RiverFest bream bonanza
RIVERFEST records toppled after bream went on a feeding spree in the 60-entry qualifier on the River Thames, at Child Beale, in Berkshire.
Four ‘ton-up’ weights graced the scales, led by Barry Chapman (Maver SE) with a mighty 156 lb 14 oz.
Ashford, Kent-based Barry caught 29 ‘slabs’ on crumb feeder, cast 30 m out from peg 34, to qualify for November’s big money two-day Angling Trust RiverFest Final, held on the River Severn at Shrewsbury.
Patrick Newman (Sevenoaks) and Trevor Baker (Reading), pegged either side of the winner, caught 145 lb 12 oz and 108 lb 11 oz, for second and fourth, while RiverFest competition creator Dave Harrell (DH Angling) added another river match ‘ton’ to his career tally, with
135 lb 13 oz from further downstream in the same zone.
Elsewhere, Hadrian Whittle (Daiwa Dorking) clinched his RiverFest ‘golden ticket’ by winning Zone A with 25 lb 3 oz of pole-caught roach. Adam Durnford (Newbury) topped Zone C with 17 lb 8 oz.
Meanwhile, in the weekend’s other RiverFest qualifier on the Warwickshire Avon, at Stratford, three vastly experienced venue regulars booked their slots in the Final.
Leigh Gardner (Shakespeare/Bait-Tech) led the way with a chub-based
29 lb 11 oz, caught on wagglere, maggots and casters at peg 6, a pacey swim below The River Thames qualifiers with their tickets for the RiverFest Final. Fist pumps from the Warwickshire Avon qualifiers. Seven Meadows weir.
Despite finishing second overall, with 17 lb 10 oz, England international Steve Hemingray (Drennan) was in the same zone as the winner, so must continue his quest to reach the Final.
Zone winners were Trevor Chalk (Evesham) and Howard Kaye (Cadence) – 16 lb 12 oz and 15 lb 13 oz respectively.