Drennan and Bait-Tech’s Dean Barlow reflects on a difficult couple of days where the drawbag gods were not smiling down on him. For a massive amount of latest match fishing results and more be sure to read the all-new Angler's Mail magazine, on sale every Tuesday.

Blogger Dean Barlow with an Ivy House Lake Carp.

Blogger Dean Barlow with an Ivy House Lake Carp. But it didn’t all go to plan…


WHEN I was asked to pen another blog update for the Angler’s Mail my initial thoughts were to say no because, to be honest, my last couple of matches have been poor to say the least!

But, after thinking about it, it’s only right to write about the bad as well as the good – something many people forget to do, especially on social media these days!

I decided to fish the Ivy House Lakes mini festival on Easter Sunday and Monday. This is a brilliant mixed fishery near Swindon in Wiltshire but in the typical early springtime conditions the fish were being a bit temperamental and shoaling up a little.

The festival was to be decided on section points with an open draw, so a good arm was going to be needed!

Open mind on first draw at new venue

Day One saw me on peg 19, which is close to one of the corners. Next to me on peg 21 I had venue owner Andy Lloyd, who promptly informed me that we were not sat in the best of areas!

Since moving down south this is a new venue for me, so I had an open mind. I decided to feed one swim for carp with pellets and corn, a silvers line with maggots and a margin line for later on.

Fishery owner Andy Lloyd at Ivy house.

Fishery owner Andy Lloyd at Ivy house.

When the whistle went, 14.5 metres of Acolyte Carp was shipped out with a small Toss Pot of micros and a couple of grains of corn.

With corn on the hook I was looking for a quick response, which didn’t really happen. I did have a bite but foul hooked a carp that came off at the net!

A few small skimmers were caught on my maggot line but I wasn’t going anywhere so I had to make a decision. With 40 minutes to go I cupped in a big pot of micros and 4mm pellets on my 14.5m line.

I had a response straight away with a 4lb bream in the net. Next put in a 5lb common was in the bag.

I thought it was going to be solid but, alas, they were the only two bites I had for the rest of the match. My margin swim never produced a bite either. Andy also struggled after catching just a few silvers.

My fish weighed 12lb, beating two anglers in the eight-peg section while a fine 86lb won the day from peg 1.

Unhappy with Day 2 draw

Day Two arrived and peg 15 stuck to my hand. To say I was unhappy was an understatement! Although the peg produced 24lb of silvers the day before I wasn’t really expecting them to feed two days running.

Next to me was Bristol stalwart Alan Oram who said he was going to just fish for carp. I was going to do a bit of both and just hoped the silvers would feed.

The match went pretty fast; no bites on pellets or corn but I had a brief little spell mid match on maggot when I had four bream and a few roach to finish with 10lb.

Alan who had patiently sat it out for carp all day was rewarded with two for 17lb to win the section, so he definitely made the right decision on the day. Peg 1 won the match again with Vince Shipp weighing 186lb shallow on pellets.

Reflections on my new venue visit

Blog DrennanLike I said earlier, this is a new venue for me. There’s plenty to learn and it will definitely be one of my local venues for the future.

I must add that Andy and Karen have done a magnificent job with the place since they took it over. It’s shaping into a really excellent fishery.

It was certainly a weekend of lessons learnt for me and I’m starting to build a better picture of what to do on my next visit. We all have difficult days and make the wrong decisions, but that’s fishing. I’ve always said a bad day’s fishing is better than a good day at work!

Until next time…. tight lines!




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