This much anticipated RiverFest qualifier on the River Wye at Breinton, Bartonsham & Eign took place on Sunday 13th September 2015 with a full turnout of 60 anglers hoping to grab a place in this year’s final.
Contestants were met by a slightly rising river which only served to switch the prolific shoals of Wye chub and barbel into feeding mode.
The general feeling before the match was that one of the big chub shoals would be the preferred draw, but an incredible barbel catch of 83 lb 4 oz by Dilwyn angler, Karl Biddle (Woody’s Angling Centre), would see him win the match and qualify for his first RiverFest final. Drawing peg 59 at the bottom of the Eign section, Karl fished hemp and caster through a blockend feeder to land 15 barbel to 10 lb.
2nd overall was Brian Jones (Maver) who was also drawn at Eign on peg 48. Brian fished waggler and bronze maggots and caught chub to 4 lbs steadily for the first 3 hours to amass 72 lb 12 oz.. Unfortunately the fish backed off later in the match and his chance of a final place slipped away.
Top weight off the Bartonsham section, and third overall was Tom Lane (Lanes Bait/Shakespeare). Drawing a fancied chub peg below the Polish camp the rising star made no mistake in catching chub on waggler, with hemp and caster feed to finish with 71 lb 3 oz, and comfortably book his place in the final.
Top weight from Breinton was Rich Tomala (Garbolino Blackmore Vale) who caught chub on waggler for his 54 lb qualifying weight.
In all it was an impressive match with the lowest 5 peg section winning weight being 20 lb 6 oz.. As well as the barbel and chub weights there were plenty of double figure weights of dace and small chub.
Special thanks goes to Deron Harper and Lee Pritchard for their hard work in getting the stretch ready for the qualifier.
The next RiverFest qualifier will be held on the River Severn at Bridgnorth on Saturday 19th September 2015.