Shakespeare Superteam Bait-Tech – Division One National Championships

Shakespeare Superteam Bait-Tech angler Brian Rigby reflects on this years Division One National Championships

This years National Championships were held on the mighty River Trent on the third Saturday in August. Forty seven teams of 10 anglers fished on the river between Nottingham and Newark. As a team we fancied our chances as a few of us know the river well. Superteam members Tony Barker and Matt Hall both live in Nottingham and have fished the river all their lives. Another Superteam angler Tony Marshall who is one of the most inform anglers on the river.

Practice started in late June for most of the Superteam anglers, some of us were less familiar with the venue and these outings were a great help. As we started to fish the matches in the blistering heat and low water conditions a few things became apparent. One was the hoards of tiny dace that were a nuisance when trying to build a good weight. Using groundbait was successful to a degree but it could sometimes bring in these nuisance tiny dace into the peg. We quickly realised the two key baits were hemp for roach and worms for perch, eels and skimmers. By fishing these baits we could target the better stamp fish. We tried to fish these baits on our best line which was normally long pole. On the shallower glide type pegs hemp for roach was often best and the deeper holes worms for perch, eels and odd skimmer bream was best. The swim feeder would play a massive part in our attack also as the Trent is full of Bream and Barbel. This method is the best way to build a big weight if you are lucky enough to draw on some. Practice completed we were ready for the big day.

On the morning of the National there is a great buzz and excitement amongst all the competitors as 470 anglers all met at Nottingham racecourse. We drew our pegs and had a chat about them before heading of to our sections. I drew peg 5 at Hams Bridge a really good fish catching section. I caught a 50/50 mixture of Perch on worms using a 6 gram flat float and later in the match some roach on hempseed. I weighed 4 kg 400 grams to finish with respectable 29 points well into the top half of the section. Back at headquarters it was looking ok for a bit as we had 3 anglers coming back with 40 points or 8thout of 47 anglers. Unfortunately we had some really poor draws in the downstream sections which ultimately cost us the bronze medal. We finished in 9thplace overall which we were a bit disappointed with but you can’t beat the draw bag as they say. Barnsley Blacks won the national his time around so a big well done to them.

Tackle and bait

All our Superteam anglers have their own tackle preferences and there are some fantastic items that we used that were perfect for the venue.

Agility 2 Power feeder rods. They come in sizes 12 -13 and 14 ft. complete with 3 tips for different peg situations. Personally I love the 14 ft rod as I’m only short and it stops me catching the vegetation behind me.

The feeder rods were coupled up with Agility 2 LC 4000 reels loaded with Berkley Trilene line  in diameters from 0.18 – 0.26

For running line float fishing the Agility 2 Match rods were used. The 13ft for waggler fishing and the Agility 2 light match at 14ft for stick float fishing. These are perfect for the river Trent.

The float rods were coupled with Shakespeare Superteam 0.35 or 0.40 reels loaded with Berkley XL float line in diameter 0.15

When using groundbait for feeder fishing we used Bait-Tech Pro Natural or Pro Natural Extra. I like to add a bit of Pro Natural Bream to the mix about 25% if I was on a skimmer area and mix it on the dry side. It’s a brilliant groundbait when mixed dry as it has a spongy feel to it which will expel from the feeder quickly when it reaches the riverbed.

Our balling in mix for pole fishing was a mixture between Pro Natural Extra and Pro Natural Dark. The stiffer the mix you required the more of the Pro Natural Extra was needed to be used as it’s a great binding mix. This needs to be mixed much wetter than the feeder groundbait. Personally I add a bit of mole hill soil to my mix to add extra weight.

Next years National is on the Aire and Calder Canal. I’m looking forward to it already.

Tight Lines

Brian Rigby




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