The IAM Concept
In 2007, a few passionate match anglers from Germany had a vision of staging an annual fishing match, involving some of the best international anglers in Europe. Part of this idea was to improve the standards of match angling within Germany and to gain some vital connections within the international scene.

So, in 2008 the first International Anglers Meeting (IAM) was staged, with the help of the DAV (Germany's equivalent of the NFA), the Champions Team website and various sponsors from within the angling trade. The venue chosen was just west of Berlin and a noted silverfish water, the Silo Canal at Brandenburg. The match was fished over two days, with teams from Holland, Denmark, Austria and many other countries taking part. Soon after the match the positive feedback received from various national and international angling forums was the signal that the IAM had proved a total success.

Shortly after, plans got underway for this year, based on all the valuable experienced gained from the initial event. The few minor problems encountered would then be rectified. During this inaugural year, the combined two day weights were topped with a massive 53 kilo and only 10% of those competing took single figures to the scales. The best individual weight for a single day ran over 31 kilos... that was just for 4 hours of fishing heaven!

Year Two begins...
The aim for 2009 was to attract the attention of more teams from various European countries. Out of the the maximum entry of 40 teams of five anglers, 50% of the teams registering came from outside Germany. There was a strong contingent of nine teams from Holland, two teams each from Poland, Denmark, Hungry, Austria, Luxemburg and one from Belgium. These numbers showed a positive and improved sign for the future of the event. This years event was just as impressive as 2008 and the standard of excellence wasn't only equalled, it was maintained and improved to the satisfaction of all. An interesting fact was that 2009 actually produced fewer single figure weights for the two days, than the 2008 event! Is there really ANYWHERE to compare with the Silo?

The Dutch were strongly represented, headed by their national squad who had attended the previous weeks Shimano Cup on the venue and were therefore ideally placed to continue the knowledge gathering by linking up the two events! Team coach Jan Van Schendel, used the time wisely to practice further and gain an even greater understanding of the canals' moods. Trying to sort out which groundbait and rigs would work best on the day would always be invaluable to any team and so it would prove for Jan's Boys... their time would not be wasted!

The Silo Canal is well know for its vast shoals of big roach and bream. The average weight during a match is around the 15 kilo mark, which, depending on what section is being fished, comprises of mainly 'stonkin' roach to 800 grams. Depth of the canal is around 4.5 to 5 metres deep so top 5s are the order of the day.

On the Thursday night before the two day event took place, the first captains meeting was held at the Axxon Hotel to discuss the rules and regulations for the match. Each section had a sponsor’s name for easy identification, A section was Grebenstien, B section Browning, C section FT Max, D section Kingdom of Sports and E section Anglershop Deutschland.

On Friday morning the captains drew pegs for their anglers, with each given a bib to be worn for easy identification for both spectators and organisers alike. There was also the addition of the new so-called 'French system' to spilt and even out the sections, due mainly to A, C and D being well known bream holding sections, while B and E being mainly roach dominated. It seemed a fairer way of adding up the points. Some other rules from CIPS were also adopted for the event, such as a 5 minute pre-baiting period, as well as bloodworm being allowed.

Main methods
The methods needed to fish this massive waterway were not for the faint-hearted! Pole rigs with river style floats from 4-8 grams, mainlines of 0.14mm and hooklengths of 0.12mm to strong hooks in sizes 14 to 18 were the standard rig basics. However, the important part of these rigs were the No.4 or 6 dropper shots, which needed to be placed between 40cm from the hook and bulk. This was intended to get the bait down quickly and avoid the smaller roach. In some cases an assortment of extremely heavy lollipop style floats were used, due to the strong tow on the canal. Top 5s were essential.

In some sections the Bolognaise rod was a get out of jail rig, fished further out into the deeper channel. There was one problem with the method though, once committed to the pole line at 13 metres it is near impossible to have enough groundbait to cover both lines effectively.

Most anglers used very rich and heavy dark binding mixes, loaded with casters, chop worm, hemp, corn and bloodworm. Interestingly, hardly any of the competitors had maggots with them, due to the fact that maggots attract the small fish, a thing that must be avoided at all cost! The number of big roach between 400 and 800 grams is normally mind-blowing, but if contestants attract too many small roach into their swim, they'll have no chance of winning their sections. The key to is to feed a ball of groundbait every few minutes.

The Match: Day 1

A section: Grebenstein
Holland Sensas/Ultimate angler Richard Feller had seemed to have developed a real understanding of the Silo, winning his part of the section with 13.187kg from peg A6, followed closely by the German angler from Kingdom of Sports, Gerd Beich, with 12.966kg. In the second half of the split section, Lars Lamprecht of Team Illex, won with 10.744kg, second was Johannes Böhm of Team FTM with 8.892kg. It was interesting to note that Johannes had come up through the ranks of the Champions Team junior squad, and showed just what potential he has to offer.

B section: Browning
Across from the steelworks, the canal is calmer than the other sections, due to the extra width. This section is normally perfect for rod and line, but the wind had other ideas, making bolognaise or match rod totally unfishable as it proved impossible to control the float properly. The pole line was therefore fished with lighter rigs river pattern floats from 2 to 6 grams. The first half of the section was won by Dutchman Nico Bakkernes of Team Abu-Evezet with 11.087kg, second was Champions Team angler Lutz Weißig with 10.440kg. The second half of the section was won by Austrian angler Christian Kuch of Maver Austria with 11.790kg and second was Browning Germany angler Albert Wiedere with 11.339kg.

