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Sean seals his seat in RiverFest Final


Sean Ashby winner 2017

The fourteenth round of the Angling Trust RiverFest qualifiers saw 48 anglers from around the region descend on the mighty River Thames at Abingdon, Culham and Appleford. With the river still clear and lacking flow the match was always going to be down to the draw and the pegs with a bit of room were a must to be in with a shot at qualifying.

Abingdon was the place to be for a decent days fishing with six double figure weights including three of the top four, however with the seats in the final going by 20 peg zone, the anglers at Culham and Appleford also stood a chance with some really close affairs across these sections.

Sean Ashby stormed the match and was first to book his seat in the final. The Sensas backed England international drew peg five at Abingdon and had mainly roach for his 22lb 3oz with a few small skimmers and a bonus perch added for good measure. Sean balled in groundbait at 13m and loose fed caster with red maggot on the hook.

Tony Gilbert took the runners up spot, putting an impressive 18lb 2oz on the scales in the five hours. The Preston Innovations Thatchers angler drew in the favoured rushes at the bottom end of Culham and had all roach on pole and caster over groundbait feed.

Fellow England international Steve Hemingray was equal third with 15lb 15oz. The Drennan backed rod drew opposite the rowing club at Abingdon and caught roach with maggot on the pole.

Also on 15lb 15oz was Matt Derry. Matt and Steve had a right ding dong battle on adjacent pegs, with Matt also putting a cracking weight of roach on the scales.

The final qualifier from the trickier Culham section was Colin Beech. Colin put together a hard earnt 7lb 10oz net of mainly roach and also sealed his spot in the final.

Our thanks must once more go to local organiser Paul Glenfield for all his efforts prior and during the qualifier.


1. Sean Ashby 22lb 3oz

2. Tony Gilbert 18lb 2oz

3= Steve Hemingray 15lb 15oz

3= Matt Derry 15lb 15oz

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