Angling Times' Match Editor, Richard Grange, talks with Mark Addy and reports on the action from day one of the 2009 coarse fishing World Champs which is taking place this weekend on the banks of Holland's Lage Vaart Canal...
Well, Saturday is over and before I begin, an apology.
The scoring system we talked about yesterday isn’t actually the one that’s used – bloody bum info! The sections are still split into three but each winner gets a point down to 13 for last. There’s no comparing weights to elsewhere in the main section.
It’s probably best as the way I explained it might make your head explode with all the arithmetic involved.
Apology over, what about the fishing? The bottom line is that England are fourth but only two points off silver and six away from surprise leaders Russia. The reigning World Champs caught bream and scored seven points from four anglers but a hefty kick in the guts with an 11 point return from the luckless Sean Ashby took the shine off what was pretty much a good performance.
Russia lead on 12 points with an incredible score of three section wins, a fourth and fifth, Slovakia making for another surprise with second on 16, France on 17 and England with 18 and what’s more surprising is that the likes of Belgium, Holland and Italy, all pre-match favourites are either some way or absolutely miles off the pace.
There’s also promising news on the individual front, Alan Scotthorne and Steve Gardener both winning their sections and Will Raison coming second. Even Des Shipp who was third in his section has an outside chance but with an amazing 15 section winners today, you’d think three or four of those will repeat that to challenge for gold. Could it be Alan or finally Steve? We’ll see...
So where did it go wrong for England? The funny thing is it didn’t really but nor did it necessarily go right. The bream tactics were spot on but the roach front wasn’t. More better quality 4oz to 8oz fish showed today and England didn’t catch them. Had they done those extra 500 grams here and there could have meant a point nicked back and a better position. The problem according to the management was on the bait front.
The leading teams put a lot of faith in maggots, casters and pinkies for the hook as opposed to bloodworm and joker and England caught a little bit of a cold. Worm and joker caught little fish but you can be sure that problem will be sorted for tomorrow.
I collared Mark Addy before the team meeting to get his take on the day and where the team will go from here.
AT: Are you happy with where England are?
MA: We’d always like to be winning so no on that score! Seriously, we’re in contention and we have to be pleased as we could so very easily have blown out today. Catching bream late is a squeaky bum job in any sort of matchfishing but we can realistically make up that difference on France and Slovakia and we think Russia can be beaten too.
AT: What was the requirement for today?
MA: We’d said that if three of the lads caught bream we’d do well and four of them have but no one could have seen how bad Sean’s peg was to be. He’s had a disaster but it’s not his fault as we give the orders and we told him to fish for bream. He didn’t get one and he suffered and that’s what we’ve been fearing all week to be honest.
AT: How far were you off the pace tactically?
MA: As far as bream go we were bang on but for roach we weren’t at the races. Maggot, caster and pinkie have caught a better stamp of roach and perch than bloodworm today and we’ve fished pinkie but not caster and maggot, which I know the Russians and Italians have and probably Slovakia too.
AT: So what will change for tomorrow?
MA: The bream line will stay the same but for the roach lines we’ll introduce maggot, caster and pinkie with our groundbait and also loosefeed them a little. We must catch that bigger stamp so that if we don’t find bream, we limit the damage done. Two kilos of roach won’t be enough. We’ll still feed joker but perhaps a little less than today and if the section needs it, fish bloodworm. What we use on the hook depends on the exact pegs we get.
AT: So you don’t think the venue will change overnight?
MA: No. The weather is forecast to be the same and the temperature too. It’ll be a bream match.
AT: There’s been rumblings about the new section format. What’s your take?
MA: It’s been bloody rubbish. Today hasn’t felt like a proper World Champs to me as we haven’t fished against a Belgian or Dutch angler in any section. You have to fish against everyone in the world or not at all. It’s been easy in terms of work because I’ve only had 13 pegs to look after but I’m not a fan. The individual medals will be won on weight because there will be that many anglers on two or three points.
AT: How would you have done using the old scoring system?
MA: Oddly enough we tallied today’s points to the old system and we’d have tied at the top with Russia! Slovakia would have been twentieth and France out of the medals. It’s not right.
AT: Presumably Sean will make way for Stu Conroy tomorrow?
MA: Yes, he’s in. I feel sorry for Sean because he’s been our best roach angler by a mile all week but he’s had a peg where there haven’t been many. Stu has caught quite a few bream in practice and knowing him as I do, he’ll relish tomorrow’s match.
AT: So what will England need to score tomorrow to get a medal?
MA: To get a medal we’ll need the same again. To beat Russia and win gold we will need to catch quality roach short and then a bream or two long and we’re well capable of that. To summarise Russia fished a great bream match and Slovakia a great roach match. We were somewhere in between that and that shows in the scores.
More news on day one of the 2009 World Coarse Fishing Championships...
To read about Drennan Team England's result from the day one match, click HERE.
To read the full team results, click HERE.