52 anglers travelled from far and wide to compete in the first Angling Trust RIVERFEST qualifier on Saturday 20th July 2013 on the River Yare. The weather had changed from very hot and sunny conditions to damp and overcast with a chilly easterly wind.
With excellent roach bags coming out during practice off the match length during the week most anglers were expecting the roach to dominate proceedings. However, with the overcast conditions and a full ebb tide throughout the match this made it a difficult match to make a call on which methods would succeed.
After an hour into the match it was evident that the roach were to prove elusive and sitting it out on the feeder was the likely option to provide the top weights. It became evident that the word on the bank was that a battle was ensuing between Mark Pollard (Daiwa Angling Direct) and Will Freeman (Preston Innovations/Browning Hotrods) who were pegged nearly a mile apart. Mark on peg 69 on the Boards was soon into a run of catching skimmers and bream throughout the match with Will on peg 142 at Langley. Both were fishing similar methods casting groundbait feeder long range baiting worm maggot and caster.
At the whistle the word on the bank was that things were very tight between the two, and at the weigh in Mark weighed 25 lb 8 oz beating Will by just on ounce with 25 lb 7 oz.
Another battle took place for third and fourth places overall, Steve Sadler who had travelled up from Gloucester weighed 21 lb 4 oz from peg 141 using long range groundbait feeder tactics only to be ounced out by Tony Anderson (Daiwa Angling Direct Sensas) with 21 lb 5 oz from peg 126, Tony alternated between long range feeder, and pole for a mixed bag of roach and skimmers.
Congratulations to the three qualifiers who go through to the Angling Trust Riverfest 2013 Grand Final on the River Wye on 16th/17th November with a chance to compete for the £10,000 prize money (subject to entries). These are as follows; Zone 1 – Mark pollard (Daiwa Angling Direct 25 lb 8 oz; Zone 2 – Andrew Moss (Browning Hotrods) 18 lb 12 oz; Zone 3 – Will freeman (Preston Innovations/Browning Hotrods) 25 lb 7 oz.
Special thanks go to Andy Sutter, local organiser for all his hard work and support, and to Mick Burch, Wayne Anderson, David Pyke and Graham Gamble for acting as stewards for the day.
Top 6 individual results:
1st Mark Pollard (Daiwa Angling Direct) 25 lb 8 oz – peg 69
2nd Will Freeman (Preston Innovations/Browning Hotrods) 25 lb 7 oz – peg 142
3rd Tony Anderson (Daiwa Angling Direct Sensas) 21 lb 5 oz -peg 126
4th Steve Sadler (Gloucester) 21 lb 4 oz – peg 141
5th Andrew Moss (Browning Hotrods) 18 lb 12 oz – peg 94
6th Graham Binks (Daiwa Angling Direct) 16 lb 14 oz – peg 140