Hobson Through To RiverFest Final

Experienced river expert wins the first RiverFest qualifier on the Calder.

Keith Hobson (centre) is through to the big-money RiverFest Final.
Keith Hobson (centre) is through to the big-money RiverFest Final.

With bright sunshine and a low clear river, the first Angling Trust RiverFest qualifier of the season was fished in far from ideal conditions, but the River Calder at Mirfield didn’t disappoint as 17 of the 60 anglers returned double figure weights.

The match was won by Drennan Barnsley Blacks stalwart Keith Hobson with 25-14-0 of mainly chub from Peg 46 on the Calder Bank Road section. Waggler and caster tactics saw Keith land fish up to 2-8-0, but it was a close run thing as he needed a late last-gasp chub, landed in the dying seconds, to secure victory and a place in the big money River Wye final in November.

The second qualifying place went to Nottingham angler Simon Heaton on the Peartree section. The Maver Bait-Tech grouped angler used a waggler and caster approach, three quarters across the river for a mixed catch of roach and perch totalling 13-4-0.

Completing the qualification places at the Ship Inn zone was Stuart Tate from York. A member of Helperby & Braffereton AC, Stuart employed stick float tactics, feeding casters and used double red maggot on the hook to tempt 40 perch for a 8-7-0 total.

Unluckiest angler on the match was Mark Halksworth, one of last year’s finalists at Peg 42 below the old weir. Mark was on course to win for much of the match but his 25-6-0 total saw him finish an agonising 8oz behind the match winner.

1st Keith Hobson 25-14-0
2nd Mark Halksworth 25-6-0
3rd Jim Evans 16-2-0
4th Ian Dawson 15-4-0
5th Darren Middleton 14-14-0
6th Simon Heaton 13-4-0

The second RiverFest qualifier is on the River Swale at Morton on Saturday 28th June.