mainline and hooklink, and a size 6 hook.
The only remedy for losing a 40-pounder at the net is to hook and land another just hours later.
That’s what Arron Fisher did at the low-stock Kracking Carp Lake on the Anglers Paradise complex in Devon.
The drama began with a bite at 7am on his second day. He said: “Straight away I knew it was a good fish but when it came up and rolled on its side I couldn’t believe how big it was.
“There in front of me was a 20-year obsession and my first UK forty. Well, it wasn’t to be because as I was trying to net it in the howling winds I lost it.
“I was absolutely devastated. I went about getting the rod back out and then sat in disbelief.
“I have been told there are only 16 carp in the lake so wasn’t holding out for another chance.”
Arron continued: “The carp gods had obviously taken pity on me as only 12 hours later my other rod went off and the rest is history. There in the bottom of my net lay another UK forty, a new pb and my first forty.”
The fish, known as the Half Lin, weighed 43lb 5oz.
Arron was fishing close in with the wind in his face and baited with Hooked On Baits hemp and Velocity Baits P-Nut+ boilies and stick mix. His hookbaits were 10mm Velocity M25 pop-ups.
A group of top anglers has teamed up with the nation’s most famous commercial fishery to launch an innovative scheme that aims to find the sport’s stars of the future.
Warwickshire’s Makins Fishery has signed a sponsorship deal with tackle giant Guru that will see the brand’s sponsored anglers involved in a new Match Academy in a bid to unlock hidden junior talent.
Angling Times columnist Steve Ringer and England Feeder Team member Adam Rooney are among the big names to have pledged to provide coaching during the project.
Youths between the ages of 12 and 16 have been given a major incentive, with Guru promising a year-long sponsorship deal to the most impressive prospect.
Scheme leader Adam Rooney said: “There are thousands of budding young match anglers out there and we want to give them the chance to make that step up to the top level.
“It will give us the opportunity to pass on the team’s knowledge and skills to the next generation and hopefully give them a real shot at becoming future household names.”
Makins owner Alan McDiarmid said: “By joining forces with Guru we are giving juniors a real opportunity to show just how talented they are.”
It isn’t the first time that major manufacturers have stepped up to the plate to benefit junior anglers, with Preston Innovations-backed stars including Des Shipp and Tommy Pickering previously sharing their knowledge during the nationwide Fish Camp series.
Staff are working on the format of the Match Academy, with dates set to be pencilled in at the complex next summer. For regular updates on the scheme visit www.tackleguru.com
Britain’s biggest club event – the Angling Times Bait-Tech Supercup – has kicked off again!
Fished by almost 300 sides last year, the Supercup is open to all club and tackle shop sides that are registered to the Bait-Tech Clubman scheme and works on a simple knockout system for local sides, culminating in big semi-finals and the final this summer where one name will go on the famous trophy.
The opening two rounds are fished through spring and early summer with teams drawn out of a hat to decide each tie. These six-a-side matches are to be fished on dates set by Angling Times on venues of the home-drawn side’s choice. Win through these and you’re in the regional semi-final, and if you finish in the top five of that special match the final beckons.
That will see 15 sides go at it hammer and tongs over five hours, all hoping to emulate last year’s winners Dersingham AC – and who knows, they may even be back again to defend the title!
“Supercup remains the club event to fish and as big team matches have dwindled down the years, this competition continues to attract healthy numbers,” said Angling Times Match Editor Richard Grange.
“The beauty is that any club can make it through to the final. The rounds are fished through spring, which with the variable weather and spawning makes for a great leveller, but normally the team that takes it seriously and gives its matches a bit of thought does best. So many clubs are put off fishing the big events because they think they can’t compete, but Supercup is on their level and something they can really get stuck into.”
Detailed here is all you need to know about the Supercup as well as relevant contact details for any queries, and you can find the entry form in Angling Times – good luck!
How it all works
The Supercup is a simple knockout competition run initially on a local basis with ties of two or three teams all local to each other. After two rounds of competition, the winning teams get through to their regional semi-final.
