By Liam Moakes 27/06 Updated: 27/06 18:56
AFTER the opening weekend of the Evesham Angling Festival qualifiers had proved to be a big weight extravaganza, anglers were unsure as to whether the River Avon’s bream shoals would feed for a second consecutive week during Saturday’s Wychavon Championship Qualifier in which 81 fished.
With the river still carrying a touch of extra water and a healthy tinge of colour, a number of species fed well, but the bream were conspicuous by their absence.
Leading the field with a 10-6-8 net from peg 35 was Brian Rigby. Drawn on the famous confluence with the River Isbourne, Rigby attacked his peg with stick float and maggot tactics, fishing down the middle of the river.
A heavy, 8xNo4 lignum stick was used to give good presentation in what was quite an awkward wind and, by using a total of five pints of maggots to feed his peg aggressively, Rigby tempted four good chub and some smaller samples for a 10-6-8 total.
In second place from peg 10 was Darran Bickerton. With the knowledge his peg had produced tench the previous weekend, he put his faith in a chopped worm and caster approach, fishing down towards a marginal lillybed.
His decision proved profitable and two good tench and a handful of smaller perch gave him a 9-13-0 total.
In third place was Tom Smith who caught a mixed net of chub and dace on stick float and waggler tactics.
Results: 1 Brian Rigby (DH Angling) 10-6-8 (peg 35); 2 Darran Bickerton (Sensas) 9-13-0 (peg 10); 3 Tom Smith 9-11-0 (peg 36); 4 Wayne Swinscoe (Maver Bait Tech) 7-15-0 (peg 32); 5 Steve Clarke (Maver Image) 7-5-0 (peg 50); 6 Ant King (Middy) 6-9-0 (peg 69).
Qualifiers - Darran Bickerton, Brian Rigby, Ant King.
SUNDAY’S Match Fishing Team Championship Qualifier saw 70 fish and, with just one team place up for grabs in the prestigious Match Fishing Team Championship Final taking place on August Bank Holiday Monday, this qualifying match was always going to be an intensely fought battle.
Coming out on top on the day was local side Sensas WB Clarke Superteam. They came to the river harbouring a small fish plan, intending to target bleak short and fish a maggot feeder two thirds of the way across the river.
As the day unfolded, it was big fish that helped them to win, however. Drawn on peg one, Steve Maher put together a match-winning 18-4-0 net of bream on groundbait feeder tactics, while John Price caught a 6lb barbel to boost him up to a section win and fifth individual on the day.
Their man in the bottom section, Terry Parrott, was also boosted well up his section thanks to a big eel in the closing stages of the match.
With their other team members, Mike Bedder and Jason Cooke, returning with good nets of small fish, the team romped to an emphatic victory, finishing 13 points clear of second placed Alcester Sports.
In the indivual stakes, Maver Midlands rod Jon Arthur claimed second spot with a 10-12-0 net of hybrids. He attacked his peg with groundbait on the long pole, before running a 3g rig over the top with maggot on the hook.
He ended up with 21 hybrids and nine roach for a 10-12-0 total. In third place was Bidford rod Steve Hemming, who caught a good bream on groundbait feeder tactics and some small fish to weigh in with 8-14-0.
Teams: 1 Sensas WB Clarke Superteam 60; 2 Alcester Sports 47; 3 Milo Bordon 46; 4 Matrix Dynamite Trentmen 45; 5 Kamasan Starlets 45; 6 Garbolino Black Horse 39; 7 Noddyboys 39; 8 Maver Image 38; 9 Maver Midlands 34; 10 Garbolino Lincs County 31; 11 Bidford AC 29; 12 Baileys Of Warwick 28; 13 RAF 25; 14 Worcester Match Group 22.
Individuals: 1 Steve Maher (Sensas WB Clarke Superteam) 18-4-0 (peg 1); 2 Jon Arthur (Maver Midlands) 10-12-0 (peg 42); 3 Steve Hemming (Bidford) 8-14-8 (peg 13); 4 Mark Perkins (Matrix Dynamite Trentmen) 7-3-8 (peg 33); 5 John Price (Sensas WB Clarke Superteam) 6-14-8 (peg 48); 6 Tim Kaye (Alcester Sports) 6-4-0 (peg 75).
Qualifier - Sensas WB Clarke Superteam.
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