Hemingray Wins The Rive Drennan Challenge

Drennan Team England star Steve Hemingray has won the Rive Drennan Challenge Cup after an impressive display of waggler fishing on Lac au Duc in Ploermel, France.


This 120-strong event is organised by seatbox specialist Rive and demand for places is so high that it could be filled three times over. The cream of French angling is present, including Rive’s very own world champion, Didier Delannoy.

The vast 15km venue is extremely shallow with depths averaging just 3-4ft and with a prolific head of roach, silver bream ‘pommies’ and skimmers.

Leicester-based Steve managed to win the competition at his first attempt by posting a perfect two-point score over the weekend. On a windy Day One he managed a level 9kg of skimmers to win the section and on Day Two he recorded the best weight of the competition with an amazing 16.64kg bag of fish. No fewer than seven anglers were on maximum points after the results were tallied but it was Steve’s superior 25.64kg total weight that swung the verdict his way.

Although the pole played a part, it was the waggler that was key with aggressive feeding of groundbait at around 25 metres. Large 8-12g wagglers fished with a 14ft Drennan Acolyte Plus rod were required to maintain stability in the tow with a rich feed-packed ball of groundbait fired in after every couple of fish using the lightest Softfeed Groundbait Catapult.

Steve relied on double red maggot or a small piece of worm on his size 16 Kamasan B560 hook on Day Two, while two or three bloodworm and a maggot seemed better on the more difficult first day.

Weights were excellent throughout with an average of over 5kg per angler on Day One and 6kg on Day Two.

All 120 competitors went away with a medal and tackle prizes from Rive and Drennan and Steve won the top prize of €2,000 and a huge trophy for his efforts. Well done Steve!