Riverfest 2015 is up and running and the race is on to win river matchfishing’s biggest prize.
This year’s event is bigger than ever with 24 qualifiers, and applications are now open to secure places in search of the massive £12,000 top purse this November.
“We’re delighted to have been able to increase the size of the competition, giving 240 more anglers the chance to qualify for the final,” said event creator , river maestro Dave Harrell.
“There are some great new venues as well as established favourites and we’ll have 12 more anglers in the final itself. It’s going to be a great competition!”
Angling Times readers can throw their hat into the ring by filling in the entry form printed each week in Angling Times. Unlike in previous years, tickets will be allocated on a random draw basis rather than first come, first served.
A three-week window for applications is now in operation, closing on Sunday, April 12. The list of successful applicants will then be published on the Angling Trust’s website, and payment for tickets will be collected after this time.
Entry is £25 per ticket, and anglers must pay for each successful entry. Failure to do so will result in their full allocation of tickets being withdrawn.
Any tickets left after the random draw will then be sold on a first come, first served basis.
For 2015 there will be more chances than ever to qualify, with several new venues and an increase in match sizes that will ultimately generate 12 more places in the final.
This takes place over the weekend of November 14 and 15 on the River Wye at Hereford, with spectators welcome to come and watch and an on-site bookmaker present on both days for anglers and the public to have a flutter.
How to apply...
To help ease the suspense as to whether you’re fishing or not, organsiers the Angling Trust has produced a timetable for how tickets will be allocated this year:
March 23 – April 12: RiverFest opens for entries
April 13 – April 14: Random draw takes place with results published on the Angling Trust website
April 15 – April 24: Angling Trust contacts successful entrants for ticket payment
April 27 – May 1: Tickets issued through the post
SATURDAY JUNE 20 – RIVER CALDER, MIRFIELD, WEST YORKS
Chub are the dominant species in the early part of the season and its pretty much all floatfishing on the waggler or stick float.
SATURDAY JUNE 27 – RIVER SWALE, MORTON, NORTH YORKS
Floatfishing with maggots and casters on fancied chub pegs will lead the way but with colour, barbel will have a big say on the feeder.
SUNDAY JULY 5 – BRISTOL AVON, NEWBRIDGE TO SALTFORD
A river synonymous with bream on the feeder, but real mixed bags have ensured qualification in previous matches.
SUNDAY JULY 12 – RIVER TRENT, NEWARK DYKE, NOTTS
The Dyke holds specimen chub, barbel and some big bream but skimmers are the standard fare on groundbait feeder.
SUNDAY JULY 19 – RIVER TYNE, CORBRIDGE TO WYLAM
Could be a dace bonanza fishing the whip if the river is carrying extra water. Matches are usually won with 40lb-60lb.
SATURDAY JULY 25 – RIVER TRENT, HOLME MARSH, NOTTS
Traditionally a bream venue, 100lb will be possible for feeder anglers although barbel can show. They’re decent fish too.
SATURDAY AUGUST 1 – RIVER WEAVER, NORTHWICH, CHESHIRE
Slow and deep, the River Weaver is all about bream and last year’s qualifier saw a new match record set using Method feeder and mini boilies. Skimmers and roach will be the back-ups if the bream aren’t in the mood.
SATURDAY AUGUST 15 – RIVER SOAR, SUTTON BONINGTON, LEICS
Chopped worm is essential on the Soar and while the feeder for bream will be the main approach, eels, perch and tench can see you go through.
SUNDAY AUGUST 16 – RIVER YARE, LANGLEY, NORFOLK
Depending on the tide this could be won on bream or roach. If the slabs feed it’s a feeder job. On a roach day, polefishing maggots and casters could net you 40lb.
SATURDAY AUGUST 22 – RIVER TEES, BOWESFIELD, CLEVELAND
Expect bream on the feeder, although there are also lots of small fish that could win a harder section using the pole.
