2014 WalterLand Masters by Steve Ringer - Part One

The Team practicing
When the phone rang in early January asking me if I fancied going to Hungary fishing the WalterLand Masters for Team Daiwa in April I have to admit I had no idea what to expect other than a very long drive! The venue was the Szeged rowing course in where Bob Nudd and England won gold. Our team was to be Will Raison, Martin Greene, Darren Peel, Dave McAuley and myself and plans were soon put into place that we would take two vans and one person would fly! Travelling wise it was myself and Martin, Will and Davie with Darren missing out on the 17-hour drive in favour of the comfort of flying! It’s all right for some as they say!

Anyway the drive wasn’t quite as bad as I imagined! Actually I’m lying, it was a hundred times worse! Anyway we eventually arrived, and the ‘van lag’ as we called it was soon forgotten in favour of a quick walk down the venue. There were already a few teams practicing and whilst conditions weren’t great (strong winds) there were a few fish coming out. Mainly carassio and skimmers on the 13m line, there also seemed to be millions of bleak which for me didn’t seem quite so appealing!

The format for the trip was two days practice (Thu, Fri) then the two match days (Sat, Sun). So with this in mind and after a brief chat with a very helpful Tamas Walter about tactics it was decided to spend the rest of the day sorting kit and making sure we were ready for the first practice session. 

Practice Day 1 

Well Day 1 dawned and for me whilst it was nice to catch a few fish I didn’t really feel I had a grip on the venue at all. I managed 13 kilo in 4 hours but didn’t really understand why, and worse still I had totally killed my peg last hour. The rest of the team had fared similarly weight wise apart from Will who stood out like a sore thumb with an unbelievable 19-kilo! At the end of the session it was decided we would carry on for an hour but rather than fish on I decided to go and watch Will for a while as sometimes I find being told what someone is doing isn’t as good as actually seeing it for yourself. Well I can safely say in 30 minutes sat behind Will I learnt more than I had in the 3 hours at my own peg! There was nothing ground breaking but more a combination of lots of little things that when they were all put together made a massive difference. I went away feeling a lot better about the session and looking forward to day 2!

Will comments -

"Prior to heading out to Hungary I got in touch with some friends and ‘contacts’ about the venue and I have caught a fair amount of Carassio on venues like the rowing course. The team was also an excellent mix of top match experience; Steve Ringer is a top angler and has fished at world level plus showed his ‘other’ angling skills with his performance in Ireland last year, Martin Greene fishes for Starlets and represented England as a junior and won medals, Darren Peel saw winter & super league success with St Helens plus fished with Barnsley and finally Dave McAuley has represented Scotland at International and World Club level. 

The first practice day certainly helped point a clearer direction and everyone’s input at the team meeting let us use day two to put a dedicated approach and team plan together."

Practice Day 2 

Day 2 started badly for me but I eventually found my feet and finished with just over 18 kilos made up of mainly carrassio with odd small carp around the 1-2lb mark. Will again won the session but with all 5 of us having 10 kilo plus we felt we were more than holding our own. Tactics wise something Will had worked out very early was that the carassio which were the key species sat off the back of the bait. Therefore we were feeding the bulk of our bait at 12.5m in the prebaiting period but actually fishing at 13m. The 13m line was then fed with small balls of soil containing joker and dead maggots. The key though as far as I was concerned was working out when to top up. It seemed you could only top up so many times before killing your peg as I had done on day 1. 

Match Day 1

Come match day we didn’t really know what was a good draw, rumour had it A section was going to be hard and Will found himself there, with Davie in B, Martin in C, myself in D and Darren in E. The sections were made up of 28 anglers but for points it was two sections of 14. I found myself on peg 19 which meant the bulk of my section would be too my right. 

On arrival at my peg the first thing I noticed was that I had Peter from Tamas’s WalterLand Daiwa team on the next peg so straight away I knew I had my work cut out. Rig wise I set up five rigs. Firstly a 1.5g Perfect Gloucester on 0.15 Guru N-gauge mainline to a 6-inch hooklength of 0.118 Drennan double strength. Shotting was an olivette and two positive number 8 droppers. The bottom dropper was placed 8 inches from the hook with the next dropper 8 inches above that and the olivette a further 6 inches above this. Hook choice bearing in mind hookbaits were to be either bunches of bloodworm or maggots was a size 16 Kamasan B560. Elastic was then blue hydro which in practice I found perfect for carassio and skimmers as well as giving me a chance should a bonus carp be hooked. This rig had been the best in practice so a duplicate was set up to save time should a breakage occur. On top of this I also set up a 2g rig in case the tow got up plus a 3g on white hydro in case I had to sit for a carp late on. Lastly a rig for skimmers at 6 sections which I really hoped I didn’t have to pick up! In case you are wondering all floats barring the short skimmer rig were perfect Gloucester’s, with the short float being a Sensas series 18. 

When the prebaiting hooter sounded I potted in 20 balls of groundbait at 12.5m full of corn, casters and dead maggots plus 125ml of joker. You might be thinking why not throw the balls to save time? Well in answer to that accuracy was extremely important and with the carassio backing away from bait you couldn’t risk sliding a ball past the pole top so it was a lot safer to pot everything. When the starting hooter sounded I went straight out with a bunch of bloodworm on the hook hoping for a quick response. I didn’t get one however and before I knew it I was 4 carassio to nil down to Peter on my left. We had decided not to feed past the 12.5m line to start with just to see what happened but just 15 minutes in I felt I had to do something so out went a small ball of soil full of joker with a few dead maggots to 13m. This sparked the swim into life and I was soon putting a few carassio in the net.  Nothing spectacular I might add but ticking over. I was well behind the Peter from WalterLand Daiwa but in practice the way we fed at the start meant our swims tended to get stronger so I wasn’t overly worried. 

The second hour was a good one for me as I maintained the gap between the two of us plus we both seemed to be pulling away from the rest of the section which meant goodpoints was looking a real possibility. The third hour for me went perfectly, I got into a rhythm of feeding a ball, catching four or five carassio in around 20 minutes before feeding another. Bites were coming right on top of the top up balls which showed the carassio were bang on the feed. Better still Peter on the next peg had slowed up massively and I felt I was now ahead. 

Going into the 4th hour the venue just seemed to switch off for everyone I could see and progress was slow. However by fishing bunches of bloodworm just past my soil feed I was able to keep an odd fish coming and when the hooter signaled the end barring the first 15 minutes I felt I’d had a decent match. 

The scales soon arrived and 12 kilo was top weight when they reached Peter, he put 15 kilos on the scales which was more than I expected. I needn’t have worried though as my fish went just over 18.6 kilo which it became apparent was enough for the section win! It was now time to find out how the rest had got on. Will was second with 18 Kilo, Davie had also won his section, Martin had a 3rd but Darren had a 9th from a funny area in E Section having beaten those around him. 

The overall results were soon out and a 16 point total saw us sitting second behind an unbelievable 7 point score from the WalterLand Daiwa team.

It was all to play for on Day 2 ...

Team meeting
Will potting in bait
Will playing a fish
Will netting a fish
Will's practice catch
Steve playing a fish
Steve with a fish
Steve putting a fish in the net
Steve's practice catch
Peter from Walterland