‘I THOUGHT A SPA­NIARD HAD WON IT’

Con­fu­sion over weights and num­bers leaves Bob in sus­pense

Angling Times (UK) - - 50 GREATEST CATCHES -

“I’d won the gold medal for the fourth time. Where was the cham­pagne?”

The Cas­tre­jon Canal in Toledo, Spain pro­duced a very spe­cial World Cham­pi­onships in 1999.

There was a new record in­di­vid­ual match weight for the com­pe­ti­tion, a new record to­tal weight by com­peti­tors and, most im­por­tant of all, a then record four in­di­vid­ual ti­tles for a cer­tain Bob Nudd MBE.

In his own words Bob re­counts the tale of that epic week­end and the tac­tics in­volved…

“Spain 1999 was prob­a­bly the best World Cham­pi­onships ever, es­pe­cially for me!

The venue re­ally suited me as I love pos­i­tive, big-weight fish­ing. The tar­gets were al­most ex­clu­sively com­mon carp which fought like mad. You had to have an ar­mada of gear set up be­cause of the change in flow of this deep canal. You could be catch­ing on a 6g round float and half-an-hour later have changed right up to a 30g ‘lol­lipop’ float!

Lol­lipop-shaped pole floats are of a very thin di­am­e­ter and are de­signed to cut through strong flows, al­low­ing the bait to be held still by lay­ing line on the bot­tom.

Ev­ery swim on the Cas­tre­jon was full of carp, but feed­ing and bait pre­sen­ta­tion had to be spot-on to catch them quickly and to avoid too many foul hook­ers.

I’d set­tled on throw­ing in two balls of sticky ground­bait slightly up­stream of the float, then pulling the float back to hold it still with the bait on the bot­tom among the rocks. Then you had to dis­tin­guish be­tween line bites and proper bites, as you’d get a lot of dibs and twitches on the float.

I fan­cied my draw on the first day. It was like an end peg be­cause of some over­head ca­bles be­tween me and the next an­gler, giv­ing me a bit more space. I balled it on the long pole but I got off to a bad start by hook­ing a carp on a bare hook dur­ing the bait­ing-up pe­riod, which I had to play and put back.

When the whis­tle went I caught steadily at the start, be­fore I changed to lol­lipop floats up to 23g as the flow in­creased.

I caught re­ally well in the last hour and the carp were get­ting big­ger and big­ger. I weighed in 24.06kg for the sec­tion win, which gave me a great chance of in­di­vid­ual gold.

I don’t think I’ve ever fished a more ag­gres­sive match than I did on that sec­ond day of the 1999

World Cham­pi­onships.

This was one match where I had to pull out all the stops so out went my No12 elas­tics from the pre­vi­ous day’s match and in came No14 and No16 grades, and size 12 hooks in­stead of 14s. I’d spent three hours on my kit the pre­vi­ous night and was go­ing for it... I’d

even taken the trou­ble to put pieces of sil­i­cone sleeves through the line and on to the bris­tles of my pole floats for ex­tra strength. Noth­ing was left to chance.

I caught well on a much closer line than the pre­vi­ous day’s of around 7m and my match went re­ally well un­til the last half-hour, when a carp fell through a hole in the bot­tom of my land­ing net.

I used nearly all my al­lo­cated 34 litres of feed, in fact I think I had enough left for 10 min­utes more fish­ing time by the end! In the in­tense heat it was im­por­tant to take reg­u­lar drinks when play­ing fish. I wasn’t show­ing off, this was the best time to do it!

Af­ter the match I hoped that I’d caught 33kg or 34kg and I was a bit gut­ted when I weighed 30.05kg. There had al­ready been a weight of 31.43kg which put me sec­ond in the sec­tion. Word came down that a Span­ish an­gler who also had three points had weighed in 40kg and beaten me on weight.

It was Angling Times’ Steve Fitz­patrick who fi­nally re­vealed the truth. The Spa­niard had 40 carp, not ki­los, and had weighed in 32kg. He’d needed 35. I’d won the gold medal for the fourth time, the first an­gler to do that.

Now where was the cham­pagne?”

2 Bob at­tracts a big, ap­pre­cia­tive gallery. Hit and haul! An­other carp for Bob. Mo­ment of tri­umph and a fourth gold!

The smile says it all – World Champ again!

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