Bream to 7lb came to the net as 46 anglers fished the second Thames TideFest Angling Championship, organised by the Angling Trust.
Held in London at Strand on the Green and Barnes, competitors shared £1,000 in prizes thanks to sponsorship from Thames Tideway Tunnel and Thames Water, with all ticket money being donated to the angling charity Get Hooked On Fishing.
Despite bright sunny conditions the river fished well and bream showed throughout together with some huge dace at Strand on the Green and quality roach at Barnes.
Andriks Lekstutis took first place with 31lb 13oz of slabs from just below Kew railway bridge at Strand on the Green while Tackle Up proprietor Nigel Newport from Fleet in Hampshire recorded the top weight at Barnes of 21lb 8oz.
Local Brentford and Isleworth MP Ruth Cadbury presented the prizes and other visitors included the newly-elected Twickenham MP Dr Tania Mathias, who was on hand to see angling journalist and Thames regular Keith Arthur land one of his four bream.
TideFest organiser Martin Salter from the Angling Trust said:
“It was great to see so many people out enjoying the river right in the heart of London. The tidal Thames is already a good fishery but it will only get better once the new Tideway ‘Supersewer’ is built and water quality improves still further. We took a bit of a gamble including the seldom fished section at Barnes but it came up trumps with some cracking roach and bream alongside the big shoals that are ever present further up river at Kew.
“We are grateful to Will Barnard, Danny Williams and Mike Smith for organising everything so well on the day and must say a big thank you to our sponsors Thames Water and Thames Tideway Tunnel. Next year’s event will be on September 11th and we are making plans for a bigger match so put it in your diaries now!”
Angling journalist and Thames regular Keith Arthur said:
“TideFest really hit the spot for me with some superb fish caught, thousands of visitors maybe seeing angling and other activities for the first time on my home river and a terrific atmosphere. “I can’t recall many Thames matches when I’ve weighed in 19lb and not received a ‘brown envelope’ but this was one of them, testament to how good the fishing was – and it wasn’t at its best either! Roll on 2016.”
TideFest first took place last year on World Rivers Day to highlight the recreational importance of the River Thames to Londoners. Activities on offer included paddleboarding and kayak taster sessions, river boat trips, guided walks and visits to nature reserves and some of the Tidal Thames islands.
TideFest is part of the month-long Totally Thames Festival and in addition to the Angling Trust, other partners include: Active 360, Brentford FC Community Sports Trusts, Edge Paddling, Get Hooked On Fishing, London Wildlife Trust, River Thames Society, RSPB, Strand on the Green Association, Strand on the Green Sailing Club, Thames 21, Thames Tunnel Now, Thames Anglers Conservancy, Port of London Authority and the Environment Agency.
Results from the Thames TideFest Angling Championship held at Strand on the Green and Barnes on Sunday, September 20th:
Andriks Lekstutis – 31lb 13oz – £500
Nigel Newport – 21lb 8oz – £250
Steve Edwards – 31lb 6oz – £150
Gordon Bullock – 17lb 8oz – £100
(First and third from Strand on the Green, second and fourth from Barnes. Top four places split alternatively between both zones)
Strand on the Green:
Martin Davis 13lb 14oz
P Newman 25lb 15oz
Vince Davies 12lb 2oz
D Read 28lb 9oz
P Wood 5lb 7oz
Mike Smith 7lb 12oz
G Thomas 8lb 6oz
J Wilkinson jnr 15lb 2oz