Dateline: Wednesday 2nd September
Picture slideshow for Wednesday being worked on at present, but delay unavoidable due to woefully bad WiFi connection. Doing best we can to bring you ASAP.

We reach the midweek point and weights have improved from Tuesday's depressed returns.

It was looking more like A section would be the place to draw after the preceding days return of bream, so it was here I started to make my way to, having parked some 1.5km away! The walk took a while but gave me a chance to see who was en-route. Home nations Wales and Ireland, had drawn next to each other on boxes 3 and 4 respectively in C section. Approaching B section, I could clearly make out where England had drawn, by the large gallery that had once more formed in anticipation behind them, hoping for some useful scrap of info to take back to their bases. This apparently extended to vulture-like hovering while the team mixed up their groundbaits, but were suitable chastised by senior squad member Steve Gardener for bordering on unfair encroachment!. However, this is something the team must obviously expect, but not always appreciate, as it goes with the reputation England have built up over the years.

In the unenviable position of next door neighbours were uncharacteristically-miniscule USA, fronted by Online Fishing's Gareth Purnell, who was positioned right next to Stevie Gardener (I do hope it wasn't Gareth who'd been loitering around the groundbait mixing area!). Just below England where Scotland and Hungary, with the Netherlands beginning the section in box 1.

For those not too familiar with practice week, each team is allocated a box within a chosen section. These boxes are divided sufficiently to allow five/six anglers to fish... sometimes 'smaller' teams fit in more anglers! Each teams get to fish in a box, in each of the five sections, on the five days of practice and all boxes are drawn randomly.

Section A saw one of the other three participating southern hemisphere teams, South Africa, sandwiched between mighty France and Belgium on box 2. Now there would be a challenge! Another of the home contingents, the Channel Islands, where on box 6. Having sorted these three areas out, i moved up to section D to see friends in the Luxembourg, German and Aussie boxes before returning to the these initial sections. Section E would have to wait till Thursday when my other 'troops' would arrive and make my travels a little less tiring.

The day started pretty much like Tuesday, warm, sunny-ish and breezy. England started well with roach, skimmers and the odd perch putting in an appearance. As the morning session wore on, the fishing got better with roach, skimmers and perch taking bloodworm or caster.

My first proper port of call was the start of A section as I was fascinated to see just how South Africa were getting on with the 'big-boys'. I was pleasantly surprised to see that while they couldn't quite match the technique and speed of their more illustrious neighbours, they certainly knew how to 'snare' and net the odd slab! Indeed, the first to strike was their angler closest to the French, Adrian v.d. Heever, who skilfully guided a 1.5kg bronze bream towards his waiting net. Almost immediately, three pegs away, Werner Lubbe hit into something very tasty! This was either a monster 'dustbin' lid or something foul-hooked. After a prolonged battle, a similar stamp bream was netted... oh and yes, it was foul-hooked... but they all count don't they!

Meanwhile was this was going on, Belgian 'Ace and Living Legend' Guido Nullens, was busy doing what he does best... bag-up on bream. His tally, with 2hrs on the clock, was now four, but I suspect he had a few more by the close of morning session. We later learnt that his final score was 6! England once more had a 'Mega' day, with the six team members posting weights from 4 to nearly NINE kilos! Each man bringing at least one slab to the weigh-net. If this goes on then England's odds could dramatically reduce to odds-on!

Overall, the venue seems to be settling down but bream have not entirely spread throughout the match length. Perhaps the following days will see a more spread-eagled distribution?

Dave Johnson

Thursday 3rd September: Working on at moment