SUNDAY AUGUST 23 - RIVER NENE, ORTON, CAMBS
Bream and skimmers on the feeder are likely but hemp roach and chopped worm fish like eels, perch and tench could also play a part.
SATURDAY AUGUST 29 – RIVER DON, SPROTBROUGH, SOUTH YORKS
Feeder anglers will get on well with the Don, targeting roach, skimmers, hybrids and a few proper bream, but only in the deeper sections.
SATURDAY SEPTEMBER 5 – RIVER SEVERN, BEWDLEY, WORCS
An iconic bit of river packed with chub and barbel that responds to the feeder and either hemp and caster when it’s clear or pellets when coloured.
SUNDAY SEPTEMBER 6 – RIVER GREAT OUSE, LITTLEPORT, CAMBS
Although the bream shoals are big, they’re also unreliable and it could be that a 15lb net of roach gets you through.
SUNDAY SEPTEMBER 13 – RIVER WYE, BREINTON TO EIGN, HEREFORDSHIRE
You’d put your house on chub winning this qualifier, especially in low and clear conditions. Small fish are present, but not in sufficient numbers to challenge the expected 40lb weights.
SATURDAY SEPTEMBER 19 – RIVER SEVERN, BRIDGNORTH, SHROPSHIRE
There are always some barbel to be caught on this section of river and it’s very similar to Bewdley inasmuch as pellets rule the scene following rain, swapping to maggots, casters and hemp in the feeder when the water is clear.
SUNDAY SEPTEMBER 27 – RIVER TRENT, BURTON ON TRENT, STAFFS
This qualifier will be a classic small-fish match catching roach, perch, dace and the odd skimmer on the long pole or running line. Hemp can be particularly devastating at this time of year.
SATURDAY OCTOBER 3 – RIVER THAMES, MEDLEY, OXON
This is the time of year when the Thames is in full swing and bream shoals are numerous, along with big perch, chub and even a few tench on chopped worm.
SATURDAY OCTOBER 10 – RIVER SEVERN, UPTON ON SEVERN, WORCS
Under the right conditions this section could produce an astonishing weight of bream on the feeder, but you’d still want well over 50lb to do well. Small fish are also plentiful.
SUNDAY OCTOBER 11 – RIVER MEDWAY, BARMING, KENT
Making its RiverFest debut, this intimate part of the Medway ranges from deep, slow sections to narrower, faster pegs with chub and bream the big fish on offer.
SATURDAY OCTOBER 17 – WARKS AVON, ECKINGTON, WORCS
The section of the Avon that produced a stunning result last year, with two 120lb bream weights! Those fish can still figure to feeder tactics, especially with colour and extra water in the river.
SUNDAY OCTOBER 18 – RIVER SEVERN, SHREWSBURY, SHROPSHIRE
Roach, dace, perch and the odd chub and bream are still the fish to catch on the Quarry and County Ground sections. A range of float disciplines work on this part of the Severn.
SATURDAY OCTOBER 24 – YORKSHIRE OUSE, HUNTER’S LODGE TO LINTON, NORTH YORKS
Regularly match fished but sometimes a tough nut, where the odd big fish could win the whole thing. Expect bream on the famed bungalows at Hunter’s Lodge.
SUNDAY NOVEMBER 1 – OLD RIVER NENE, MARCH, CAMBS
An out-and-out bread venue, fishing for roach and skimmers and aiming for 20lb-plus. Mild weather could see tench, perch and even the odd eel show on the wider bypass section.
SATURDAY 14 AND SUNDAY 15 NOVEMBER – RIVER WYE, HEREFORD, HEREFORDSHIRE
One of the finest stretches of UK river at this time of year with big barbel and chub plus masses of roach, dace and perch. Split over two days, anglers will fish one match on the upper reaches where big fish dominate. The other will be on the town stretch that’s packed with small fish on the float.
Click here for more angling news...