Three per­fect sec­tion scores for man of the mo­ment Whit­field

Angling Times (UK) - - SOUTH -

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.

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