Nottingham angler Clive Fletcher made full use of a good draw on the Swale to win the second RiverFest 2017 qualifier, but it took a change of hook bait to earn him a shot at the £13,000 top prize in the big money November final.
After bringing a match-winning 40-12-0 to the scales, a delighted Clive said: “I started the match fishing hemp and caster on the waggler across to some far bank trees with 0.16mm line tied direct to a size 17 hook. The river was very low, but there were lots of fish moving in the swim.
“After half an hour I had two big chub in quick succession before a long blank spell. I switched from caster to 6mm meat on a size 12 hook and I added seven more big chub in the next three hours, losing a further three – one snagged, one hook pull and one that straightened the hook, which was probably a barbel
“I fed half a gallon of hemp and caster and a pint and a half of meat and by the end the swim was alive with fish but none were taking the hookbait, regardless of what was on the hook. The final hour and a half went by without a fish
“The chub went from three to over six pounds and they all went berserk trying to get into the far bank trees. It was touch and go with every fish hooked. I’m just relieved that I managed to hook and land enough to qualify.”
Winner of the top section was the youngest competitor on the match, 26-year-old Nick Jose at peg 25. Nick fished a great match and switched between waggler and bomb with caster and lobworm hookbaits to land 36-4-0 of chub and win a place in the final.
Winner of the bottom section was Matt Maginnis who made it two qualifications on the Swale in four attempts with a 32-1-0 catch of chub on waggler and caster from peg C5.
Anglers are reminded that as people qualify their remaining tickets go back into the computerised system for re-sale. The website is updated with all tickets available every Monday after a qualifier at 1pm.
Special thanks go to Kevin Weighell and his team from Northallerton AC for organising a very well run qualifier and to Dave Harrell for all his wonderful efforts coordinating the matches. Next qualifier is on Saturday, 8th July on the River Weaver.
1. Clive Fletcher 40-12-0 (peg 39)
2. Nick Jose 36-4-0 (peg 25)
3. Martin Jukes 34-14-0 (peg 51)
4. Steve Hoyle 33-14-0 (peg 27)
5. Lee Furness 33-2-0 (peg 40)
6. Matt Maginnis 32-1-0 (peg C5)
Clive Fletcher, Nick Jose, Matt Maginnis