1 Pete Goulding – 125lb
2 Lee Pritchard – 90lb 12oz
3 Matt Maginnis – 88lb 15oz
4 Steve Rowen – 86lb 11oz
5 Colin Harvey – 83lb 3oz
WYE CHAMPS IN NUMBERS
84 Pete Goulding’s winning peg number in Eign A section
55 Number of double-figure weights recorded
230 Number of fish in Dave Harrell’s catch
2,159lb Total weight shared by the field
136 Number of anglers that fished the event
The River Wye has produced one of the greatest matches ever as competitors in the latest event shared in a massive 2,159lb weigh-in.
The annual Wye Champs is the first event of a hectic winter schedule on the prolific stretches around Hereford, and the season got off to a breathtaking start with a series of huge weights that were topped off by Pete Goulding’s incredible 125lb 6oz winning catch of chub.
Backing weights were equally impressive, with just shy of 60lb good enough to only sneak into 10th place.
The champion put his name into the history books thanks to an impeccable display of waggler and maggot fishing. Pete told Angling Times: “I have been trying to win this event for over 40 years and to do it in this fashion is just incredible.
“I drew a peg that can produce a few fish, but never in my wildest dreams was I expecting to land a three-figure catch from it.
“The annual three-day festival is coming up this week, and that was a sellout within days. I could probably have sold double the number of tickets on offer – that’s how impressed people are by the Wye right now.”
Angling Times columnist Dave Harrell could have been forgiven for thinking he’d taken the glory with a 60lb bag of dace, but it turned out to be only good enough for ninth place.
He said: “The river is really low, and while that always leads to big weights, none of us expected it to fish to this high standard.
“I’ve had a bite every chuck all day and that has only been good enough to win my section. The angler next to me had over 40lb of dace and didn’t win a penny!
“There are colossal numbers of small fish in the venue now, with loads of bonus barbel, chub and perch. It really was one of the greatest-ever river matches.”
Organiser John Pembridge believes the result is just the start of another golden period on the waterway, and he told Angling Times: “I have been running this event for 10 years but this is definitely the best one yet. Last year the entrants shared 1,400lb, so the fishing has clearly been much better this time round.
“The weights were just phenomenal and it wasn’t just one species that dominated – there was a 90lb barbel bag, dace catches over 60lb and hundreds of chub landed... on a low river.”