A Day On The Thames

We were really excited to have two top internationals visit Drennan headquarters recently – Andy Berteyn from Belgium and England’s most decorated international angler, Alan Scotthorne!


Andy is a former Belgian National Champion with a European and two World Championship team gold medals under his belt. He is also a key Drennan sales agent for Belgium and so we had to get these two top anglers together in Oxford.

peter-drennan-and-andy-berteyn-1 peter-drennan-and-andy-berteyn-2First up was a factory visit and a look at some of the latest Drennan products being made. Peter Drennan was also keen to demonstrate recent developments with pole float technology and also very proudly revealed his state-of-the-art CNC lathes busily producing items like Super Slick PTFE Bushes and Olivettes.

andy-berteyn-roachIt was then time to get Alan and Andy together for a session on the River Thames at Medley. The river was still carrying extra water and flowing hard when they arrived at the waterside. With this in mind, they opted for a pole approach over plenty of groundbait, containing chopped worm and casters with loose fed hemp over the top.

alan-and-andy-thames-groundbaitIt turned out to be quite an interesting and thought-provoking session. Getting bites was certainly not a problem as the upper layers were teeming with bleak and tiny dace. Maggots and casters were being instantly smashed before the better quality fish could get to them!

alan-scotthorne-daceOne solution was to stick to more selective hook baits like hemp and tares. This worked well for Andy and was a completely new experience for him. Tares were something he had never seen and, despite feeding hemp, he had never put a grain of hemp on the hook before. A flurry of better roach was his reward and hopefully some new tricks to take back to Belgium.

andy-berteyn-acolyte-poleAlan was also pestered by tiny fish but a small piece of worm fished with a 2g prototype AS pole float (out later this year) brought lots of perch plus the occasional better dace and roach. Pike also became a real nuisance and on several occasions, they grabbed small fish on the way in! Undeterred, Alan kept regularly topping up with cupped-in balls of heavy groundbait and soil containing chopped worm and casters and worked hard at trying to present his hook bait in the current.

alan-scotthorne-thamesThe river actually rose an inch as they fished but a switch to a 4g lollipop-style flat float enabled Alan to edge his hook bait through at half the speed of the flow. Fishing more over depth with a larger piece of worm on a size 14 hook to 0.12mm Supplex Fluorocarbon eventually did its job. A positive bite saw him strike firmly upwards and connect with something much more substantial.

alan-scotthorne-andy-berteyn-2He was fishing Aqua F1 & Silverfish Bungee through just the long No1 section of his Acolyte pole and this offered good control over what was clearly a decent bream. The fish gave a good account of itself in the flow but it eventually succumbed to Alan’s trademark bream-playing technique!

Two more bream followed before the heavens opened and it was sadly time to pack away. A catch shot was quickly taken before the duo made a hasty retreat for shelter. After sampling our country’s fine manufacturing heritage, some quality fishing and famous wet weather, it only seemed right to end the day in a quaint English pub called The Perch!