Italian Feeder Championship – The Final

The Italian feeder championship is usually a hard fought competition with lots of surprises during four matches over two weekends. This year it took place in the third week end of September on the river Arno in Arezzo. This venue is known to most fishermen in central Italy, having hosted events of national importance on many occasions. After the two June matches on the Channel Brian, it will be the venue for the next Club’s World Championship in 2013, when the whole Italian feeder movement goes to wonderful Tuscany, not far from Florence.

The River Arno in Arezzo is approximately 50 meters wide with a depth between one and four meters. There are principally carp, carassio, rudd, wels catfish and bleak. Normally there is a flow for fishing with 2-3 grams on the pole or 25 grams with a feeder and there are many techniques to use: fixed rods, long pole, angling rod, Bolognese-style and feeder.

Unfortunately, the dry summer has upset everything a bit, with the fish remaining apathetic throughout August and only beginning to eat in the last fortnight. River conditions were also abnormal because there was practically no flow. Everyone was waiting for carp, but the carp didn’t really match up to expectations.

On Friday, practice day before the third match on Saturday, the weather was a little of cold with rain and wind, after three months of hot temperature over 35 °C! So there weren’t many fish on the practice day and many competitors preferred to hide their tactics. Finally Saturday came and with over 70 feeder fishermen present and divided over eight sections, by 8am everyone was on the venue to prepare all the tackle.

There were two main tactics in the competition: fishing near the opposite bank, at a distance of 50 – 60 meters for carp or “speed fishing” for carassio, rudd and also big bleak, up to 15 grams. Naturally for this kind of fishing carassio was the preferred fish to catch weighing between 80 grams and 800 grams. At 9.45 a.m. the competition started in variable weather and 24° C. Someone found carp and won the section with three or four fish each over 1.5 kg, while those who decided to fish for carassio all match managed to bring home a good weight and finish in the top three of their section.

During the Sunday the fishing was much the same, with some pegs where carp between 1kg and 3kg just weren’t present and other pegs where there were only small carassio or bleak. The feeders used were heavyweight cage feeder up to 50 grams, stainless cage feeder, feederbombs, gripmesh feeders and stainless cage feeder between 10 and 35 grams.

The choice of feed varied widely among the competitors: some decided to feed just with yellow groundbait in a cage, someone decided to use lots of sticky maggots. For me, the latter was better because on Saturday I finished third with over 4 kilos of carassio (approximately 35 fish) and on Sunday I won my section with over 7,000 points thanks to 15 carassio and three carps, using a lot of worms, maggots and maize. After the last 10 hours of fishing the winner was Gianmario Lombardi of Team LBF Italia with just four points. The same of the second place, Riccardo Favalini of GPO Imolese Tubertini, but with a lower weight overall. In third position was Mirko Govi of Lenza Club Mogliano Preston with five points. Now the first nine fishermen of the final classification will go to challenge in other matches to decide the squad for Team Italy for the next world championship in South Africa.

From Italy Matteo Maggi,

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