This year’s Evesham Angling Festival on the Warwickshire Avon at Evesham looks set to be a real thriller as all the country’s top anglers go head to head in a three day big-money match fishing extravaganza.
Bumper crowds are expected over the August bank holiday weekend which kicks off with the 70 competitor Shakespeare Championship on Saturday 26th. The winner of this match will walk away with a cool £5,000 and there are several other big money main list prizes up for grabs.
On Sunday 27th the Wychavon Championship, carrying a £2500 top prize, takes place on the same match length. The 14 teams of five Match Fishing Team Championship, the only match of the season on the stretch where bloodworm is allowed follows on Monday 28th.
All the matches will be fished from 11am till 4pm and spectators can expect a real battle between anglers targeting small fish and anglers going for broke and setting out their stall for big fish. The river has been fishing well in the qualifying matches with roach weights up to 16lb and many of this years competitors feel sure that roach will take most of the main list prizes over the weekend. But, as last year’s winner Charlie Hague proved with an 11lb plus barbel, it’s possible to frame or even win with just one bite if you are prepared to sit on baits like halibut pellets for the full five hours. It’s a big gamble though of course as it’s just as easy to finish up with a dry net!
One man who thinks roach will win dominate the prizes this year is Match Fishing magazine editor Dave Harrell. “The roach weights this season have been better than they have been for many seasons,” he said. “The standard of angling is also higher than its ever been and more and more top standard match anglers have been competing in the qualifiers and coming back with excellent silver fish weights. It’s got to the stage now where one barbel will not be enough to win and as there have only been a few caught on the main match length all season I think it’s doubtful that anyone will catch two in the finals. There are bonus tench to go for of course but even these have been pretty scarce during the daytime matches. I’ll stick my neck out and go for a roach weight to win on all three days.”
Several former World Champions and internationals are among those anglers competing for the prestigious titles and there’s a huge tented retail village for those anglers on the look out for a tackle bargain or two. In addition to this there are plenty of side attractions for all the family to enjoy.
With 30,000 spectators expected to attend over the three days Evesham is definitely the place to be this August bank holiday. There’s even a bookie in attendance so you can have a flutter on your favourite angler and hopefully go home with more money in your pocket than you went with!