Welsh International Andrew (Spud) Murphy nets biggest river prize to take the Angling Trust RiverFest Championship title.
Andrew (Spud) Murphy created his own piece of match fishing history at the weekend of 16th/17th November by becoming the first ever winner of the Angling Trust RiverFest competition on the River Wye at Hereford, and netting £10,000 for the biggest ever single prize for a river fishing competition.
The two-day final saw 59 anglers competing, who had qualified from 20 matches that had been held around the country. A total of £25,200 in cash, plus bait and tackle prizes worth more that £2,000 was paid out.
The competition was split into two 30-peg zones, with the first day draw seeing Murphy on peg 24 in A zone. It was a peg he fancied and he turned in an excellent display of maggot feeder fishing, well across the river, to take 26-8-0 of chub. This put him joint third overall on the day. Ahead of Andrew going into Day Two was Paul Bick who landed 32-7-0 of quality roach from peg 93. He was followed by Michael Dalziel with 28-8-0 from peg 80 and joint third man Ian Didcote with 26-8-0 from peg 58. Making up the top six were Brian Rigby with 26-0-0 from peg 79 and Steve Hemingray with 24-4-0 from peg 85.
The second day draw saw Andrew Murphy pull out peg 93, the previous day’s winning peg, and everyone expected a landslide victory to follow. As so often happens, it didn’t quite work out that way though. His 18-1-0 roach weight put him in 12th spot on the day, but no one was quite sure at the end whether he had done enough, as there were reports of some decent barbel weights being taken upstream.
The day was won by Scott Geens with 30-10-0 of quality roach on bolo and maggot tactics from peg 96. Second place went to Simon Deakin with 27-10-0 of barbel from peg 39, ahead of John Urruty with 26-8-0 of barbel from peg 41. Fourth spot was claimed by Chris Parr with 22-9-0 of roach from peg 83 and fifth went to Derron Harper with 21-2-0 of roach from peg 86. Making up the top six was Steve Whitfield with 20-6-0 from peg 55.
As the results came in there was an anxious wait for several of the competitors until it was confirmed that Andrew Murphy had done enough with a two day total of 44-9-0. Amazingly, there was a tie for second place between three anglers who all picked up £3,333.33! Michael Dalziel, Paul Bick and Chris Parr all totaled 41-1-0 to finish three ounces ahead of John Urruty with 40-14-0 and Scott Geens on 39-6-0.
Unluckiest angler of the weekend was Chris Brown who had to withdraw from the final on the day before because of a back injury.
The Angling Trust would like to thank Thames Water and Severn Trent Water for their generous cash sponsorship and also Bait-Tech and Daiwa for bait and tackle support. Also big thanks go to Dave Harrell, Angling Trust Ambassador and the mastermind behind the original idea for the RiverFest competition.
We can also confirm that the competition will go ahead again next year and plans are already underway to make the Angling Trust RiverFest 2014 even bigger!