Well, just when you thought that Italy were taking over the world of angling, up pops England's 'Old-Guard'.
Yes, England's veteran anglers have secured gold in the 2012 Veterans World Championships on the River Mondego in Penacova, Portugal.

You can download the full and complete results here: CLICK


During the euphoria of the Olympic Games the Angling Trusts England Veterans course fishing team were also creating history for themselves by winning the 5th FIPSed Veterans World Angling Championships for the first time in Portugal on 11th – 12th August 2012.

The team of four anglers beat six other nations to win the coveted title on the river Mondego in northern Portugal near to the beautiful and picturesque town of  Penacova.

This venue was not unknown to England Team Manager Dick Clegg since he had taken the Ladies team to the venue 12 years previously and came back with team gold along with individual gold and bronze medals. The Veteran’s team almost duplicated this achievement by also winning the individual gold after a terrific performance from Joe Roberts and a 4th place finish from Dickie Carr who only lost on weight in the fight for a bronze medal.

The team had a hugely disappointing set back when only days before one of the original squad members was admitted to hospital and couldn’t make the trip.  Don Slaymaker one of the team’s top anglers unfortunately had to have an emergency operation only hours before they left for Portugal. All the squad wish Don a speedy recovery and during the week leading up to the event all they wanted to do was to win the title for him in his absence.

The river in Penacova is controlled by a huge dam and during the early part of the year the fishing took a huge setback when floods almost demolished an artificial dam at the bottom of the match length causing some concern about fish stocks. As it happened there was no cause for alarm and the main species of fish Borga, put on a reliable show.  Borga are a species not found in UK waters and require a very special approach to catch them in any numbers. These relatively small fish averaging around 1.5oz  can only be described as looking like a grayling/dace and they respond to a joker and bloodworm attack.

The river rises and falls very quickly and in one hour can change from being almost still with no flow to a fairly fast current as it rises by almost a metre in only one hour. Each day at 10am it reaches its maximum height before falling again to its lower level again within one hour.
Match times were 10am to 2 pm corresponding with the water being released from the upstream dam so constant plumbing of the depth was essential as the best tactic was to present the bloodworm baited size 20 / 22 hook at dead depth or only slightly off  bottom.  0.6  0.8 and 1.0gr wire stemmed pole floats were essential and bulk shotting worked at the start changing to a shirt button style rig towards the end when the river slowed.

A special local Colado groundbait (Jose Colado is a full Portuguese International angler) and a Sensas Borga ground bait was introduced at the start and, in all, 17 litres were used in the 4 hour match. A maximum of 1.0ltr of joker was allowed under the FIPSed rules and the team used almost all of that allowance. Then 8 big balls with added joker was introduced in the allowed 10 minute prebaiting followed by a topping up of a hard small joker laced ball ever put in. The fish responded well and although there were areas where gudgeon were a problem all the team contributed to a first day 11 point joint lead with the Italians and Belgium taking third place on 14 points.

Joe Roberts, who fished his first Veterans international, joins Mark Addy, who also won gold in Portugal when the competition was held in Chaves.

England Veterans Team Manager Dick Clegg, OBE who was also reserve in the absence of Don Slaymaker said “After drawing Joe Roberts the downstream end peg on day 2 it was a foregone conclusion that he would win the Gold.  Joe had been brilliant all week in practice and no one was going to beat him in section A which left me the time to concentrate on the other 3 sections.  On a lighter note I have waited 50 years to fish for England and then I had to pick myself because Don had to stay at home.  Get well soon mate.”

“My thanks must go to some very special people in Tony Troth and Bill Galt who paid almost a thousand pounds each to be management team bank runners and whose help in bait preparation and competition information was immense during the week. My extra special thanks also goes to my room mate for the duration of the competition John Thorpe who spent 5 days transporting the equipment to Portugal and then had a week loading and unloading each day.   Well done Joe and the team on achieving double gold for England.”