Something different for Team Ireland Feeder this week as they faced some of the world’s best feeder anglers at the inaugural EUROPEAN FEEDER CUP. Teams from ten nations took part in the event at Barston Lakes, a commercial fishery stocked with Carp, F1’s and Skimmers in the midlands, UK.

With six persons on a team, it was an opportunity for Brenton Sweeney to fish alongside squad members Michael Buchwalder, James O’Doherty, Johnny McKinley and Charlie Richards. Joining them it was the first international competition at senior level for the U20 Float Team’s John Browne.

Fishing to FIPSed feeder rules with bait limits including the use of B&J the competition provided additional experience for the squad who get to fish at this level only once a year. Two days of practise was followed by three five hour matches during periods of unruly weather, fluctuating temperatures, and downpours of rain from Storm Babet.

Having finished in 7th position on day 1 with 38 points it was a bad day 2 for the squad who dropped to 8th position with their 44 points.  A change of tactics for day 3 saw much better prospects throughout the match with a nail-biting finish as John Browne, fishing alongside England’s Rob Wootton landed a 7lb carp with just five minutes to go! Finishing 4th with 28 points on the final day saw Team Ireland rank 6th overall.

A credible result for the squad faced with a real learning curve fishing unfamiliar waters in this competition which included three teams from England, world champions Hungary and teams from the Czech Republic, Belgium, Lithuania, Austria, and Germany. The highlight of the week was the experience gained for young anglers John Browne and Charlie Richards who both achieved a second in section finishing 27th and 29th individually overall. Thanks to Captain Roger Baker and Adrian Browne, Deimante Karaliunaite and Nick Richards who travelled to help on the bank. The competition was self-funded with help from Irish Ferries to keep costs down.

John Browne with Englands Rob Wootton
John Browne with Englands Rob Wootton

Congratulations to the winners Team England Aqua, and to the Czech Republic whose great day 3 performance saw them take Silver and Hungary who finished 3rd overall for Bronze.

Thanks to organisers Lee Kerry, who also won the competition overall and Angling Trust competitions for organising the event which will be hosted in Belgium in 2024.

Report courtesy of the NCFFI