These are to be held at some of the country’s top commercial fisheries in July and August 2016 and draw together sides from all over that respective region (North, Midlands and South) to do battle for a place in the grand final.
These opening rounds are fished to section points, not weight, and MUST be fished on the dates specified by Angling Times. This is to stop arguments over which team can fish which date, which has blighted the competition since it started in 1999.
Fishery rules will apply, and the home-drawn side will have the choice of venue only and the rounds will be fished by six anglers a side.
Once the first round tie is completed the home-drawn club must send the result to Angling Times for publication using the Clubman match report card sent out with contact details for opposing teams after the draw has been made.
Teams that have made it through will go into the hat for the second round draw, which is typically made a week after all first round matches have been completed. These matches will follow exactly the same lines as the opening round, finishing in time for winning teams to get in some practice on their semi-final venue.
All first round Supercup matches must be fished on the weekend of April 9 and 10 2016
Second round matches will then take place on the following weekend after the second round draw has been published: June 18 and 19 2016.
How to enter
To begin with teams must be registered to the Bait-Tech Clubman scheme. Don’t panic if you’re not, it’s free to do and only takes a phone call to 01733 395109 to get on board.
If you have fished the Supercup in any of the previous years, then you are already signed up so there’s no need to call!
Once you’re in, send the entry form from Angling Times to the address on the form along with your entry fee and a squad sheet of anglers wanting to fish. This list must have a minimum of 10 and a maximum of 20 names.
All entries MUST be received by Thursday, February 1 2016 to go into the draw for the first round, which will be published in the Tuesday, February 16 2016 issue of Angling Times.
If you’re a home-drawn club, you must contact your opposition to arrange the match as soon as possible – contact details will be sent out to home teams as soon as the draw is completed.
If you’re an away team, just sit tight and wait for that phone call.
It costs just £30 to fish the Supercup, effectively £1.50 per man if you enter a 20-angler squad – around half a pint of beer! This can be paid via cheque or Postal Order and then all you’ll have to pay from then on are the pools for each match you fish.
What you win
There isn’t a prize list in club fishing to match the Supercup and the lucky winners will not only receive the sparkling silver trophy but also commemorative medals as a memento of their day out, plus the £1,000 cheque from event sponsor Bait-Tech.
In fact, all teams competing will go home with something to show for their efforts, with a medal for every team member presented by England boss Mark Addy as well as a box full of Bait-Tech goodies to be distributed amongst the club. A free breakfast and evening meal for all anglers is provided by Bait-Tech.
You’re not forgotten if you come second or third, though, because medals and cheques for £500 and £250 are up for grabs for those teams as well as cash from the pools for the individual top five anglers and section winners and runners-up. Soo what are you waiting for? Enter now!
It was a week to remember for Phil Taylor as he smashed two personal bests on his local rivers.
The Lincolnshire angler went in search of a big chub and started the session by legering cheese paste.
A 4lb brace was an early reward, but the best of the day came just as the light was failing, with a 6lb 4oz personal best (pictured) going into the net.
Days later he opted for a change of tactics, relying on floatfished breadflake to tempt a few bites.
A series of roach to 1lb 10oz were enough to put a smile on Phil’s face, but the icing on the cake came when an elusive 14oz dace provided him with his second record.
Britain’s second-biggest common has weighed in at a best-ever 57lb 10oz to cap an incredible year for Paul Viner at the Avenue.
The 43-year-old has now caught four different fifties from the Shropshire water since March, including one of them twice.
His latest fifty, known as Tarka, sets a new lake record and comes just two weeks after he banked Ellie for the second time at 51lb.
“It’s just been a totally amazing year,” Paul told Angling Times. “I’m still in complete shock.”
Tarka was part of an impressive five-fish haul in 24 hours that also included three thirties and a 29lb 12oz mirror. The big common is believed to be Britain’s second biggest, behind the Lee Jackson Fish at Kent’s Strawberry Fields which reached 63lb 4oz last year.
“I arrived at about 12.30pm and went into the same peg where I had Ellie a couple of weeks before. I put the rods exactly where I had them then and put about 50 boilies over each rod with the throwing stick, plus about 2kg of particles,” said Paul.
