England Victorious in Feeder Challenge

Last weekend saw the International Feeder Fishing Challenge take place on Belgium’s Gent to Terneuzon Canal. England entered three teams, which featured a heavy Guru presence. Steve Ringer, Dean Barlow and Adam Rooney were selected to compete on this huge waterway, which has depths plunging to 25m.

The English contingent was split into three teams, Blue, Green and Black. Steve Ringer and Dean Barlow featured in the Blue team, alongside Phil Ringer, Nick Vials and Darran Cox. The Green team comprised Adam Rooney, Alex Bones, Rob Wootton, Grant Albutt and Adam Wakelin and the Black team featured Nick Speed, Glenn Lawrenson, Eddie Brydon, Wayne Bartholomew and Will Freeman. The English teams were competing among a field of 125 people, split into 26 teams on the huge waterway, which promised to offer perfect preparation for the World Feeder Championships in Ireland Next year, and on the same venue in 2015.

The unseasonably cold weather put paid to hopes of the venue producing the 20kilo average weights that it had done in previous matches and negative tactics were to be the order of the day. Guru’s Adam Rooney explained how day one unfolded. “We knew that timing was going to be critical if we were to do well. As a team, we’d put a lot of effort into deciding which species to target as the day progressed, because we’d identified that certain species fed at different times of day.”
The species that the teams would be targeting were unusual to say the least, and catches featured alien-looking rockfish alongside flounders and the more usual skimmers and roach. Fishing 28g to 40g cage feeders, the England lads had a near-perfect first day, as Adam explained, “Our green team had five catchers on the first day, which was a great result, leaving us on 15 points, which was phenomenal (the lower the points total, the better). Captain Alex Bones won his section, Grant and I both scored second-place finishes which, along with an eighth-place from Adam, meant that if we all caught on day two we wouldn’t be overtaken. The other England lads scored well too, with a third-in-section for Steve Ringer, a fourth for Dean Barlow and a seventh for Phil Ringer.”
Day two fished even harder in the cold conditions and bright sunshine. Other teams had noticed the success that England had enjoyed and adapted their tactics to suit, so things could potentially have become a lot closer. However, section wins from Alex Bones and Rob Wootton, coupled with a fifth place from Grant Albutt meant that England Green won convincingly overall (53 points), with England Blue taking second place (73 points) and England Black finishing a creditable 7th (110 points).
Let’s hope that the lads can take their form into the World Championships in South Africa later this year, and Ireland next year!