The Angling Trust report that the team were hoping to build on their bronze medal win last year in Italy and had high hopes of a podium place on a venue that was expected to produce good catches of roach and bream. Unfortunately the canal did not live up to expectations. 15 teams of five anglers lined the banks and after four hours 30 of them were dry netted, making it the worst ever first day result in a Ladies’ Championship.
The result was an absolute romp for the Czech Republic who not only won team gold but also created a record for the Ladies Championships by dominating the podium with their anglers filling gold, silver and bronze positions.
During the week long practice more than 100 boats and 20 huge tankers traversed the canal each day making a constructive practice almost farcical. The odd bream were caught but most of the few fish landed were small roach and skimmers with many anglers failing to get a bite.
Dick Clegg, Angling Trust International Events Manager said:
“The first venue offered by the Dutch was not sanctioned and the decision to use this venue was made very late, and although the fishing improved over the weekend questions must be asked as to why in a country that has an abundance of wonderful fish filled canals such a diabolical venue was chosen. Roland Marcq from Belgium who is on the technical committee of FIPSed visited the site in March and I can only think that when he was there it must have been during a weekend when boat traffic was at its least.
In their defence the organisers did predict that the fishing would improve at the weekend when the tankers stopped using the canal and indeed it did especially on Sunday. However, because the waters were still highly coloured from midweek traffic Saturday was very poor with 30 dry nets, but as the conditions improved Sunday saw bigger fish respond and only four anglers failed to catch.”
England’s tactics were to ball in a leam and groundbait mix using joker and chopped worm with bloodworm or dendrabena worm as hook bait.
On day one England caught 25 small fish to the Czech Republic’s 8 but finished 13.5pts behind in 4th place.
1st Czech Republic 17 points 8 fish
2nd Holland 24.5 points 10 fish
3rd Russia 28 points 6 fish
4th England 30.5 points 25 fish
Sunday saw a much better competition with not only more fish feeding but quality bream making an appearance. Second day tactics therefore were slightly different for the England team and mid match it was obvious that quality rather than quantity was important. Unfortunately only Helen Dagnall was drawn on feeding fish and the team crashed to 8th place with South Africa taking top spot on the day.
1st South Africa 21 points 31 fish
2nd Czech Republic 22 points 42 fish
3rd France 26 points 25 fish
8th England 43 points 36 fish
1st Czech Republic 39 points
2nd South Africa 54 points
3rd Holland 60.5 points
7th England 73.5 points
1st Jana Gresova Czech Rep. 2 points
2nd Barbara Bacinova Czech Rep. 2 points
3rd Klara Zahradkova Czech Rep. 3 points
Helen Dagnall 8th
Wendy Locker 21st
Emma Pickering 29th
Julie Abbott 34th
Samantha Sim 74th (fished one day)
Samantha Perkins 80th (fished one day)
England team managers Dave Brooks and Joe Roberts were extremely disappointed in the choice of venue, stating that:
“We realise it’s the same for all the teams taking part, but when it’s almost impossible to practice how can you come up with a team plan. The Czechs chose tactics that worked for them and you certainly can’t take it away from them they were fantastic over the weekend. By fishing for big fish with big baits it could have gone wrong for them, but credit due it worked and we will have to put our thinking caps on if we go to a similar venue in future.”