Yet another big name has been added to the RiverFest final after the latest heat on the River Severn ended in thrilling fashion.
With barbel, chub and small silverfish all present in the Bridgnorth section, it was anyone’s guess what attack would be most effective, but river fishing expert Hadrian Whittle’s big-fish gamble paid off.
The Kamasan Starlets man drew peg 30 and used the pellet feeder in the hope of having the odd bite. He got just that with a brace of barbel and three chub giving him a winning total of 19-12-0.
He didn’t have it all his own way, though, with Liam Darler – who was in the same section – piling on the pressure. He ultimately fell just short with 18-3-0 that was made up of two barbel and a chub from peg 28.
The two other anglers to qualify were Zone B winner Rich Duke, who landed 14-0-0, and Zone C champion Geoff Maguire with 14-8-0.
RiverFest action was also on show on the River Thames at Clanfield, where another full house was forced to struggle in the blustery conditions.
Only two men broke the double-figure mark. Topping the pile at the end of a tough five hours was Deron Harper on peg 8 with 11-8-0 of silvers taken on floatfishing tactics.
Second – and also going through – was Andy Johnstone with 10-2-0 from peg 43. The final qualifying spot was secured by Nick Early from peg 27.
Six more heats will be staged in the coming weeks before the big final takes place on the River Wye in Hereford on November 19 and 20.