“About 20 minutes after finishing that I had my first fish at 29lb 12oz. I recast that rod and put out another half kilo of bait and had Tarka an hour later. It was a slow take and I knew straight away it was going to be a special fish.
“It was a typical big-fish fight as it kited for a bit, then wallowed around and put up a scrap in the margins.
“I only saw it as it went into the net and, to be honest, I initially mistook it for Ellie and I was going to just unhook it and release it, but then I saw its tail and realised it was Tarka.
“This is the last of the big four fish from there that I hadn’t had. It was absolutely mint and didn’t look like it had been hooked before.
“It was just huge, I couldn’t get over the frame on it.”
The Sutton Coldfield angler added: “I had 10 fish in 24 hours from there in March, which was the biggest hit of the season, but in terms of big fish this has got to be my best-ever session.”
Paul fished Mainline Cell and Hybrid boilies and used D rigs made with Korda IQ fluorocarbon.
Water bailiff Paul Oughton used his knowledge of the Warwickshire Avon to take this fine barbel of 15lb 6oz during a session with our own Martin Bowler.
The Birmingham AA official was fishing a weir pool near Evesham. After introducing bait-droppers of boilies, pellets and hemp, he cast two boilie halves.It took a few hours before the big barbel struck.
Sensas Commercial House Christmas Match
Kennet & Avon Canal, Garage Pond - Bathampton (27 pegs)
The canal fished extremely well, with the top 11 anglers all taking more than 9lb.
Martin Rayet, of Stand & Deliver Promotions, won from the Horseshoe Pond with an impressive 24-12-0 of roach taken on breadpunch at 5m, plus skimmers to 2lb on maggot over groundbait at 13m.
Jon Harvey was next with 14-9-0 of roach on punch and bloodworm fished at 5m and 13m and skimmers on caster from the Long Pond.
Result: 1 M Rayet, Stand & Deliver Promotions, 24-12-0; 2 J Harvey, Preston Innovations Thatcher’s Black, 14-9-0; 3 M Goodhind, M&N Electrical, 13-2-0; 4 K Dicks, Maver Bathampton Elite, 12-8-0; 5 S Townsend, Maver Bathampton Elite, 12-4-0; 6 A Britt, Maver Bathampton Elite, 10-5-0.
Jamie Cartwright’s start to his chub campaign just keeps getting better – his latest capture saw him net this impressive 7lb 7oz specimen.
A boilie wrapped in matching paste did the trick for the former Drennan Cup champion from Northamptonshire, when he concentrated on a stretch of the Great Ouse – a venue that recently produced another huge chub for him weighing 7lb 3oz.
His rig consisted of a braided hooklink, 10lb line and a size 10 hook. His CC Moores Pacific Tuna boilies were broken into pva bags to draw the fish towards his hookbait.
A decision to go fishing with a professional angling guide paid off handsomely for Kevin Meggison when he smashed his personal best pike by a massive 17lb.
The Kent angler contacted predator ace Rikki Cooper as he wanted to improve his best weight of 12lb and Rikki duly obliged as the pair headed to one of Kevin’s local stillwaters. A few hours later Kevin had achieved his goal by slipping the net under three fish weighing 29lb 10oz, 26lb 2oz and 19lb. All the fish were taken on legered smelt deadbaits.
A lamb’s heart, 6lb test-curve rod and 80lb braided line are not what you’d expect to find in a UK eel angler’s tackle box, but this is what Barry McConnell used to land this incredible specimen.
Weighing a massive 21lb 10oz, the giant predator was one of 14 double-figure eels banked by Barry and friend Peter Drabble during an unforgettable trip across the globe in an attempt to break a world record.
They travelled nearly 11,000 miles to New South Wales, Australia, where they endured six weeks’ camping in a bid to beat the species record of 25lb 12oz. However, their trip didn’t start as planned.
“After reading internet reports of anglers being snapped up by huge eels, we headed to a reservoir in the Snowy Mountains with high expectations,” Barry said.
