Nations World Team England

FIPSed 70th Coarse Angling Nations World Championship

Venue: Bethune, FRANCE

Date: 21 – 22 September 2024



Mark Downes – Manager

Will Raison – Captain

Sean Ashby

James Dent

Matt Godfrey

Steve Hemingray

Cam Hughes

World Championship Reports

2023 World Championship – Spain

Venue: River Ebro, Spain

Dates: 9th – 10th September

Team England staged a major comeback on Day 2 of the Nations World Championships in Spain to earn themselves a well-deserved silver medal… and took silver and bronze in the individual competition too!
Mark Downes’ squad of William Raison, Sean Ashby, James Dent, Steve Hemingray, Cameron Hughes, and Matt Godfrey found the opening day’s match on the River Ebro around Mequinenza and Fayon a tough
Even with section wins from James Dent and a second from Sean Ashby, they were 18 points off the pace of the leaders Serbia and France on 20 but were in a group of chasing nations each recording over 30 points from the first match.

It left England with a big task for the second contest, but they came out of the blocks at full pace, winning the day with an incredible 16-point total, the best score of the whole weekend.

This came courtesy of another section win for Sean Ashby, second in sections for James and William, plus back up scores of four for Matt and a seventh for Cam who replaced Steve Hemingray on day two.
The individual scores saw James take the overall silver medal ahead of Sean who earned bronze. Both anglers finished with three points, but James got the nod on a weight countback.
Team-wise it was Serbia who were crowned World Champions with an overall 45-point score ahead of England on 54, and France in third with 70 points.
Mark told us: “It was an outstanding comeback today. We made a couple of small mistakes on day one by fishing for bleak for too long which cost us a lot of points but we’ve put that right today.
“The match was one of two halves, A and B sections were all small fish fishing with whips and we’ve dominated that over the weekend. Sean has won his section today with over 20kilos catching the most fish of any angler over the weekend – 644 fish in four hours!
“We didn’t have a great draw in C section but Cam came in and had a great match.
“Denty was steady all day catching skimmers and was only beaten into second by a late carp. Without that he would have been world champion.
“Matt fished a nice match at 4m and 9m all day catching skimmers and the odd big carassio, which made up for the really poor draw he was handed on day one.
“Overall it was a great performance and I’m massively proud as manager but the squad has had incredible support from the backroom staff of Darran Bickerton, Nathan Hughes, Frankie Gianoncelli, and Andrew Cranston too.
“Thanks to the Angling Trust and all the supporters back home.”


Mark Downes (Manager/ Coach)

Darran Bickerton (Assistant Manager)

Nathan Hughes (Delegate)


Will Raison

Sean Ashby

Steve Hemingray

Matt Godfrey

James Dent

Cam Hughes



2022 – Italy

With support from Mark Derry and Nathan Hughes.

Top Row (Left to Right): Darran Bickerton, Mark Downes, Will Raison, Sean Ashby, Steve Hemingray Bottom Row (Left to Right): Matt Godfrey, Matt Derry, Cam Hughes, Rory Jones


After much toing and froing, we finally made the decision to go to this year’s World Championships in Italy.



In Italy we are considered ‘Elite Athletes’, giving us an exemption from the 5-day quarantine due to competing in an international event. All proceeded with their pre-travel tests and passenger locator details, giving us a smooth passage to Italy with no border problems whatsoever.




Long Pole rigs – 1g to 4g

Long Pole Flat Float Rigs – 3g to 15g

Pole Rigs (5-7m line) – 0.8g to 2g

Bolo Rods (7m and 8m) – floats 4-8g

Slider Rods – floats 8+3 to 12+3



Generally, we all had:

15L of Ground Bait – Sensas Gialla, Fine Carp, and Gros Gardons

4L of Fine Stones for Sticky Mag


1.5L Maggots

100ml Dead Maggots

250ml Casters

100ml Floating Casters

100ml Pinkies

250ml Jokers

200ml Earth Worms


A total of 2.5 Litres, which all had to be shown at the ‘Bait Check’.


5-Day Training

The river was up to 6m deep, clear, and quite pacey. We all realised very quickly that this was going to be a tough one.  The two main species were scardola, a small roach/rudd type species, and chub.


Preparation was extensive. However, the ‘boxes’ we were allocated for the 5 days of practice were soon found to be the worst we could have got. Post-match results confirmed this. As a result, we caught very little during our practise week, but, with great on the bank feedback from assistants Darran Bickerton (Coach), Nathan Hughes and Mark Derry, we soon learnt we had to consider a multitude of methods. Our long post-practice team meetings began to put together some form of plan – a plan that had to be flexible due to the nature of the pegs.


On Day 1 we all put 5 Litres of GB in at the start on our selected long line (needed to find a decent ‘run’ maybe 11.5m – 13m.  Into this we put 100ml Casters, 50ml Dead Maggots, 50ml Floating Caster and 100ml Joker.  This was ‘balled’ with hard balls to slowly release the particles inside. On top of this bait, we pottered 2 or 3 balls of our Sticky Maggot and Stones mix. We also fed a few balls of Sticky Mag on our Slider Line.


The Match

Day 1

We started quite well; Cam had drawn end peg A23 … but as we all knew upstream end pegs were not great as you did not benefit from anglers’ feed above. His 9th place was a great result. Matt Godfrey worked both Pole lines for a 6th and Sean, at the wrong end of his section, caught well after changing from a running rig to a 3g Flattie to catch better quality scardola for 9th. Steve and Will both worked hard for their fish for mid-section placings.


Despite being disappointed with our 48 points for the first day, it emphasised how tough the venue was as we finished 4th – a full 21pts behind Italy.

Day 2

Day 2 saw the same tactics, but this time we removed joker from our initial mix. We were convinced it brought too many smaller Scardola into the peg but agreed that introducing it later in the match may be important to kick-start the peg.


On paper, we had a reasonable draw. Cam was in a great area and went on to win his section with a fantastic 4k weight. 2 hours into the event we were flying! I reckoned we had a 4, 4, 1, 7, 6 points tally, and I knew Italy was really struggling with at least 3 anglers in the bottom 5. Sadly, all of that changed as big fish began to make a play. Italy shot past us and a brilliant performance from the Czechs meant they just pipped us at the post.

Will and Steve both lost valuable fish; Will, a 5-point chub at the net, and Steve two 6oz perch from his inside line. However, Matt fished a blinder, ringing the changes to come home 3rd in his 23-peg section and an incredible 5th overall placing.



Our 41 points saw us sneak home in a bronze medal place.

All in all, it was a fantastic week from an 11th-hour decision to go. Helped by great funding from the AT and a brilliantly motivated group, all played a part in securing us a podium placing.


The 4 young guns, Matt, Matt, Cam, and Rory really held their own during the week and despite Matt Derry and Rory not fishing at the weekend they will have gained a huge amount of experience.


Thank you all for your support on social media, it didn’t go unnoticed.


Mark Downes

AT Nations Team Manager

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