Another scorching day left many anglers scratching their heads over how to get a bite, as the fish seemed to shut up shop in the baking hot conditions.
No such problems for Warwick rod Paul Rafferty, as shortly after casting his maggot feeder with worm and maggot hookbait in to the middle of the river a positive bite resulted in an angry barbel of 5-11-0. This fish, coupled with a few pole caught bits earned Paul a fine win and qualification for the Shakespeare final.
For the second day running, Shakespeare Superteam star and venue expert Leigh Gardener had to make do with second place. Drawn on peg 18 Leigh also opted for a maggot feeder approach, and plundered a shoal of hungry perch two thirds of the way across the river. Frustratingly, Leigh would have won the match outright had he not lost a huge eel in the marginal weed.
Tying for 3rd was Evesham veteran Trevor Chalk and young gun Terry Parrot on pegs 23 and 6 respectively. Both had nets made up of gudgeon and small dace, and weighed in with 4-12-8.
1 Paul Rafferty (Baileys of Warwick) 5-14-0 (peg 15)
2 Leigh Gardner (Shakespeare Superteam) 4-15-0 (peg 18)
3 Trevor Chalk 4-12-8 (peg 23)
Terry Parrot (Baitbox Tackle) 4-12-8 (peg 6)
5 Kevin Millard 4-6-0 (peg 22)
6 Steve Pierepoint (WB Clarke) 4-4-0 (peg42)
7 Tim Noke (WB Clarke) 4-3-8 (peg 11)
8 Chris Derrick 4-1-0 (peg 2)
Next weekend sees the first of the qualifiers that allow bloodworm and joker. The use of these baits is sure to see catches rise, and will give anglers their first real indication of how the river will fish come the weekend of the finals.