Big barbel gives title to Ashmore

Split Tail, the Evesham town centre resident double-figure barbel, once again loaned his weight to a festival title winner with this time WB Clarke river star Steve Ashmore winning the ABU Wychavon Championship after taking the known fish just after the halfway point following a heavy rainstorm.

“I just knew it was a huge fish from the moment I lifted into it,” Steve said. “I got it to the surface three times before it finally doubled-up into my landing net, and at the weigh-in the fish was recognised as the same fish that has given other anglers festival successes over the years, weighing in this year at a huge 12lb 12oz!”

At the midway point a huge deluge of rain and gale-force winds put a dampener on the whole event, with anglers unable to hold poles and spectators and shoppers in the tackle village running for cover.

In the first half of the match, Steve from Tamworth-in-Arden, on peg 30 had caught 2lb of small fish on bloodworm and one small chub on the maggot feeder, to which he had added micro halibut pellets in anticipation of a change to pellet later on, looking for a large barbel or two.

Straight after the mid-match storm his second drop-in on the halibut feeder saw the in-form Avon regular attached to the big fish, which after a few nervy moments at the net catapulted the project engineer to his third Evesham Festival title, having won both Saturday and individual titles in the Monday team event in previous years.

With the river fining down and losing the colour of the previous day, bloodworm and joker anglers began putting good catches of roach together, with Sam Wildsmith, Maver Barnsley on peg 13 keeping a steady flow of roach and skimmers coming to the net for five hours to finish second with a tremendous small-fish net of 13-5-0, while in third and turning back the years was veteran Evesham Championship star  Denis White, Maver Barnsley, who took another bloodworm catch of small fish for 12-8-0

Result: 1 S Ashmore, WB Clarke, 16-15-0; 2 S Wildsmith, Maver Barnsley, 13-5-0; 3 D White, Maver Barnsley, 12-8-0.