There are many match venues across the river Tiber, but by far the most popular is the FIPSAS sports facility in Umbertide.
The river Tiber is the third longest river in Italy, rising in Emilia-Romagna and flowing for 406km through Umbria and Lazio to the Tyrrhenian Sea.
During the third Innovations Italian Festival we discovered the secrets of this wonderful venue and were keen to revisit when it was announced as the setting for the latest Winning Pegs Italia DVD. So, we tagged along to capture all the action as Italian Feeder Champion Angelo De Pascalis was joined by England Feeder Team Manager Tommy Pickering.
The section of river in this area can host up to 260 anglers and offers an array of species such as carp, chub, carassio, barbel, tench as well as many small fish. The chub has always been considered the king of this river here and it’s the first target of every competition angler. They can be caught in large numbers dependent on the season and the method employed, by far the most effective is feeder fishing. And who better to demonstrate the art than two of the finest feeder anglers in the world.
Angelo was keen to analyse how Tommy’s approach differed from the methods he would normally employ and show how it demonstrated the effectiveness of various tactics when applied in the correct manner.
“Making the right decisions, tactically, keeping things simple and preparing the baits and groundbait correctly is the key to success,” Tommy
when we arrived on the riverbank. Tommy’s first choice rod for this wild venue was the new 12ft Competition Pro Medium Feeder
, coupled with a PC-R Competition 4000
reel, loaded with 6lb Reflo Power Max
Reflo Power Max is used by some of the best feeder anglers in the world!
Generally on the Tiber,
the flow of the water is not too fast so it is ideal for a 45g
open ended groundbait feeder approach, with a running rig. Tommy's
running rig is very simple to assemble, it is made up of a simple link swivel and a Korum Quick Change Bead
, with a 50cm 0.14mm Precision Power
hooklength, finished with a size 16 PR 344
During the bait preparation Tommy explained to Angelo that the groundbait must always be mixed perfectly so that it can hold the bait until the feeder has reached the bottom. Tommy stressed that you must be careful with this as if the mix is too dry and leaves the feeder before it reaches the bottom the fish could quite possibly follow the bait out of your swim, which can obviously be disastrous in match fishing circumstances when you are limited to the confines of your peg.
Watching Tommy fishing, Angelo observed that everything seemed very simple and it was imperative to keep casting to induce a bite. A mixture of Sonubaits Supercrumb Bream
ensured that most casts were rewarded with a bite or a fish, confirming his positive approach was the right choice. What was particularly noticeable was the Competition
rod’s ability to convert the bite into a hooked fish due to the fast action blank and the correct choice of quiver tip. This resulted in chub after chub finding its way into Tommy’s
keepnet, much to Angelo’s
Angelo was also fascinated by Tommy’s
choice of baits used throughout the day; it immediately became clear that caster's had the best effect, which was strange as maggots usually outscore any other hook bait on the Tiber.
The mixture of caster and Sonubaits Natural Hemp
amassed an impressive haul of chub, as well as a solitary barbel.
After this great experience, Angelo was delighted with the results and commented, “Having the chance to admire a great champion like Tommy Pickering during a fishing trip on the river is priceless.”
The comparisons that the two had made between their contrasting styles and approaches just goes to show you can always compare notes and that your own knowledge and beliefs combined with those of other anglers can ultimately result in both parties catching more fish than ever before, and after all that’s what every angler wants. Fortunately for our two stars there are few venues as idyllic as the River Tiber in Umbertide to achieve that goal.