Match Fishing - Sean Ashby takes Gold at World Championships
Disappointment for Drennan Team England but Sean Ashby put in a faultless bleak fishing performance on the Czech Republic’s River Morava to record a perfect two point score.
This World Championship was always going to be a difficult event for Team England as early reports intimated that bleak would dominate the event and they would be up against some really crack small fish squads. So it turned out as the river’s big fish all but disappeared during the match, leaving England struggling to compete with the small fish snatchers.
Practise sessions were good but it soon became apparent that bleak and small fish would be the major point scorers and although the Bolo and slider were catching some big fish in some of the sections it all changed with the weather. During the practise sessions prior to the event the area was hit by torrential rain and the river rose, coloured, and started to push through at some ten times the flow in which the teams had started to fish. In fact conditions were so bad that only six of the 37 teams practised on the day following the rain. Thankfully by the end of the week the river began to drop, but the Bolo and slider lines were effectively lost, forcing pole only tactics.
The Drennan Team England comprised: Sean Ashby, Des Shipp, Alan Scotthorne, Will Raison, Steve Gardener and Stuart Conroy with Mark Downes and Mark Addy (Joint England Managers) and Dick Clegg (Delegate).
Alan Scotthorne was reserve for the first day and the river fished as expected with 80% of the section points being won with small fish, mainly bleak. Sean Ashby ran home an easy section winner with 550 fish for over 6kg, a full kilo clear in his section. The rest of the team backed him up well with a second from Steve Gardener and a 5th from Will Raison. Stuart Conroy though struggled on Section A and was substituted by Alan for day two.
The team ended day one on 29 points, five off the bronze medal position but with six teams all within a point it was going to be close and England really needed a low score on day two to be in with a shout.
It was clear that the England team had to score very low on the second day and were estimating that 15 points would be needed to be in with a shout at the end. Sean drew A37 top of his section and a good peg, Steve drew the adjacent peg to his day one draw and Will was just three pegs away from his day one peg, so all in all the team thought they had a decent draw but as the match progressed it was obvious that the river’s big shoals of bleak weren’t spread and many teams, including England, found the going tough and with no big fish to be caught it was difficult.
Sean, however, was going well. He was behind a Polish angler on fish count, but was catching bigger bleak on the bottom at eight meters. He eventually went on to win his section, again a full kilo clear, to record a perfect two point score and take the individual gold.
On the team front Poland ran out easy winners, scoring just 13 points on day two, with nearly all bleak catches, they were closely followed by hosts, the Czech Republic, with small fish specialists, France, third. England were an ultimately disappointing sixth.
Mark Downes, Joint Drennan Team England Manager said:
“This was a difficult event for us and I feel with our limited experience on the finer points of bleak fishing we did reasonably ok, finishing 6th just 14 points off a medal. Tactically we got it slightly wrong and I felt a bronze was a possibility.
Next year we go to Poznan in Poland where the winners will be defending their title on home soil, and on a similar river, with similar species. It will be tough again but with the experience gained this year we will get a lot closer - and could even win.”
Mark Addy commented:
“After the first three days of practise we had sort of formalised a team plan for the weekend, but unfortunately the adverse weather conditions changed the format. It was going to be very difficult for us to compete with the other countries, whose small fish tactics are better than ours, but we were delighted to finish 6th after a disappointing first day.”
Dick Clegg, International Events Manager stated:
“It was good to see our sponsor, Peter Drennan, attending the World Championships for the first time in several years. I am sure he was impressed by the professional way the team approached the event. The changing river levels were a nightmare for England and the other home countries, but I was privileged to be bank runner for Sean Ashby’s first day section win and was tremendously impressed with his small fish approach. Although 6th place was not such a good result for Drennan Team England the Italians, who are normally masters of catching bleak, finished in 10th position and lost their number one ranking to, guess who – England!”
1st Poland 32 points
2nd Czech Republic 44 points
3rd France 47 points
4th Serbia 47 points
5th Germany 52 points
6th England 61 points
1st Sean Ashby, England
2nd Sergey Fedorov, Russia
3rd Stephane Pottelet, France
4th Mario Litschl, Austria
5th Vladimir Danilovic, Serbia
6th Gunter Horler, Germany
Drennan Team England positions:
1st Sean Ashby
34th Will Raison
61st Des Shipp
64th Steve Gardener
168th Alan Scotthorne (Fished 1 day only)
187th Stuart Conroy (Fished 1 day only)
By the Same Author
- River Dredging Threat – Benyon Calms the Storm
- Merseyside County Championships 2013
- Carp Fishing – Issue 17 of the Carp Channel is now Live!
- Welsh Carp Championships
- Chalk Stream Charter Launched This Week
- Take Someone Fishing this Bank Holiday Weekend - For FREE!
- Voluntary Bailiff Service – A Project Update on the Angling Trust’s Fight Against Poaching and Fish Theft
- Anglers Urged to Speak Up for the River Thames
- Match Fishing – Fish ‘O’ Mania 2013 Heat Ten
- Salmon and Trout Association Welcomes Marine Harvest Fish Farm Certification