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.
WORLD COARSE FISHING CHAMPIONSHIPS 2014 RESULTS
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
More images here: http://drennantackle.com/thelatest/2014/09/the-netherlands-are-world-champions/