“Six days later neither of us had a fish to show for our efforts and we realised that the Aussies had been releasing water from the lake into a river. Most of the previously landlocked eels must have escaped, so we used our back-up plan which was to fish some dams nearby.”
The move proved a masterstroke as they spent the remaining month fishing three lakes before tackling rivers in the State of Victoria, finishing the trip with 32 eels.
It wasn’t just their catches which raised eyebrows, though, as they used tackle that even a sea angler might find too beefy.
“We needed the heavy rods and strong braided line as we were pulling hard-fighting eels through weed which grew 14ft deep,” he continued.
“We used size 2 hooks, big enough to hook bait such as chicken fillet or lambs’ hearts from the local butchers, but soft enough so that they would straighten if they were snagged on the underwater trees.
“There was no time to minimise our gear. We slept in one-man tents with no bed chairs and had to cut the arms off the landing net so that we could fit it in the suitcase on the flight over and glue it together when we arrived,” he added.
Buoyed by their success, Barry and Peter are planning to return in search of bigger specimens.
“We have looked at Queensland where the climate is hotter, so I believe there are much bigger fish than the record,” Barry added.
“However there are crocodiles in Queensland, so we would have to fish carefully,” added Barry. A video of their trip will shortly be available on YouTube.
Severe weather cuts many fishing sessions short, but James Denison battled the wind and rain to bank this immaculate 2lb 10oz roach.
Fishing a centrepin outfit on an undisclosed stretch of a southern river, the electrician trotted a single maggot hookbait after initially putting down a bed of loosefeed.
“The bite came around 30 minutes before dusk and was from the only roach of the day in what was a tough afternoon’s fishing,” James told Angling Times.
“This was my third 2lb roach of the season, and the best months are yet to come.”
James’ specimen was taken on a 12ft Greys Prodigy TXL float rod and centrepin reel combination with terminal tackle consisting of a 6BB Drennan wire-stemmed float and a size 12 barbless hook.
Paul Viner caught this 51lb common for the second time in eight weeks at the Avenue.
The fish, known as Ellie, found its way into the back of the 43-year-old’s net on October 1 before slipping up again almost two months later.
The Sutton Coldfield carper, who has been a member at the Shropshire venue for four seasons and has also had a 52lb 8oz mirror from the lake, told Angling Times: “I had been battered by those gales during a previous session and to be quite honest I fancied a break from that, so I went on the back of the wind.
“I hadn’t seen any fish, so I cast to a spot that I know produces them.
“It was just getting dark on the second evening when I had a fairly peculiar take. The alarm beeped twice and the bobbin moved up halfway before dropping again.
“I thought it was a liner, but then the bobbin pulled up to the top and stayed there.
“I knew as soon as I hit into it that it was one of the big girls. It held its ground and shook its head and then swam on a tight line about 80 yards out. It took about 15 minutes to get it in and, by the light of a full moon, I knew which fish it was as it came over the net.”
Paul baited with hemp, corn and Mainline Cell and Hybrid boilies, and fished a critically balanced homemade boilie over the top on a stiff D rig made with Korda Kaptor Kurv Shank hooks and IQ2 fluorocarbon.
The Great Ouse is on top big chub form at the moment, and it delivered a fish over the 7lb mark for Herts-based specialist Leighton McDonnell.
A paste hookbait moulded around two 13mm cork balls did the trick when he hooked the 7lb 2oz specimen just as the light was beginning to fade.
Leighton fished the paste in conjunction with 6lb mainline and a size 4 Nash Fang hook.
“I’ve been having loads of success with my paste recently, taking chub to 5lb 11oz,” he said.
“But to have such a fish from a brand new stretch I’ve only recently started fishing is a great start to my winter campaign.”
The vibrant hue of this chunky ghostie warmed Craig Cossey during a cold and windy session.
The 25-year-old concrete manufacturer fished for 24 hours at a Suffolk syndicate venue and braced the 36lb 10oz ornamental with a 21lb 8oz mirror.
