World Champs Eng­land’s bronze

East­ern Euro­peans know how to catch caras­sio, and our lads find it hard to stay the pace

Angling Times (UK) - - WELCOME - MEN’S WORLD AN­GLING CHAM­PI­ONSHIPS Plov­div Row­ing Canal, Bul­garia (34 teams)

DREN­NAN Team Eng­land re­turned from Bul­garia with bronze medals in the bag af­ter fin­ish­ing third on the row­ing course where Tommy Pickering won gold way back in 1989.

Twenty-seven years af­ter that vic­tory, Plov­div was a very dif­fer­ent prospect as gold went to the Hun­gar­i­ans with 34 points, the Czech team fin­ish­ing sec­ond on 42. Eng­land missed out on that medal by just four points.

A tor­tu­ous 46-hour drive across Europe found a wa­ter­way hold­ing mainly carp and caras­sio, but af­ter two weeks of prac­tice the team, made up of Alan Scot­thorne, Wil­liam Rai­son, Des Shipp, Sean Ashby, Cal­lum Dicks and Steve Hem­ingray, were still strug­gling to crack it.

In bak­ing heat, the open­ing day saw Eng­land fin­ish fourth on 23 points, Hun­gary scor­ing 12 to lead. On day two, when the canal fished a lot harder, Eng­land re­turned the same score for joint third on the day, way off gold as co-man­ager Mark Downes ad­mit­ted.

“We had two good prac­tice days and two bad ones, but did well on the fi­nal day. We were pleased that our ap­proach for carp was per­fect, but still strug­gled to get our heads around the caras­sio,” he said.

“On day one we caught carp early then the venue went into a lull, so it was vi­tal to try and catch early – Alan on day one and Sean on day two didn’t, and that made the dif­fer­ence. It be­came ap­par­ent that feed­ing again af­ter the 10-minute spell be­fore the start­ing whis­tle made the peg worse but if you hadn’t caught a carp, you felt as though you had to do some­thing. In Sean’s case he didn’t catch on day two so we as­sumed that feed­ing again would get a bite – but the peg got worse and worse!

“I sat with Wil­liam on day one and he had two bites from a carp and a caras­sio. I then sat with Sean on day two and he had one caras­sio – an­other carp and we’d have got sil­ver,” Mark re­vealed.

“To an­glers from East­ern Europe caras­sio are bread and but­ter fish, and those teams can catch them un­der all con­di­tions.”

The wag­gler and bulk-down slider were Eng­land’s key tac­tics. Hun­gary’s day one fish count was over 500 and Mark was sure

that scored them half-a-dozen more points at the end. Eng­land, though, were fish­ing for vic­tory on day two and that meant carp and caras­sio and noth­ing else.

“We fed the wag­gler/slider line on both days at around 45m with a big hit of bait at the start, typ­i­cally eight litres of Sen­sas Carp Fine and Gial­lia ground­bait plus PV1 bin­der and Terre De Riviere leam hold­ing corn, blood­worm, joker and cast­ers,” said Mark. “Af­ter around an hour we fed again to get the fish feed­ing – on day one this worked but come Sun­day it had the op­po­site ef­fect.

“Every year it gets harder to win, es­pe­cially when fish­ing in East­ern Europe. Rus­sia, Slo­vakia, Slove­nia and the Czech Repub­lic are on the ball but we don’t un­der­stand caras­sio. How­ever, next year we’re on a canal in Bel­gium where it will be small roach on blood­worm, and we’re al­ready look­ing for­ward to it.

“Pick­ing the Eng­land squad is like se­lect­ing a foot­ball team, in that you don’t want ev­ery­one to have the same core skills,” he con­tin­ued. “This year was about catch­ing carp at dis­tance on the float, and Des and Wil­liam ex­cel at that. In 2017 it’ll be small fish on blood­worm, and there aren’t two bet­ter an­glers on the planet to do this than Sean and Alan.

“On Fri­day night we had a meet­ing and said ‘can we get a medal?’ as we’d strug­gled in prac­tice. Af­ter day one Hun­gary won it and we were be­hind the Czechs and Ital­ians. We were think­ing that we might not get on the podium at all!”

Team: 1 Hun­gary, 34pts; 2 Czech Repub­lic, 42; 3 Dren­nan Team Eng­land, 46; 4 Italy, 54; 5 Swe­den, 58; 6 France, 60; 7 Slove­nia, 62; 8 Bul­garia, 64; 9 Bel­gium, 66 (weight); 10 Slo­vakia, 66; 11 Croa­tia, 71; 12 Rus­sia, 73; 13 San Marino, 78.5; 14 Ro­ma­nia, 83; 15 Ser­bia, 84; 16 Mace­do­nia, 84; 17 Nether­lands, 86 (weight); 18 Ger­many, 86; 19 Be­larus, 86.5; 20 Poland, 93; 21 Aus­tria, 100; 22 Switzer­land, 102; 23 Por­tu­gal, 105 (weight); 24 Lux­em­bourg, 105; 25 Ukraine, 107; 26 Lithua­nia, 117; 27 Cyprus, 118; 28 Fin­land, 121; 29 South Africa, 124; 30 Spain, 126; 31 Bos­nia-Herze­gov­ina, 129; 32 Mon­tene­gro, 130; 3 3 Chan­nel Is­lands, 134; 34 Greece, 165.

In­di­vid­ual: 1 J Am­brozic, Slove­nia, 2pts; 2 J Konopasek, Czech Repub­lic, 3 (13-788); 3 R Dudr, Slo­vakia, 3 (10-787); 4 M Kme­tec, Slove­nia, 4 (15-556); 5 W Rai­son, Dren­nan Team Eng­land, 4 (14-884); 6 T Wal­ter, Hun­gary, 4 (11-694).

In the end Eng­land set­tled for bronze.

A big gallery crowds the canal at Plov­div.

Steve Hem­ingray’s day two catch.

Will Rai­son in ac­tion feed­ing his swim.

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