World Youth Angling under-22 championships results

The Soria has been something of a graveyard for English international teams down the years, and it proved to be just as fruitless for the Under 22’s this year as they finished in sixth place, six points off a bronze medal, as favourites and hosts Portugal picked up gold.

Faced with a river 70 yards wide and holding mainly small barbel, manager Mark Downes admits that the team didn’t catch enough fish in practice and struggled initially to get to grips with techniques he describes as ‘bizarre’. That said, he also believes he sacrificed a potential bronze medal going for something better with the introduction of a pole line.

“The techniques are weird, using elastic shock-absorbers under wagglers, size 26 hooks and single maggots and flying backleads. We just don’t do that sort of fishing!” Mark said. “We were a little annoyed, to be honest, that we didn’t get on D section in practice, which held miles more fish than any other. You’re supposed to fish each section in practice, and I reckon a day spent there catching plenty and really giving the methods a workout would have helped.”

Tactics revolved around hitting the far bank of the river with 20g wagglers, but feeding short, often only halfway, with Stickymag to create a noise that the fish responded to. That pole line did produce a few fish for some anglers, but with little in the way of bonus mullet, which had shown in practice, it was an out-and-out barbel waggler match.

“The lads were spot-on technically, but I think we were off the pace tactically,” Mark continued. “Three-and-a-half days’ practice isn’t really enough to get to grips with fishing like this, and when you consider the likes of Portugal have been fishing here all year, you have to hit the ground running. The lack of bonus fish was also a hindrance, as normally you can try for a carp or a mullet to claw back some points. Once you got three or four fish behind in the opening hour, it was difficult to claw it back.”

Individual highlights included two section thirds for Ricky Hines and a third and fourth for AT’s Jonathan Taylor, proving that given a few fish, England’s approach wasn’t too far off the mark.


1 Portugal, 16.5pts

2 Italy, 19

3 Holland, 26

4 Hungary, 29.5

5 Germany, 29.5

6 Drennan Team England, 32

7 Czech Republic, 34

8 San Marino, 36 (weight)

9 Croatia, 36

10 France, 36.5

11 Slovakia, 44

12 Slovenia, 46

13 Poland, 46

14 Wales, 47.5

15 Spain, 55.5

16 Luxembourg, 60.5

17 South Africa, 62.5

18 Serbia, 63