‘I THOUGHT A SPANIARD HAD WON IT’
Confusion over weights and numbers leaves Bob in suspense
“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
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!