Spinadesco - Living up to expectations?
World Champs Preview
The Canale Navigabile, Spinadesco, Nr Cremona, Italy

ImageImageThe Spinadesco Canal was constructed between 1966 and 1968 and is a 40 metre wide concrete-banked venue with depths of about 4 metres in the middle. The canal connects the metropolitan areas of Lombardy with the Adriatic Sea.

Picture courtesy of http://www.impresasarti.com
For years it was a prolific venue with hundreds of matches held on it a National level, but in recent years the fishing has become difficult, due to the fish not spawning in the venue because of the high fluctuations in water level. The main culprit seemed to be the gates that connect the canal to the River Po, this also affected the venue by creating a heavy tow at times.

ImageImage The banks are concrete lined and all anglers must set up on the level land at the top of the bank so you will be fishing some way above the water level, depending of course on the water level at the time. The concrete banks could cause some concern with regard to spectator noise as the venue is for the most part, fairly quiet, save for the odd service vehicle travelling its course! How it will cope with the full World Champs 'circus' in terms of noise and disturbance remains an untested variable.

The Canal has a flat silty bottom from 8 metres out to the beginning of the rise of the bank on the far side. Fishing distances will be dictated by the bottom of near shelf and the bottom of the far shelf. Tactics will evolve around long whips, of which the Italians are masters at, as well as the Bolognese or big waggler methods. However as the venue has become harder over the years, so short lining on the long pole has become more important.

The main targets are carassio, which run to 3lbs, bream (up to 4lbs), as well as rudd and asp, which both feed on the surface during the summer months. Ruffe will help anglers avoid blanks in the more difficult sections. The information gleaned from Italian sources shows us one thing... this venue is unpredictable! For example, the numbers of carassio in recent years has declined as they have been removed from the venue after various matches.

The information on methods we have is only general. Wagglers from 8 to 12 grams for fishing across, pole floats in the 2 gram range with ultra fine hooklengths for the long pole. Not much to go on but the emphasis seems to be on the venue fishing hard. One important fact which all teams will need to take into account, is the possible distance between the anglers seat and water level. This is likely to cause serious problems if teams do not take keepnets long enough, 3m or more should be enough (see pictures below).

The Italian Federation have made the decision to stock the venue in the run-up to the World Championships in September, but this could be dangerous to the fish due to the higher temperatures between March and November. Furthermore, these new stocked fish will group together and could change the distribution of the native fish in the venue.

All we've read about this venue raises some concerns. We cannot believe that this venue will be anything other than 'peggy' with sections being won in the draw bag, rather than ability. However, you could say this has been true of the last few world championships, look at what happened to Didier Delanoy and Stuart Conroy last year! But in these competitions the best teams still seem to come out on top and that is always a sign of a decent venue. If the whole venue proves 'peggy', then we could be in for a major upset. This could be exciting as it would open the door of 'Lady Luck' to teams who have an otherwise 'zero' change of a result!. Perhaps it would make a change for some 'minnow' to take the podium at the end.

Just some of the possible carassio on offer on the Canale Navigabile, Spinadesco. Our thanks and appreciation for this and all the photos below go to Fabio at www.pescagonismo.it
If the venue is hard, but fair, we will be in for a cracker of a match. Hard and fair we like, what we don't want to see is a lottery where every section is dominated by a handful of good pegs. The Italian venue on last years European Championships was one of the finest seen in modern times and if the host nation can get this venue anywhere near as good as Cavo Lama, then we will ALL be in for a stunning championship. We will know more once the practising starts and try to keep you posted here on Matchangler.com.