BOLO RULES FOR WINNER OF SHREWSBURY CLASSIC
Three perfect section scores for man of the moment Whitfield
SHEFFIELD’S Steve Whitfield was a popular winner of the three-day Shrewsbury River Classic Festival on the River Severn.
The only angler of the 60-strong field to record a perfect three section wins, he averaged 20lb of fish a day.
His three-point tally put him two in front of runner-up Steve Maher, third going to Adrian Piggott on the same score with countback deciding that result.
Mr Whitfield, of Bag ‘Em Baits, showed that he’s the man of the moment on natural venues, having already qualified for his fourth RiverFest Final in succession and made it to the Feedermasters Final.
After a good first day the water temperature dropped and the roach and barbel became hard to catch, making 6lb a good weight in many sections.
“I got off to a nightmare start as I was late for the draw due to traffic, and had the last peg in the bag, 19 on the County Ground section, which I was told was so-so,” Steve said.
“I planned on fishing the Bolo rod down the middle and the long whip with groundbait, and balled it at around 8m with Bag ‘Em’s Special Blend, loosefeeding the Bolo line.
“I kicked off on a 20ft Bolo rod with double red maggot on a size 16 using a 5g DH No1 float and caught a few roach, but I was itching to get on the whip.
“When I went in there with double maggot it was solid and I caught around 8lb of quality roach in an hour. When they backed off so it was back on the Bolo for a few more,” he continued. “I then chopped and changed between the two to keep the fish coming up to the whistle and weighed 23-4-0 to win the section and take second in the match. Thank god for the traffic!”
Day two put him on peg 29 on the Quarry section just above the footbridge, where the Bolo rod and maggot again did the damage. Fishing the same 5g rig on his Shimano Ultegra rod, Steve caught roach and perch, taking around 9lb on the rod plus a decent perch apiece on the bomb and whip, but he had two bonus barbel to thank for his 24-0-0 section winner that also won the whole match.
“It was an incredible day, and the smaller 7lb barbel wasn’t too much trouble, but the second one of around 10lb was a different matter!” Steve said. “I spent around an hour playing those two fish so it was a good job I got them in.”
The final day saw Steve leading, but on peg 51 downstream of the toll bridge, with the end swim a threat, he needed to work hard to win the 10-peg section. Around 6lb had come off the peg the day before, but the river was getting tougher by the hour.
“I set up the Bolo again plus a lobby pole line for perch, and a long whip, but didn’t
Steve Whitfield’s final-day catch was enough to see him clinch the win.
Hard work with the Bolo brought its rewards for Steve.