This year’s Evesham Festival on the Warwickshire Avon in August will see the use of bloodworm and joker trialled for all three final days and two of the qualifier weekends.
The controversial bait has previously only been allowed in the Match Fishing Team Championship on Bank Holiday Monday, and for the past few years it’s been the only bait that has worked for roach, a species many anglers thought had vanished after the severe floods in 2007.
Last season’s Team Championship winner Hadrian Whittle was delighted with the news that the bait will be allowed. He said: “The festival last year, on a low river, saw just 2lb frame on the Sunday yet there were roach to be caught everywhere once bloodworm and joker went in on the Monday. I think it’s a really progressive move by the organisers to allow the bait, and hopefully the few anglers who are currently being negative about it will see its potential and embrace it.”
Drennan Team England co-manager Mark Downes also greeted the news positively: “Evesham is a great venue and has everything in place in terms of comfort, with good-length pegs and stages on every one, but it has been proven many times that we need to use bloodworm and joker to catch roach consistently. It’s a positive move to allow the bait in the finals, and in a few of the qualifiers as it will give anglers who are unfamiliar with it the chance to practise with it and learn how to use it.”
There will be strict bait limits in place for the matches with one pint of bloodworm and/or joker plus hooker worm allowed per angler. Groundbait and leam will also be limited to 12 litres (mixed) and bait checks will be made before the start of each match to ensure the rules are being adhered to. Anyone who is found exceeding these limits will be disqualified and may be banned from future festivals.
To book a place on any of the qualifiers call Diana Raphael on 01386 442458.
Qualifier Dates
Shakespeare Championship
• June 19th
• June 27th
• July 3rd
• July 11th
• July 18th
• July 24th
• August 1st
• August 7th (bloodworm and joker allowed)
• August 15th (bloodworm and joker allowed) 
Abu Garcia Wychavon Championship
• June 20th
• June 26th
• July 4th
• July 17th
• July 25th
• July 31st
• August 8th (bloodworm and joker allowed)
• August 14th (bloodworm and joker allowed)