If you have a look on the news section on the Match Fishing website you will see the title ‘Drennan Knock Out Shocker’. The shock being the early exit of some of match fishing's star names in the first round of the competition. What they failed to mention was that an angler who ‘normally fishes for roach’ is now through to Round Two! I’ve only been and done it, after three years of trying I have finally made it past the first round!
My normal match fishing circuit is far removed from the norm of the majority of anglers nowadays. When I set up my tackle on Peg 16 of High Pool at Woodland View on Monday it was the first time I had tackled up beside a lake since Round One at Larford two years ago (I couldn’t fish last year due to work commitments). And when I opened the bag of pellets I had purchased from the on-site tackle shop it was again the first time I had used such a bait in the same period!
Don't worry when I tucked into the excellent breakfast in the on-site cafe half an hour earlier it hadn’t been the same period of abstinence, as I had taken a sneaky look at the venue on the Fish 'O' Mania qualifier the previous Wednesday, when I had travelled up with team mate Mike Berntsen, and I feel it was this ‘practice session’ that had got me through the round.
During the Fisho match I settled behind Pole Fishing magazine’s editor, Jon Arthur, and had watched a fine display of pellet fishing, as Jon weighed in 101lb for second in the match. During the following days I set up enough new rigs and hooklengths to fill up several trays in my box and even dusted down my power tips and inspected the Hydro elastic. Suffice to say the original white Hydo that I have in one tip spared its trip to the Antiques Roadshow and was put in the holdall – even though it must now be around 10 years old and showing its age! The final six inches were badly frayed so I yanked it several times and although it never broke, for insurance purposes (and to save myself £15) I bit it off and reconnected the Dacron. It left it a bit ‘pingy’ – which was a good thing as I had all the carp I had on that tip!
On to the match itself I weighed 47lb 14oz for third in the section behind Andy Power with 91lb and Matt Derry with 70lb odd, but just coming third meant I qualified for the next round. I joked with Neil Mckinnon at the results that, to me, it was like winning Fish 'O' Mania, but without jumping in fully clothed and picking up £30K (of which Neil has done both!).
All of my proper carp came to a rig fished 3-4ft deep in about 10ft of water on a 0.2g Mick Wilkinson float tied to 0.18mm Garbo Line, a 0.14mm hooklength and a Colmic 501 hook with a banded 6mm pellet. Using the ancient white Hydro and a pull bung, every fish I hooked ended up in the net!
Next round is on the Birmingham-Fazeley Canal at Minworth on Monday, 14th May, so keep your fingers crossed for me!