Velvick is one of the “veterans” of the competitions celebrated at the Reservoir of Ricobayo (Zamora, Spain) since the year 2000 promoted by the Trade Fair Center of Valladolid by way of the Iberian Hunting and Fishing Week Trade Show. He states that “the European anglers are much more competitive and versatile than when I first came to Spain, and it seems that they have really done their homework with regard to various techniques and addressing the fishing patterns”. After the experience of the Eurobass Cup, in which intense and extended days of fishing are shared, Velvick is convinced that “there isn’t as big a difference between the two teams as existed before. To that end, both teams seem to be much more equal in their potential to win the Eurobass Cup in 2006”.
Even though the fishing techniques may be the same for all the anglers, the same doesn’t hold true for the boats and motors used. The European market still hasn’t reached the level that exists in the United States or Japan. There is a clear growth in the sector, both in the number of interested fishermen for bass fishing in countries like Italy, France, Portugal and Spain, as well as in competitions promoted by private organizations (as occurs with the Eurobass Cup), clubs, federations, etc. This evolution augurs well for an increase in the middle term of demand by teams that replace their current, small and outdated boats (in some cases), as Bink Desaro states, another professional from the American team.
All the American professionals consulted after their participation in the Eurobass Cup agree when pointing out that the greatest differences between both teams lie in the motors, boats and electronic equipment that they use. “The depth finders were the biggest obstacle to overcome for me”, stated John Crews, “since we fished with older models that are no longer used in the U.S.”. On the other hand, as far as fishing rods, lures, reels, line, etc. are concerned, Europeans and Americans have the same material, “many of us shop in the same store”, affirms the individual winner of the Eurobass Cup, Danny Correia, who adds that some European fisherman “had even better gear than what I use”. Correia assures that the mechanics of the European anglers impressed him, “casting, boat positioning, presentation of lures…I think that they have what it takes to advance in the sport”.
The Eurobass Cup reveals interesting aspects about how fishing is understood on one side of the Atlantic versus the other. Independently from the cited differences as far as equipment is concerned what distinguishes one team from the other is the professional character of one team and that of a hobby for the other. Danny Correia summarizes this all very simply: “the U.S. team spends much more time on the water; I know myself on some years I may fish 200 days or more, and the Europeans only get out on weekends”.
The time in the water allows for obtaining valuable information about fish behavior, water changes, different techniques developed for different lakes, etc. All of this translates into a greater versatility of the U.S. team, as stated by Ron Shuffield, one of the most recognized anglers in the world, with 14 participations in the Bassmaster Classic. “The Americans fish in a wide variety of waters and because of this they have greater versatility. The Europeans on the other hand are extremely effective but with fewer techniques”.
Bradley Stringer shares this opinion and explains that “the Americans that fish for a “living” are constantly improving on techniques with the different lakes and time of the year to catch fish. The Europeans are doing the same, except they may be limited in their fishing during certain times of the year” and in areas with less variety than those that are found in the United States. This was the first time that Stringer participated in a competition in Spain and although the fishing at Ricobayo during the Eurobass Cup was difficult he affirms that “there was a great population of fish, most of us just didn’t figure out how to catch them. We didn’t figure them out. But the theory is still the same, a bass is a bass whether he lives in Spain or in Texas and here, I simply didn’t catch enough big ones”.
A test of skill and ability. This is how Greg Gutiérrez describes the second edition of the Eurobass Cup. Stringer expressed that “it is a Bassmaster Classic only held in Spain” and all of them agree that it is a wonderful experience which enables them to approach another form of understanding bass fishing, share experiences with anglers that “are better than they think” and enjoy a quality competition.
The Trade Fair Center of Valladolid is the organizing body of the Eurobass Cup and its general manager, Javier Galiana, brings forward that in view of the third edition he is working to expand the contents of the tournament, in such a way that the sporting side complements with the participation of leading companies in the world bass fishing market, and that this event strengthens as the reference for bass fishing at a European level.
For more information go to http://www.eurobass.net/.