“As soon as it rolled into the net I knew this was the carp I’d been waiting for,” said the Norfolk angler, who arrived at the venue after work.
“I got both rods out on my spots and, after seeing fish over one of them, I began trickling baits in and around the area. Eventually I got a good wide spread of bait out and settled down for the night.
“Temperatures dropped to 2ºC and the wind was blowing extremely hard towards my end of the lake. It actually blew my Carp Porter over!”
After a biteless evening, Craig saw a big fish show itself over his right-hand rod at about 8.30am. He said: “Thirty minutes later I had a take and it was from a 21lb 8oz mirror – a nice fish but not the lump that I saw.
“I got my rod back on the spot again and within 45 minutes I had another take and this was the one I wanted – a new personal best.”
Craig fished to a small gravel spot and baited with about 3kg of Mainline Cell boilies.
He used helicopter rigs with long hooklinks made with E-S-P Ghost and size 6 Fox Arma Point hooks.
A boilie almost the size of a golf ball tempted the latest in an incredible run of big barbel for one of the UK’s most in-form specimen hunters – who landed a new personal best weighing 16lb 12oz.
Incredibly, this is Luke Ayling’s third different fish over 16lb that he’s taken in under four weeks. It came during a session on the River Thames.
To induce the bite from his biggest- ever barbel the Lone Angler-backed specialist used the same homemade bait wrapped in a matching paste that recently proved the downfall of a 16lb 1oz fish from the same venue.
“With this bait I know when I get a bite it’s going to be a ‘proper’ fish,” said Luke, who comes from Oxfordshire.
“Many anglers might be put off by using a bait this big, but it’s no trouble for barbel of this size.
“It’s just a case of getting a few bites and gaining confidence in a bait like this.”
His latest specimen fell to a rig made with 15lb mainline, a coated braid hooklink and a size 6 hook.
It proved to be the only bite of the overnight session.
Along with the added attraction created in the swim by the thin layer of paste wrapped around his boilie hookbait, Luke also introduced a few 14mm barrel baits into his swim.
“To have caught the two Thames fish and a 16lb 7oz barbel from its tributary, the Thame, was far beyond my expectations.
“It’s been a hell of a season for barbel and there are plenty more to come,” Luke concluded.
This is the picture of John Wilson’s biggest-ever carp, topping the scales at over 100lb.
The legendary angler, who now lives in Thailand, won the battle with the personal-best Siamese carp after he floatfished a hookbait made from rice and breadcrumbs in a session at the famous Palm Tree Lagoon, south of the capital Bangkok.
“This is the fattest carp I have ever caught. It measured 15ins across its back and almost 2ft in depth,” John told Angling Times.
But this wasn’t John’s only epic battle of the day – for three-and-a-half hours he fought a giant Mekong catfish, estimated to weigh in excess of 300lb, before his trace gave way.
“In all my years of fishing I have never felt such devastating stamina and power from a fish. I rather think that if the trace had not parted I’d still be playing it now,” he laughed.
To find out more about the fishing at Palm Tree Lagoon visit:
The winter blues show no sign of affecting red-hot silverfish sport after countless personal-best weights were taken at venues across the nation.
Roach, bream and perch have continued to feed heavily despite the chilly temperatures, with both rivers and stillwaters producing well beyond what is expected in the run up to Christmas.
Arguably the most impressive catch of them all was Tom Downing’s huge haul of bream from the Thames, where the Devon rod shared more than 150lb with MAP-backed star Tony Curd during his first-ever session on a river.
Having been persuaded to make the 400-mile round journey to the stretch at Kingston-upon-Thames he was soon rewarded for his commitment, with slabs to 7lb falling to the groundbait feeder every chuck during the frantic session.
Tom told Angling Times: “I’m a big fan of commercial fisheries but after a day out like that I am definitely going to be doing more river fishing.
“Tony had assured me that we would get a few bites, but to share more than 150lb of bream at this time of year surpassed my expectations by a mile.”
Similar levels of success were also recorded on commercial waters, as Des Shipp proved with a 60lb-plus haul from Frant Lakes made up of roach to 1lb and skimmers and perch to 2lb.
