This week's Angler's Mail match fishing blog comes from top matchman and Garbolino UK chief, Darren Cox.


JUNE for me has been great fishing, as the carp decided to spawn a little later this year the commercials have been very up and down.

Blog GarbolinoThere have still been plenty of fish to catch at the right time of day but some of the match results have shown that the fish are still shoaled up tighter than normal.

Lots of matches have been won with very big weights with much smaller back-up framing weights.

Luckily for me this lull in consistent sport coincided with me concentrating on some canal fishing.

My first task was to try and get through the next round of the Drennan Knockout Cup staged on the Shropshire Union Canal at Church Eaton/Little Onn.

This is a wonderful piece of canal which I haven’t fished for over 12 years. It brought back a lot of good memories when I used to travel with Clint Elliott when he lived up near me before moving to Cornwall.

The practice match I booked on didn’t quite go to plan though! I spent several evenings prior to the match making up squatt rigs for a full 5 hours squatt fishing practice, something we don’t do a lot of these days and I wanted to be ready for it.

My plans were scuppered when I pulled out the bream flyer and everyone said I would win the match! To cut a long story short I did with a lovely net of bream and skimmers for 15 lb 10 oz. A nice day’s fishing but not very good squatt fishing practice.

Come the main knockout day I drew a much less fancied area but started well on the squatt and managed to snaffle a 2 lb bream on my squatt rig after about two hours. This put me well up in my section so gave me some time to look for one on my chopped worm rig across.

Two others in quick succession were very welcome and gave me a nice 7 lb 12 oz and enough to go through comfortably.

Next stop Viaduct hopefully for some real bagging!

My next stint on a canal has been a lot different to the ‘Shroppy’; the Gloucester canal is wide and deep but I love it. It’s what I call a ‘mans’ canal and not for the faint hearted with depths a full top 5 in areas!

My Kamasan Starlets team have the Winter League Final coming up this weekend so we have been putting some practice in.

It’s lovely fishing with lots of pole fish, skimmers, roach and eels on bloodworm and joker as well as some bream if you are lucky on the feeder.  Hopefully next month I can report some good news about what happened.

I also have my first go at the Riverfest competition coming up. Unfortunately I was away in France when the tickets came out so only managed to get three tickets, hopefully one of them will be the ‘golden ticket’ to the final.

The rivers appear to be fishing really well all over the country at the moment.

We had a bit of rain which put some flow and colour into them for the start of the season which really helped with good weight of bream and small fish from all over the country.

They are in need of a drop more now which is forecast this weekend so if you’re going out be prepared for it.

It certainly won’t do the Bristol Avon any harm when I get there next week.

Who'll be the next Fish'o'Mania winner? Jamie Hughes, the reigning champion will face stiff competition from aces including Garbolino men.

Who’ll be the next Fish’o’Mania winner? Jamie Hughes, the reigning champion will face stiff competition from aces including Garbolino men.

I would like to take the opportunity to wish all the Fish’O’Mania finalists good luck next weekend especially the Garbolino boys Steve Cooke, Andy Geldart and Shaun Cooke. Allez les blues as they say in France!

If you’re coming to Fish’O’Mania at Cudmore on the Saturday (and there’s a free ticket with the preview in Tuesday’s Angler’s Mail magazine) I will be there. Not competing this time, but helping out on the Vale Royal Angling stand … so come and say hello. If not, then see you here on the Angler’s Mail website Blogs section next month.