Clements Gets England Call Up!

Alex Clements has been selected to represent the England Under 23s for this year’s World Championship in Assen, Holland, on 26-27th July.

Drennan Bordon and Drennan Team England Under 23, Alex Clements.

The Drennan Bordon team man is understandably over the moon on his selection. He had put a lot of time and effort into the trial on the Gloucester Canal and had spent a considerable amount of time on the venue over the past few years so was confident, but left nothing to chance!

After being told of his selection, Alex said: “I’m absolutely thrilled to be picked for the England Under 23s and with the experience in the squad that’s been selected we feel we have a very good chance of bringing back a medal – hopefully gold!”

Here’s Alex’s account of the trial:

“The Under 23 England trial was fished on the magnificent Gloucester Canal along Hempstead Straight on the 12th of April. Mark Downes had selected 16 intermediates from around the country to take part, from which just six would get chosen to represent their country.

“Mark supplied the bloodworm, joker, leam and groundbait, as everyone had to be using the same mix of damp leam, Sensas Lake and Gardons. The areas Mark wanted us to fish were at 13 metres and another shorter swim where you could find 8ft of water. We were then given our pegs. I was in the middle, which I was more than happy with, having a good view of my competitors and an even playing field.

“I set up five rigs; two for short and three for long. For the short swim I set up a slim and sensitive 0.8g Sensas Auchy with four No9 droppers and a bulk spread out over 3ft and a rounder Sensas Jean Francois with the same shotting pattern, just in case the wind and tow picked up.

“For long, I set up two Sensas Series 18 floats in 1.5g and 2g sizes with three No8 droppers and a bulk. These floats have thin hollow tips for better visibility. The 2g rig was only a back-up for if the tow picked up, as it sometimes does on the canal. I also set up a lighter 1g Jean Francois with four No9 droppers and a bulk, just in case the canal was static.

“All of my rigs were attached to No5 Preston Slip elastic through three sections and 0.12mm main lines to 0.08mm and 0.07mm hooklengths and a Kamasan B511 hook from sizes 18 down to 22.

“At the start I threw in 10 balls at 12.5 metres. This was made up of a light mix with 75% leam to 25% groundbait, with 100ml of joker, 25ml of pinkies and a few dead maggots. I then accurately cupped in two concentrated balls over the top containing 100ml of joker, a few pinkies and dead maggots. On my short line I put in three balls of ‘double leam’ with only 50ml of joker. This was four sections out, where I had found 8ft of water.

“In practise I found that the fish were coming back with mouths full of joker, indicating they were not as interested in the groundbait, so I tried to shy away from feeding it as much as possible. I therefore only fed it at the start to help draw fish in.

Alex’s catch from the Gloucester Canal trials.

“Throughout the day I picked off fish from both lines and topped up with a double leam mix, rich with joker, whenever bites slowed. I had 35 fish in total, which included skimmers, roach, perch and even two small zander! My weight of 2kg proved well from the area I was in.”

Good luck to Alex and the rest of the Drennan Team England Under 23 squad!