AVON Festival organiser Dave Fisher says that the rejuvenated match will be back bigger and better next year.

The match had been on the sidelines since 1993 until Dave took up the mantle and reorganised it this year. So popular did the move prove, despite the bad publicity surrounding the poor fishing on the venue, that he had to hastily book more pegs as it quickly sold out.

In the end 120 anglers lined the banks of the middle river between Luddington and Bidford on Avon. The conditions on the day could have been a little kinder, as the river was gin clear, the wind was blowing from the east and the temperature the night before got very close to zero. However the anglers stuck at it and while the barbel shut up shop, some decent weights were taken to the scales, with chub and perch making up most of them.

Avon champion for 2002 was Andy Miller with 9-14-0, a bag made up of four good chub and one good perch plus some ‘bits’. He fished the waggler eight feet deep in 12 feet of water, with maggot on the hook.

Andy fishes for John’s Fishing Tackle and is a three times runner-up in this event, having finished second in 1988, 1990, and 1993, the last time the event took place.

Since his last runners-up result he has hardly done any fishing, but when saw the adverts for the return of the event he came out of retirement to have another go. What a comeback!

 “We had no idea how it was going to go and I have to say to sell out and have to book more pegs was just fantastic,” said a tired looking organiser Dave Fisher after the big match.

“I need some time to recover, but we will certainly be running it next year when it will be bigger and better. Hopefully we’ll sell 150 tickets or more in 2003.”

Midland Angler