ENGLAND MISS OUT ON GOLD HAT-TRICK – ‘BEATEN BY THE BETTER TEAM’ SAYS TOMMY
World Feeder squad bows to German champions
RESTON Innovations England’s quest to win a third-insuccession Feeder World Champs gold in Serbia ended in disappointment as Tommy Pickering’s men surrendered an overnight lead to finish with the silver medal.
Sitting on just nine penalty points after the opening day of action on the Novi Sad Canal, England, the five-man team of Steve and Phil Ringer, Adam Wakelin, Mick Vials and Dean Barlow suffered a bit of a slump with 25 points on Sunday.
However, eventual winners Germany – second on the opening day with 11 points – were a model of consistency, totalling 10 points to finish with 21. That was 13 clear of England, with Austria taking the bronze medal.
There was also an individual medal for the team as 2014 World Champion and Angling Times columnist Steve Ringer secured silver. He was one of four men to record a perfect two section wins. Team-mate Adam Wakelin also notched up two points, but with weight coming into play, Steve was knocked back into second behind German World Champ Jens Dirksen. Adam ended up taking fourth, with bronze heading to German angler Felix Scheurmann.
“We always fish to win. Taking second is a disappointment, but I can handle it if I’m happy that the team did all it could to take gold and that we were beaten by the better team – that was true on both counts in Serbia, so silver is a happy medal to win,” said manager Tommy.
“Germany were fantastic over both days and just like last year in Holland, they had the little things go their way which you do need to win at this level. That takes nothing away from their performance, though. They were worthy champions.”
A tremendous opening day with four section winners set England up for what seemed to be a record third gold in a row. The team’s ‘mud line’ plan of finding a patch of soft muddy bottom where they could catch both catfish and skimmers worked to perfection, and they saw no need to change tack on the Sunday.
“What we’d found in practice was that you could catch catfish and skimmers off the same line and on the same cast too,” Tommy explained. “If you were going to get a skimmer, it would come within 10 or 15 seconds of the feeder hitting the water.
“If nothing happened, you could drag the feeder across the bottom. Often, a catfish would have hold of the bait and it would be on. This line was typically 22m-25m out.”
To the groundbait England added joker and chopped worm in what was to be a classic small-fish match with three bloodworms the best hookbait, changing to a small piece of worm if catfish were the target.
Averaging 2oz apiece, the cats were small but plentiful, while the skimmers were 2oz to 1lb.
“Come Sunday’s match though, something changed,” Tommy continued. “B and C sections fished really hard and I think we got carried away with trying to catch too many fish, rather than being more patient and fishing a little negatively.
“I should have seen that coming and made the change. The fishing went dead for everyone in the second half of the match and by then we’d missed out on the early spell when there were a few fish to be caught.
“It’s odd to win six sections out of 10 in a World Champs and only finish in silver medal position but in the end I was relieved. If the match had gone on for another 15 minutes, I don’t think we’d have got that!” he laughed. “I’ve also got to pay tribute to