The Celtic Cup
Magiscroft Fishery, Scotland
This event, fished over a two day period(2-3 August) was preceeded by two days of practice on the Thursday and Friday. During these practice sessions it became apparent that carp would play a major role in the precedings, with them averaging out at 1kg each. It was clear that the match on this 15ft deep venue would involve fishing shallow between 2 to 3ft deep at 13m, plus also a second line at around 6 to 9m in 8ft of water. There were numerous small fish averaging 1oz to be caught (roach perch and skimmers), but this could soon be wiped out by a carp. It was also event that when you caught one, you'd catch a couple straight after.

Most teams started this way, with the main difference being Scotland who fed heavily with chopped worm and soil through the pole cup (the limit was .5kg), which created a hanging clould that a small piece of worm or bronze maggot was fished through. The Welsh went with the more conventional shallow caster approach, feeding loose caster heavily. Ireland initially targeted small fish at 11 metres before going shallow with caster for the carp. With both Scotland and Wales drawing an end peg draw and Ireland stuck in the middle, the teams were very closely matched after day one with only two points separating Scotland and Wales.

The final day saw Scotland get lucky again with yet another end peg draw with Ireland on the other end peg. The match fished better on day two with Scotland opting for the same tactics from their successful first day. Again this proved the right choice and all their anglers caught carp. This produced a 5 point win over Wales on day two and an overall 7 point victory. From an indivdual point of view, Jamie Masson (Scotland) showed his undoubted class in catching carp gained from many successful years on England's match circuit. He recorded two sections wins and the highest weight on each day, including a superb final day 24kg+. Perfect section scores were also achieved by Scotland's George Glen and Welshman Shaun Sandhum.

The final result were Scotland 20pts, Wales 27 and Ireland 37. Ireland fished really well considering some of their anglers were fishing for carp for the first time, and they'd had the difficulty of the middle peg draw on day one. Wales also showed their class by running Scotland so close on day one on their own water.
It was an excellent event fished in a very competitive yet friendly spirit and has gone a long way to replacing the Six Nations Championships, which sadly no longer exists. It also provided a good opportunity to 'blood' new anglers in an international CIPs type enviroment, ie fishing to natural bait limits with no artificial baits such as pellets.

Next year its Irelands turn to host the event, and they will no doubt be keen to turn the tables on us all.