On Friday 16th September, five anglers travelled to the Olympic Rowing Coarse in Szeged, Hungary, for this year’s European Police Coarse Angling Championships to represent England. Part of this team were Maver West Midlands Police rods Dick Tranter and Dave Parker.
The competition was fished to the international FIPSED rulebook, with four official practise days before the two competition days. The first competition day was reserved for pole and whip fishing only, whilst the second day required a swap to rod and line techniques.
With experience and knowledge from previous visits to the venue, the team were clued up with what to expect. Stories of “buckets full of corn being required earlier in the year” cemented this as a first-choice bait pick. However, the team were left unaware that plenty of carassio had unfortunately died the month before.
The team were quick to sus out a plan of action and had discovered which methods were best. Fishing short at 6-7 metres out in 6-8 foot of water was the key to success, with the bolo being the favourable tactic and the feeder in reserve. Bait wise, corn did not produce like it was hoped, with the fish preferring a maggot-based attack. This in mind, they settled on filling their groundbait with plenty of dead maggot and pinkie particles to hold the carp in the swim for as long as possible when they moved in.
Day one of the competition and the team’s pole tactics were deployed. Two lines were all that were needed – the 6-7 metre short line, fished with 1g and 1.5g floats, and a long line placed at 12 metres using 2g and 2.5g floats. 12-16 balls of groundbait laced with dead maggots and pinkies were balled in on the short line, whilst a further 4-6 balls went in on the longer line.
Team England started long, catching as many fish as they could in the first 30-40 minutes, whilst repeatedly throwing small balls of groundbait on the short line throughout the match to keep it topped up.
This plan worked to perfection, gaining two section wins, two section seconds, and a twelfth for a total of eighteen (18) points and taking the lead after day one, sitting ten (10) points clear of the hosts Hungary. Not only this, one of the three-lions won the match outright, weighing an incredible 46kgs.
Dick Tranter: “We got our heads together at the end of the day. We knew that the fish would come short, but not necessarily straight away, so our motto to ourselves was ‘Have you got the bottle to stick it out?’”
Day two required a swap to rod and line tactics, with the plan remaining the same from the day previous. 20 balls of groundbait laden with dead maggots and pinkies were balled in on the short 6-7 metre line where a bolo would be used, with the feeder line also being fed at 12-15 metres out.
A display of feeder tactics at the start of the match helped net some early fish whist continuously topping up the short line, repeating the pattern of yesterday’s successful performance.
Coming short, the bolo method used was quite unconventional compared to the Italians, Germans, and Dutch as the float was situated 2ft from the tip of the rod. However, the England boys were not afraid to use it to their advantage to harbour more bites.
Dick Tranter: “During the last hour of the match when bites were at a premium, we found that fishing the feeder between 7-10 metres got us the bites we needed.”
Most of the fish caught over the two days were carp, but the odd big silver carp made appearances for the other teams. Zander was also another problem, with some being up to 6kgs in weight, but they would soon leave the swim once they had their fill.
At the end of the second day, Team England managed a consistent performance, accumulating a win, a fifth, a sixth, a seventh, and a ninth in their sections for a combined 2-day points total of 46pts. The Hungarians had made up a lot of ground, but fell four (4) points short, crowning Team England as European Champions!
On an individual front, gold went to one of the three-lions, whilst Maver WMP man Dave Parker finished a credible fifth overall!
Congratulations men, from all at Maver UK!