At the draw, everyone was hoping to bag the point peg 5 on Hulses Island and when five times World Champion Alan Scotthorne drew it, most thought the match, at least in terms of an individual win, was over.
Five hours later, Alan put 43-4-0 of bream on the scales and won himself a place in the prestigious final for a shot at the £13,000 top prize!
“It’s been a fabulous day in the end, but when I got to the peg I had so many options that I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect,” a jubilant Alan said after this latest RiverFest qualifier on the River Weaver at Northwich.
“For starters, I wasn’t sure which way to face as I had a choice of fishing into the main river or into the canalised bit to the left. For that reason, I spent a long time plumbing all around the swim and eventually settled on fishing the pole with a 0.60g rig to my left in 8ft of water and the feeder 35m out to my right.
“The first hour was anything but plain sailing as I lost two good fish on the feeder when the line snagged up. After that, I made sure the fish were well up in the water before I brought them in. I lost three more big bream in the snag but landed 11 on that rig and four more on the pole to finish on 15.
“I’m delighted to be through to the final and will be giving it my best to try and win. I don’t know the river but I’ve heard some great things about it.”
Winner of B zone at peg 31 was Ben Roberts, who qualified on the same venue last year with a small fish catch. This time, he landed 24-4-0 of bream and skimmers to win a place in the final, which carries a prize pot approaching £40,000!
C zone winner was Steve Whitfield, the only angler to qualify for every final in the five years it has been running. Steve was at peg 48 where he landed 16-8-0 of skimmers on the feeder.
Special thanks go to Mike and Rod Scott for organising another very well run qualifier.
1. Alan Scotthorne 43-4-0 (peg 5)
2. Ben Roberts 24-4-0 (peg 31)
3. Steve Whitfield 16-8-0 (peg 48)
4. Paul Keeley 15-8-0 (peg 32)
5. Ray Malle 14-7-0 (peg 38)
6. Paul Bick 12-0-0 (peg 7)
Alan Scotthorne, Ben Roberts, Steve Whitfield
Next qualifier: Sunday, July 16th – River Tyne