C section: Fishing Tackle Max (FTM)
This was one section where the luck at draw certainly helped. You needed a high number because towards the lower numbers there seems to be an imaginary border where fish are a lot harder to find, and are generally smaller than those higher up! This is where attention to detail of your rigs became paramount because if you fished too heavy in the low numbers, you will not catch as much, it was as simple as that. Whereas in the higher numbers, bagging up with positive rigs between 10 and 30 grams was as per normal for the canal! Many anglers prefer to use the Cralusso style floats for this style of fishing to slowly ease the rig down canal. Again heavy feeding with a ball of groundbait every cast helped Zoltan Kalo, from Timar Mix Ungarn, with a superb 21.011kg to win the first half section, second was LAV Sachsen-Anhalt's Frank Wiese with 20.061 kg. In the other half of the section Maver Germany's Arno Raab won with 25.337kg caught on 11.5 metres of pole to hand! Nico Matschulat of Stipp-Profi came second with 24.556kg.

D section: Kingdom of Sports
The biggest weight was recorded by the CM Luxemburg angler Romain König, he had a massive 30.307kg in the 4 hours. Second in section was the Hungarian Bialazs Varszegi of Timar Mix Ungarn, with 23.191kg. The other half of the section was won by Team FTM angler Bernd Grabowski who had managed 20.511kg, runner up was Jörg Zurek of team Shock with 20.328kg. Unfortunately for Maver Germany, one of their anglers, Max Huber fell ill. This effectively created a mini-end peg for Team Mosella Germany angler, Michael Schlögl, who sadly couldn't take advantage of this extra space!

E section: Anglershop Deutschland
Last but not least was the section opposite the Kingdom of Sports section. Here Team Stipp-Profi angler Ramon Willich came up trumps with a weight of 23.121kg which helped his side go into day two in a strong position on 25pts. Second was Oliver Nitze of Geers Germany with 21.059kg. Thomas Pruchnowski of Kingdom of Sports, stormed away in the other half of the section with 27.131kg, than 5 kilos more than his rival and second placed Günter Horler of the Champions Team with 22.309kg.

Team results
The end results for day one saw the lead effectively shared between two teams on 25pts each. Stipp-Profi with 25 point were the real leaders, but only on weight from team Shock. Third was Champions Team (DAV) with 27 points, 4th place went to Team FTM with 28 points and Team Colmic were fifth with 33 points. The best team from outside Germany's borders were  Holland's strong international squad, with 40 points and 8th place.

The Match: Day 2
With over night temperatures dropping to below zero, the signs of a good final day looked ominous for competitors. Even so it was still necessary for a full 2 hours set-up time, mainly because of the time required to prepare the enormous quantities of groundbait needed! As on the previous day the wind was blowing too hard for the bolognaise rigs to be used effectively, so they were abandoned in favour of the pole only approach.

A section: Grebenstein
In the first half of the section there was a battle between Nico Matschulat (Stipp-Profi) and the Dutch international Stefan Altena, in which Nico came out victorious with 18.076kg to Stefan's 13.812kg. In the second half of the section, Thomas Pruchnowski was a strong contender for the individual title after his day one section win, but unfortunately he could only managed a third place on day two with 7.712kg, behind Roland Wittwer of Team Grebenstein, with 9.487kg and Team Colmic's Jürgen Lagerhausen on 9.402kg.

B section: Browning
Once again Frank Wiese proved how good he is by going one better from his day one section second and winning his final days section with 9.531kg. Second was Setzkescherfreunde's Ingo Frerichs with 8.680kg.

C section: Fishing Tackle Max (FTM)
Sensas Germany's Siggi Fitzener won the section with 16.684kg from Roberto Massazette (Team Geers) on 15.089kg. The other half of the section was won by a considerable margin of nearly 8 kilos by Günther Horler with 25.069kg from second place Heinz Drescher from Team Shock on 17.441kg.

D section: Kingdom of Sports
It was a two horse race between top German internationals Ralf Herdlitschke and Rene Bredereck in the first half of the section. The end result of the battle saw Ralf managing to put 23.966kg on the scales, pushing Rene's 18.479kg into runner-up spot. The other half had Carsten Röschl, of Geers Germany, amass a stunning 32.966kg only to be 'out-stunned' by Hungary's top international, Tibor Ambrus (Tubertini-Maros Mix-Carlusso-Ungarn), with 35.476kg. In this section, a weight of 25 kilos was only good enough for tenth place!!!

E section: Anglershop Deutschland
Once more the up-and-coming Johannes Böhm, Team FTM, impressed with a section winning 13.743kg, just pipping Dutchman Jan van de Bovenkamp of Team ABU-Evezet, who had 13.703kg. Local expert Lutz Weißig made no mistakes in taking the first spot in his section with 22.876kg with the Hungarian Bialazs Csöregi, falling just short of the mark with 21.252kg for second place.

The team final results
Overall winners were Team Stipp-Profi with a clear 40 points from last year's winners, Champions Team (DAV) on 50 points. A superb day two performance saw the Dutch International side leap-frog from 8th place to third place overall with a total of 60 points. Who knows, maybe next year Jan's boys will give all those home teams an even closer contest!!!

Individual results
In the individual stakes there were FIVE anglers who had tied on 3pts, so it all came down to the total overall weights for the two days. It was an improved performance from top German international and previous Euro Champ Gunter Horler, who put his 2008 fourth place behind him and relegated last years champion Nico Matschulat into the runners-up slot. Third place man Lutz Weißig also made significant improvement from his previous year's 24th spot by filling third place.

We have some special links to videos taken at the event:
here's another

Next year, the 2010 IAM will be held on the 5th weekend of October (29/30).

Note: Matchangler.com shall be working hard to put a special team together to fish this prestigious event in 2010. We shall look to our SUBSCRIBING MEMBERS ONLY for selection, who will initially be judged on merit, experience and ability to attend, then drawn for if we have too many entrants. Details of the initial selection qualifications will follow in the New Year and will favour all those, from any country, with some form of international competition experience.