A Tough Lesson Learnt

England feeder ace Dean Barlow reflects on a recent Feedermasters qualifier where things didn’t quite go to plan.


It’s always nice writing articles when you have the perfect match and a good win… but I thought I would write something a little different. Last Sunday I competed in a Feedermasters qualifier at Gold Valley Lakes. Having just got back from the European Feeder Challenge in Serbia I had to have half a day sorting gear out for a commercial fishery. After collecting some info I decided on my attack but didn’t realise this would cost me big time!

I drew peg 24 on Gold lake which had apparently been a good area of late. The only trouble was that they had been good pellet waggler pegs. This was a feeder only match and no loose feeding allowed! I had two ‘young uns’ (now that I’m getting on a bit) ether side of me. To my right was junior international Bradley Gibbons and on my left was former international Marcus Harrison.

At the start of the match I decided to use a big feeder and feed 8mm pellets on the ‘waggler’ line aiming to fish a small feeder and pellet over the top, then a Method Feeder to the midway rope and finally a skimmer line at 18 metres.

Well to say I got it wrong was an understatement. It was totally wrong and, to make matters worse, Bradley did the same as me which showed in our results. We both scored a big Did Not Weigh and I had disappeared up my own backside! Marcus the other side of me fished an absolute blinder, however. He fished a small Method Feeder all day to catch 43lb of bream and a 12lb carp for 55lb and a place in the £12,000 final.

Dean Barlow.

It’s only fair that you mention your bad results and not just the good ones. After the match I spoke to Marcus and he told me everything he had done, which was refreshing. You never stop learning at this game and I’ve always said you sometimes leave the bankside a better angler, even after a battering.

My next stop is Serbia on the DTD Canal in Novi Sad for the World Feeder Champs where Preston Innovations England are aiming for a hat-trick of Gold medals. I am sure we will have our tactics right for this one!