The Team Italy Feeder Trials

Our Italian correspondent, Matteo Maggi, reports back from an important three-day event that would decide this year’s Italian Feeder Team. 


The Italian Feeder Team for this year’s World Championship in Ireland was decided recently at Mantova’s Lakes, one of the most beautiful places in Italy. Twenty anglers were present, but only five t-shirts available for Team Italy!

The venue at Mantova, Italy.

It was a real ‘tour de force’ with three competitions on three consecutive days – and three very different weather conditions. Add to this the fact that drawing the right peg is vital on the lakes of Mantova. In some areas there are fish and in others they are very hard to get. But this is the selection for the Italian team, so those who want an easy life could stick to easy fisheries!

Over the three days of competition the fishing was never easy. Each time the main target for the contestants was to draw a good area. On Friday, the first day of the trial, the weather was decent with a few minutes of rain giving way to sun. Contrary to what was believed, the abundance of fish was not very high, with some pegs better than others just metres away. The most common fish caught were bream, plus a few carp to 3.5kg and mullet.

Bream were the main target.

The first day was won by Fabio Cappelletti (Team LBF Italia Preston Innovations) with over 13kg of fish. Second place went to Angelo Pizzi (Team LBF Italia Preston Innovations) and Andrea Caruso (Sharks Colmic Silverfish) was third.

The fishing on Day One was better in the lower part of the venue. On Saturday everything changed. The fish had moved to the upper end. The second trial took place under a hot sun, which put a strain on all the fishermen from a physical standpoint. Competition was still difficult, with some excellent areas and others very difficult.

This huge 4kg zander was an important bonus fish!

Victory on the day went to Marco Mazzetti (Castelmaggiore Maver) who caught more than 21kg of bream. Second place went to Manuel Marchese (Lenza Emiliana Tubertini) and third was Marco Mandrelli (Club Fario Italica). The capture of two surprise 4kg zander really impacted on the results. The result was very tight with just one or two fish being enough to climb the rankings.

Sunday was the last day of the test. The day began with a few clouds in the sky and a fair wind. Again the catches were lower than expected. The bad areas of the previous days continued to be poor while favoured pegs strangely saw an exponential increase in fish!

This was the final day to decide who would make the Italian national team. With a long 20-man section, everything was still open. And indeed it was, as the leader after two rounds slipped back and vice versa!

Matteo with his winning catch from the final day.

Victory on the day went to Matteo Maggi (I Delfini Amino Pack Balzer) with 17.8kg of carassio. He started fishing at 35 metres and then moved out to 65 metres when bites slowed. It was a good test for the boy, after two poor pegs on previous days. Second place went to Mark Mazzetti and third for Fabio Cappelletti.

It was hard to say what tactics were crucial, as the fish were caught in equal numbers on worms, maggots and bloodworm. Most used a similar dark brown/black groundbait with chopped worms, dead maggots and casters. Some also tried sticky maggot to try to attract catfish, carp and carassio. Fishing around 20-35 metres worked on Day One but as the days passed anglers had to move to 35 metres for their short lines and more than 45 metres on their longer swims.

Twenty men fished, but only a select few would make the cut.

The first three anglers directly qualified for the Italian national team: They were the winner, Manuel Marchese, as well as Fabio Cappelletti and Marco Mazzetti. The additional choices by the coaches were Govi and Massimo Vezzalini of Team Mogliano Preston, who were fourth and fifth in the overall standings. They are joined by the 2013 Italian Feeder Champion, Angelo De Pascalis. The coaching staff also requested the presence of a seventh man, Angelo Pizzi.

The successful anglers now represent Team Italy in this year’s World Feeder Championship at Inniscarra Reservoir, Ireland, on 19th and 20th July!

Report by Matteo Maggi, of

Visit for more information on this year’s World Feeder Championship.