The Italian Feeder Championship

Find out how they do things overseas, as one of our Italian correspondents, Matteo Maggi, reports back from the first qualifier for the Individual National Feeder Championship.


This year’s Italian Championship began a couple of weeks ago with the qualifier on the Canal Brian, near to the popular seaside resorts of Jesolo and Caorle on the Adriatic Sea. To take part in this event you must first get through the qualification rounds for North Italy and South Italy. There are three matches after that on different venues to test different skills. The first match is fished by 80 people. The second match is down to 60 people and then just 40 qualifiers in the final match.

This year there are six different venues:

Canal Brian – This was also the venue used for last year’s World Club Championship. It is a large 40m wide canal with no flow. Bream, carassio, carp, catfish, rudd, chub and roach are the main species.

Canal Fiuma – The 2009 Women’s World Championship was held here. This venue is 30m wide and has some flow. Carassio, carp and bream are the target species.

Spinadesco – The World Championship venue in 2008, where Drennan Team England were victorious. A 45m wide venue with no flow. Carassio, carp, bream, rudd and catfish are the target.

Ostellato –  The World Championship venue in 2011. Up to 90m wide and can sometimes flow moderately. Bream, carassio, carp and catfish are the target.

River Tevere Umbertide – The 2005 World Club Championship was held here. It is 25-40 metres with moderate flow. Chub, carp and tench are the expected species.

Canal Fissero – Venue for the 2010 Youth World Championship. No flow and 60 metres wide. Carassio, bream, roach, asp and catfish are the target. This is the final match and the only one where bloodworm and joker is allowed.

Canal Brian
The venue fished extremely hard in the stormy conditions.

The Canal Brian has become one of the fixed venues for the Northern Feeder Fishing heat, as it has always been generous with fish stocks including bream, carassio, rudd and carp. However, some days before this match, the news wasn’t good with much less fish being caught than expected.

The match was difficult for more than half of the anglers. No one would have ever expected this to happen, but there were many people with a dry keepnet at the end. The results table showed that the first half of the race field was very poor, with sections won by just 1.5kg of fish and the highest weights determined by odd ‘wildcard’ carp and catfish. Many of the anglers had to resort to targeting these bigger carp and cats but, once hooked, many proved impossible to get to the landing net!

A few more fish came out at the opposite end of the match length. Massimo Vezzalini of Team Mogliano Preston had top weight with 6kg, which would have only got you in the first four of the sector last year.

Most of the action was in the first hour.

The match kicked off at 9.20am with heavy baiting under a strong cross wind that quickly dropped during the morning then returned in the last hour as a storm hit the canal. For many anglers the match only lasted an hour, as only those who attacked the far bank from the off were able to catch. After that, the majority of the field caught absolutely nothing for the next four hours! It was almost as if something had happened in the water. The carassio had almost gone, leaving room for the very occasional bream, chub, rudd and roach.

Strong tackle was essential for the bonus carp and catfish.

After the first hour, many decided that the only solution was to embark in search of much larger fish. They typically baited up with maggots, a size 10 hook and a minimum of 0.20mm line… then hoped that the fish they hooked was not too big! For some, it went well, for others a little less.

After the first heat, Massimo Vezzalini is in the lead, with Corti Bruno of Lecchese Colmic lying in second and 2013 Italian Champion, Angelo De Pascalis of Team LBF Italia lying in third.

It was a well organised event by A.S.P. Papa and the mayor of Torre di Mosto asked that the awards were held in front of the municipality, a sign that the city near Venice still holds fishing in high regard.

Report by Matteo Maggi –