A Great Result In Holland

England Feeder team member, Dean Barlow, reports back from a successful Dutch tournament.


It’s certainly been a busy time of late, having only just got back from a trip to Ireland to fish this year’s World Champs venue, I was packing my bag again. This time I was heading to Holland to fish the Matrix Van den Eynde Euro Team Challenge.

barlow-feeder-champs4Fishing under the Guru England banner, our team of myself, Adam Rooney, Steve Ringer, Phil Ringer and Rob Wootton eventually arrived on the banks of the Gent to Ternuezen Canal. Also joining us were two other English teams, Preston England and Drennan Barnsley Blacks. The canal itself isn’t like your normal canal… it’s over 100 metres wide and over 70 feet deep in the middle, with oceangoing ships and huge barges travelling up and down all day, so not something you see every day in England!

We had two days to get our tactics sorted, followed by the competition itself on Saturday and Sunday, which is fished to loosely to CIPS international rules. I unfortunately cannot really go into tactics and baits too much as there’s a possibility that the 2015 World Feeder Champs will be on the venue!

barlow-feeder-champs5We had our plan and bait sorted, though, so all we needed was a decent draw, which to be fair we didn’t know where the bad areas would be as we only had two days practice.

Personally I drew D11, which Rob had fished the day before, so I knew what and where I was going to fish. After the 10-minute pre-baiting period, my Matchpro Medium Feeder rod and Series 7 feeder reel was loaded up and cast to the chosen spot. An early fish would be a godsend and all of a sudden the tip went round. Minutes later a 3lb bream was in the net – just the start I needed!

A perch, a flounder and a big skimmer followed in the next half hour then nothing for three hours. After trying all different kids of methods, eventually the tip pulled round again and another big skimmer graced the net, so I ended the match with five hard-earned fish.

The scales arrived and my fish weighed 2.868kg, enough for 4th in the 23-peg section. Rob was 2nd, Steve and Phil were 3rd each and Adam was in the middle of the worst part of the match and ended up 17th, but beating those around him. Our total was 29 points, which put us 4th and all to play for on the second day!

After a quick meeting we decided to tweak our tactics for Day Two to hopefully to get us into the top three overall teams.

barlow-feeder-champs3The draw came back and I had E23, which was the end peg in the match so the presure was on to get a good result! The same tackle was set up as Day One and I knew I needed a good start again. After a couple of casts I had my first bite, which was a grondling (which is like a small rock fish!) It was a vital fish in the net and on a team competition that’s the most important thing.

A roach then a flounder and then a good bream followed and to be honest I had a good match. A few bites kept coming with me ending up with six bream, four roach, three perch, a flounder, a grondling and a surprise 4lb mullet – a truly mixed bag, which totalled 9.796kg and most important of all a section win for the team.

barlow-feeder-champs6barlow-feeder-champs7News filtered through that Steve was 6th, Phil was 3rd, Rob was also 3rd and Adam had another poor peg and managed 19th, which to be fair is a shame as Adam was our best performer in practice, so it shows you if you don’t get the pegs you cant do much about it.

Our two-day total was 61 points. We hoped it would be enough for a top three finish. At the presentation, Preston England were read out as 5th, Drennan Barnsley Blacks were 4th and our Guru England team finished 2nd behind Megafish Belgium, who had 52 points. A great performance by them.

On the individual front, my five point total was enough for a surprise 3rd place overall. Also, Rob finished 6th and Phil 7th individually, so a great team performance by us!

I’d like to thank Jan Van Schendel and Patrick Vanhoo for running a great competition. Without their hard work it wouldn’t happen!