Report courtesy of Drennan International

The Netherlands have won World Championship gold in Croatia after an impressive two-day per­form­ance on an extremely chal­len­ging venue.

Heavy rain had seen the already powerful flowing venue rise around 2.5 metres in just a few days.

The teams that fared the best got to grips with these demanding con­di­tions and tar­geted pre­dom­in­antly barbel on flat-float tactics.

After win­ning Day One con­vin­cingly with just 16 pen­alty points the Dutch posted another decent score today to be crowned deserving champions.

They decided to target the near side shelf around 10 metres out and although they fed some ground­bait they placed a lot of emphasis on sticky mag and heavy gravel feed. Interestingly, they also used cheese addit­ives in their final mix.

Some anglers believe this gave them the win­ning edge, although man­ager Jan Van Schendel has played this down and believes it played only a small part.

“I per­son­ally would not have fed any cheese aroma if I was fishing,” he com­mented. “We also got our range a little wrong on Day Two,” he added. “Serbia got it right as they fished just nine metres out. It was too late for us to change our approach and, fortunately it didn’t cost us overall.” 

Fishing five or six maggots on a size 10 hook with lollipop flat floats up to 50g in size was the key, along with the stick­ymag and gravel feed. 

Some of the team also used braided hook­lengths to help deal with the barbel and also to combat the sharp zebra mussel beds that lined the bottom. 

They knew the team tactics were right as they caught most of their fish within a metre run over their feed zone. Catching early on was cru­cial and they had four great res­ults after just over an hour.

However, they had to wait over two and a half hours before their fifth man finally netted a good barbel and avoided a blank.
Their per­form­ance was solid­i­fied fur­ther when Stefan Altena and Arjan Klop earned indi­vidual silver and bronze medals respectively.

The Czech Republic took a well-deserved silver medal while Serbia were equally deserving of a podium spot in 3rd.

Serbia also had double cause to cel­eb­rate as their star man, Goran Radovic, was crowned indi­vidual World Champion. Goran already has a pop­ular repu­ta­tion as ‘The Barbel Man’ and showed everyone why with two out­right sec­tion wins and a 18.546kg total. This included a second day effort of 13 barbel for over 10kg! 

Drennan Team England found the alien con­di­tions too hos­tile to crack as they fin­ished in 16th spot out of the 37 nations. New boy Callum Dicks was their top points scorer, while Alan Scotthorne was second best.

Of the other home nations, Ireland man­aged the best finish in 9th spot. Even the nor­mally strong Italians found things tough, fin­ishing an unpre­ced­ented 26th.

Hungary were another favourite going into the weekend but slumped to 14th.

Most nations agreed that the venue had everything going for it in terms of access and facil­ities. Sadly the unseason­ally heavy rain had spoilt its obvious poten­tial — espe­cially now a period of good weather is fore­cast from tomorrow onwards!

Nevertheless, it was encour­aging to see such huge crowds coming to watch this event; cer­tainly more spec­tators than the pre­vious few years and per­haps test­a­ment to how pop­ular fishing is in Croatia. There was also plenty of excite­ment with pole-testing barbel of up to 5kg being hooked throughout the match length. 

Analysing the results, there was definitely a method to con­quering this tough venue and it was definitely not just down to luck. 

The top three teams clearly had the tac­tics sussed better than everyone else. Even 4th placed Spain were well adrift on points. 

Well done to the Netherlands, Czech Republic and Serbia once again — and well done to Croatia for being such fine hosts! 

Next year, it is Slovenia’s turn to host this pres­ti­gious event. 


Team Result: 1st Netherlands, 38 points 2nd Czech Republic, 44 points 3rd Serbia, 45 points 4th Spain, 63 points

Individual Result: 1st Goran Radovic (Serbia) 2 points 2nd Stefan Altena (Netherlands) 2 points 3rd Arjan Klopp (Netherlands) 3 points

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