What a way to kick off the river season today on the glorious June 16th!
I was fortunate to get a RiverFest ticket for Evesham and was really looking forward to getting back on a river again and seeing all the friendly characters you always get at this famous venue. I know I’m still not right healthwise and people keep telling me to slow down, but I can catch fish once I’m at my peg and tackled up!
Deep down I was hoping for a tough, scratching section and nothing too strenuous. So, when I pulled out peg 36 below the famous Isbourne confluence I was kind of shaking my head. Great area but I knew it would be a knackering day chasing chublets if I was to qualify from there!
Things were made even trickier once I discovered Paul Passmore was to my left on peg 35, immediately in front of the Isbourne, and very unusually they had also put peg 37 in, with Evesham expert Trevor Chalk sat on it! So I was sandwiched between two river aces who I have the utmost respect for and might get a battering if it was an out-and-out waggler day!
Two wag rods and a bomb rod were assembled first, plus a short pole choppy rig and a couple of long-line pole rigs. A tricky downstream wind convinced me to kick off trying to catch a few chublets on the pole with casters and that turned out to be a great decision. I’ve basically whacked my MTX5 in and out all day and had a fantastic days sport, tipping 22lb 14oz on the scales. Mostly chublets, but I’ve also had a few perch, one roach, one dace, one bleak and one eel. Not a carp or an F1 in sight!
That was enough to win the entire match and qualify for the prestigious RiverFest Final on the Trent at Burton Joyce. I’ve had a few near misses, so I’m absolutely over the moon to finally get there!
Well done John Rafferty and Craig Wilesmith for also qualifying. Been a bit exhausted and emotional today, so thanks everyone for their understanding, help and support. Will hopefully sleep well tonight!