From Team Slovenia: Darko, Sandi, Ivana, Sidonija
from Team Slovenia
Every single one of us has a dream and for the past few years mine was to participate in the biggest carp fishing tournament in the world. This year my dream came true as me and my team became one of the 124 teams that took part in this year WCC (World Carp Classsic) on beautiful Lac de Madine in France.
After paying entry fee (850£) we really worked hard to be prepared as much as possible. All our fishing this year was in reality one big training session for the WCC. Only a few of you will know how much work is involved in a project of such a scale and all is not fishing related – there is an unbelievable amount of paper and other logistical work to do.
I am Imperial Baits user for a long time now and since I am using Imperial Baits products in all my fishing I was more than happy to use them on Madine too. One of the things I like about Imperial Baits is that they always catch really big fish and since we were expecting that during tournament bigger fish will be caught we were full of confidence. After consulting with Max we have decided to use boilies that are very similar to what I normally use but of course it was a little bit build up version. We combined four different base mixes to get the best out of all of them (Elite, Liver, Monster and Fish) and added Carptrack inL, Carptrack Liquid, Black Pepper, Elite flavour and Carptrack Liquid Amino and of course from outside boilies were coated with ever faithful combination of Carptrack Liquid and Powder. I was and still am sure that this is the combination that will catch carp anywhere and everywhere and I am 100 % sure that especially big fish love it. Just to show how affective the bait was I have to tell you that three days before going to France we went on a short (few hours) afternoon session on one of the lakes in Slovenia and in few hours we caught unbelievable amount of carp – the biggest being 22 kg common!! There are many, many small fish in this lake and by catching just the bigger ones our confidence was really sky high.
After 15 hours drive we came to Lac de Madine on Saturday, 30th August. There were already some other anglers in bivy camp and after a short look around we quickly joined them. We set up our camp, raised our flags and prepared everything for boat check and registration. Organisers are very strict when safety of anglers is in question but we were very well prepared and after a few hours registration was over and we got our draw number – 28! On Sunday (before the evening draw) we went around the lake to find as much as possible about different areas and swims. It was obvious from the start that pegs were very very close together and that some of the anglers will have much much better chance to catch than others. We fancied one of the end swims and really didn’t want to get the big Island. In the evening the opening ceremony took place and after that the draw started. We were on as 28th and that is when everything was decided. We draw peg 2 in Dayko section. Normally peg 2 would be great on any water but our section was on big Island and in reality there were more sectors to our left and right. We were almost in the middle of the Island not just with neighbours on our left and right but opposite us too. We tried to get us much information as possible about our area before going to our swim in the morning but all the locals that we spoke to said we have very bad swim and just wished us luck – it looked like we are going to need it.
When we arrived to our swim early on Monday morning with two fully loaded boats we were in for another disappointment. Pegs were really close together and we had neighbours 35 m to our left and right. On our left was a team from Ukraine and on our right was Carpworld team with Rob Tough and Tom Duncan Dunlop. Opposite us there was another Carpworld team with two carp fishing legends Tim Paisley and Lee Jackson.
As soon as the competition started we went out with our boats and tried to find something interesting to place our rigs on but there was absolutely nothing out there – except weed of course. There was an unbelievable amount of weed out there and we couldn’t find one clear spot to place our baits on closer to 120 m from the bank. We positioned our four rigs in diagonal from where the weed “ended” (there was 10 cm of weed on bottom everywhere) to as far out as we could go. Other teams didn’t have much choice either so we were all fishing in the same line. If any carp was to swim in to our area there were at least 10 other teams to stop them before they came to us.
Unfortunately all week long there wasn’t any carp in our area at all (the closest that we have seen carp come out of water was 800 m from us!). All teams in our area blanked to the end. On second day we started catching bream – really big ones (5 kg). It was obvious that bream liked our bait the most as we had many every day and all other teams caught only few. It is too bad they didn’t count as we would most definitely win. The good thing with catching bream was that they ate all bait and we could bait up more and more. We had fresh bait in water all the time and I am sure if carp were there we would have caught them. We tried to beat weed with using big PVA mesh full of crumbled boilies. To give even more attraction we soaked the whole PVA mesh in Imperial Bait Dips. I am sure no carp would be able to resist this kind of bait for long.
The weather was very bad – strong rain and wind all week long. We tried as much as we could to reposition our rigs every so often even if there was a gale wind. Sometimes conditions were so bad that it was almost too dangerous to be out on a boat. Thank God Allround Marine boats are one of the most stable on water and we didn’t have any problems at all. Days went by and nothing happened on our rods (except breams) or our neighbours rods. Teams that were in good swims (good meaning that they had more space) started catching from the start but just how hard the fishing was is clear from the fact that just 33 teams out of 124 caught carp. Many teams left already on Wednesday and Thursday but we stayed till the end and tried to catch one.
I am sure we did everything we could. You can’t catch carp where there isn’t one. Both of Carpworld teams that were fishing right next to us and opposite us blanked as did many others in our areas. There were just too many teams fishing from the Island and organisers promised that next year there will be at least 10 teams less fishing there.
After the match we attended a prize giving ceremony. Team Carpworld won in teams competition (even though that two of their teams fishing next and opposite us didn’t catch any carp). World carp champions for 2008 became Andrew Judd & Peter Truckle from England. They were fishing in swim with probably more space than any other team and they really knew how to take advantage of this.
Till the last minute we were confident that we have a chance to catch one. Most of this confidence came from the fact that we were using such quality bait. In competitions like this there are always swims that will catch and swims that will not and I just hope that next year we will have more luck with the draw as we are going back there for sure to show everyone what we are made off!
Thanks to all that helped us on this project and a special thanks to Max and Imperial Baits for such quality baits!
Team Slovenia: Darko, Sandi, Ivana, Sidonija

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