England’s quest for a long overdue World Club Championships title could rest on a tiny little fish seldom seen in the UK but commonplace on the Continent – the bullhead.
As you read this, Ultimate Barnsley Blacks are settling down to the job in hand on Serbia’s River Danube and while bream, carp and carassio are likely to feature in the two-day match this weekend, those little fish have made much of the running in events held prior the championships – and are part of the South Yorkshire side’s plan.
The squad, made up of five-times World Champion Alan Scotthorne, Lee Kerry, Dave Brooks Jnr, Simon Fields, Sam Wildsmith and Andy Geldart, have the necessary pedigree and experience to win the first Clubs crown since Essex County back in the 1980s but, as skipper Glen Lawrence reveals, the river will take some getting used to.
“It’s like nothing we’ve got here,” he admitted. “The Danube is 7km wide where we’re fishing and flows like a train. We’ve gleaned all the information we can from sources abroad and they tell us we’ll need 30g flat floats and that bullheads, sometimes as many as 300 of them, are an important fish. Apparently the locals catch them on small leeches but I think we’ll be sticking to worm, bloodworm and plenty of groundbait!”
Glen is also hoping that after a week of solid practice the bullheads won’t be caught in such large numbers and that proper fish like bream and carp will play a large role – but in some areas on the gin-clear Danube it may be a case of winkling out whatever’s in the swim for valuable points. “It’s hard to be confident because we know so little about the river – even Alan Scotthorne, with loads of local contacts, has only found out so much,” Glen said. “We’re fishing for a fish none of us has caught before, on a river like an inland sea. But we’ll have plenty of runners on the bank, so we won’t be short of info on the day.’’