KYLE Wainwright is the 2023 Angling Trust RiverFest champion following an action-packed two days of fishing on the River Trent around Burton Joyce.
The Normanton, West Yorks angler – who qualified on the River Don at the end of July – led one of the strongest final line ups ever with 84 anglers including World Champions, former winners, and river-fishing legends in attendance.
And the Ashfield Anglers’ stretches at Ferry Field, Roadside, Nelson’s, and the Rack were in fine early-Autumn form. Over the weekend there were of catches of over 20lb of roach, dace nets into high double figures, some huge eels and perch, and barbel weights of 35lb and 52lb hitting the scales.
Day one was led by Birmingham’s Jason Jeenes who enjoyed his draw on the barbel hotspot in the Nelson Field, taking five decent fish for 35lb 11oz.
Close behind was England international Cameron Hughes who found some quality redfins on the Rack section for an incredible 25lb 3oz while Charlie Gooch, pegged just downstream of the outfall on the Roadside bank, weighed 24lb 14oz of silvers for third.
The forecasted heavy rains were thankfully absent for day two and the anglers again found the river in a welcoming mood.
Kyle Wainwright must have skipped to his draw on day two after picking out the ‘barbel’ peg on Nelson’s and he worked his swim with feeder and casters for a 51lb 13oz finish – the top weight of the weekend. Added to just over 10lb of silvers from the Ferry Field on day one it was enough to seal him the title, the famous trophy, and a £10,000 payday.
Runner up Charlie Gooch relied on a pole and silverfish attack on both days, his Roadside 24lb being backed up with 21lb 15oz, including some chunky roach from the Rack on day two. Charlie’s 46lb 13oz total earned him £7,000.
Jason Jeenes’ early work on the barbel peg stood him in good stead at the final reckoning too, adding over 10lb of silver from the Ferry Field in the second match ensured he went home with £5,000 for third place overall.
England international Cameron Hughes, fresh from helping the Nation to silver medals at the World Champs in Spain, once again showed his class over the weekend with two big nets of roach and dace totalling 43lb 10oz for fourth.
* The Angling Trust would like to thank Ashfield Anglers, Gary Joynt, Bait-tech, the Ferry Boat Inn, and all the volunteer stewards and Ashfield club members who helped make this one of the best finals in RiverFest’s 11-year history.
A huge thanks to Dave Harrell and Kelvin Tallett, our superb qualifier organisers, and of course all the anglers who supported RiverFest over the past 12 months!
RiverFest 2023 Grand Final Top 15 Overall
1 Kyle Wainwright, 62lb 5oz (£10,000)
2 Charlie Gooch, 46lb 13oz (£7,000)
3 Jason Jeenes, 46lb 10oz (£5,000)
4 Cameron Hughes, 43lb 10oz (£3,000)
5 Mike Bedding, 36lb 1oz (£2,000)
6 Bradley Gibbons, 34lb 13oz (£1,800)
7 Hadrian Whittle, 33lb 10oz (£1,600)
8 Tom Noton, 33lb (£1,500)
9 Alistair Ogilvie, 32lb 11oz (£1,300)
10 Dave Binns, 30lb 7oz (£1,100)
11 Shaun Stockley, 30lb 6oz (£1,000)
12 Alan Scotthone, 29lb 15oz (£850)
13 Nigel Bull, 28lb 14oz (£750)
14 Jon Arthur, 28lb 7oz (£650)
15 Lee Edwards, 28lb (£600)