The England international was performing a demonstration at the Kent complex and attracted a bite every chuck throughout the session. He said: “It was one of those days where the float never stopped going under and everything we tried worked almost straight away.
“The growing number of silvers in commercials means a good day is on the cards on even the coldest of days.”
Other silverfish highlights of the week included 250lb-plus of silvers being brought to the scales during the latest contest at Scunthorpe’s Messingham Sands, Dennis Pattinson’s 37lb 3oz net of roach coming out on top. Numerous pleasure anglers have also landed personal-best nets of silvers at Northamptonshire’s Wold Farm Fisheries, with 70lb-plus bags of roach and skimmers being taken.
One good deed deserves another, and so it proved for Ian Russell as he scored this 38lb mirror during a charity session.
Chris Wake bid £1,000 in an Anglers Against Cancer auction to fish with the popular carp tutor, and Ron Buss, at Oxfordshire’s Orchid Lake.
The trio settled into the Alamo swim and Ian caught one of the biggest fish in the lake on the first day of the 48-hour session.
“This is the first time I’ve fished here,” Ian told Angling Times from the bank. “It’s been a brilliant first trip and a brilliant first fish.”
He added: “I saw a fish jump at about 95 yards in open water and cast a single pop-up to it.
“About 90 minutes to two hours later, just before it started to get dark, it went off.
“The line and the clutch was so tight that it started bleeping, then stopped, and as I ran down to the rod I thought ‘did it or didn’t it?’... and then it whizzed off again.
“It was a hectic fight to say the least but eventually we got it in. Ron and (venue owner) Marsh Pratley recognised it as a fish called Big T which normally goes 33lb or 34lb, so we did a bit of a double take when it went 38lb, but we weighed it twice and that’s what it was.”
Ian used his trusty flicky rig with a size 8 Avid LSK hook and 12mm Sonubaits 24/7 pop-up.
Festival season at Cornish complex White Acres was rounded-off with the Garbolino Silverfish event and the title went to a familiar name in the South West of the country as Harry Billing lifted the silverware. But only after the usual tallying-up of dropped scores when he ended up tied with three other anglers on a perfect 36 points!
The Garbolino man has tasted plenty of success at White Acres and surrounding fisheries, culminating in the 2012 Parkdean Masters, since he relocated to Cornwall from his native Manchester and silverfish are his game as Harry was a feared angler on the canal scene back in the North.
Racking up four section wins and dropping a four-point score from his worst day, Harry ended up clear of runner-up Adam Wakelin with Andy Power taking third, both men having poorer dropped scores.
Whereas previous Silverfish festivals have been fished on frozen lakes, this year saw mild and often wild and windy weather. That helped the weights, Harry kicking off on Day 1 with a section win thanks to 62-12-0 of skimmers, roach and a few F1s on maggot and caster over groundbait on the long pole from peg 7 on the Sycamore Lake.
It was a case of more of the same on Tuesday as he notched up 60-0-0 of F1s using caster in the margins of peg 6 on the Twin Oaks Lake. Day 3 gave him his midway section finish from the Trelawney Lake, which was ultimately to be binned.
It didn’t take long for him to get back in the groove though, Jenny’s Lake peg 15 seeing him work hard for 33-1-0 of roach and skimmers on maggot and caster to post another eight points and going into the final day, only a win would do – and Harry duly obliged.
The draw put him on peg 20 of the Pollawyn Lake and he won not only the section, but the lake as well, with 44-3-0 of skimmers using maggot on the long pole line.
Result: 1 H Billing, Garbolino, 36pts (dropping four points);
2 A Wakelin, Preston Innovations, 36 (dropping six points – 219-4-0); 3 A Power, Preston Innovations, 36 (dropping six points – 214-1-0); 4 M Godfrey, Pole Fishing Magazine, 36 (dropping six points – 195-2-0); 5 D Hammond, Drennan Oxford, 35 (dropping five points – 197-13-0); 6 C Hughes, Sensas/Rive, 35 (dropping five points – 196-3-0).