Pic: Winner Dave Stenson (Centre) with fellow qualifiers Richard Wood (Left) and Tom Noton (Right)

Sunday saw the sixth round of RiverFest qualifying take place on the middle Trent at Shelford, Hamms Bridge and East Bridgford. As these sections of the river had not seen a lot of match action for the last couple of seasons it was anyone’s guess what would happen and this created quite a buzz around the 57 competitors attending.

The river was carrying 10 inches of fresh water, which created questions as to whether the huge bream that used to dominate these sections would feed?

The winner on the day and booking his ticket for a shot at the £13,000 top prize in big November final was Dave Stevenson from Derby.

Dave drew the down stream end peg 60 at East Bridge ford and after starting on a maggot feeder, he quickly hooked a large barbel that broke the hooklength. A change to pellet feeder and a stronger hooklength produced four more barbel and a chub for
39-9-0. One of the barbel was in excess of 12lb!

In second place and on the adjacent peg 59, Richard Wood, also from Derby pushed Dave all the way. Richard recorded a mostly skimmer catch of 36-1-0 on the groundbait feeder with worm on the hook.

Third place also came from East Bridgford, at peg 44, where the match organiser Alan Henry caught a mixed bag of skimmers, roach and dace on the groundbait feeder with caster or maggot on the hook for 28-6-0.

Fourth place and A Zone winner was Mick Dixon from Downham Market on pumper peg 12 at Shelford. This swim was once noted for its chub shoal and they didn’t disappoint this time as Mick caught nine good chub on the waggler and maggot for 27-10-0.

The final qualifier was Tom Noton at peg 39 at Hamms Bridge. Tom started on the groundbait feeder with maggot or caster hookbait and proceeded to catch dace and odd roach before a switch to the waggler for the last couple of hours to add more roach to his tally of 23-3-0.

A big thanks to Gary Pilsworth for his hard work of clearing the banks and pegging it the day before.


1. Dave Stenson 39-9-0
2. Richard Wood 36-1-0
3. Allan Henry 28-6-0
4. Mick Dixon 27-10-0
5 Tom Noton 23-3-0

Dave Stenson, Richard Wood and Tom Noton