Just a short note of appreciation for a guy who has to be the very best ambassador the Angling Trust could hope to have. Until I started work for the Trust I had never met Dave Harrell although I had followed his Stella matchfishing career through the pages of the Angler’s Mail and Angling Times. Three years later and not only has the Midlands river ace become a trusted and valued colleague but also a firm friend.
Dave Harrell is not just the brains behind this years’ successful RiverFest competition, the final of which is on the wonderful Wye at the weekend, he was also one of the key organisers. Dave loves fishing rivers and was sick and tired of a match scene that had largely gravitated to over stocked stew ponds fishing for semi tame carp. Instead of just bemoaning the glory days of river matchfishing he set himself the task of doing something about it.
Now when we came up with the idea of inviting a cross section of well known names in our sport to become ambassadors for the Angling Trust we were careful not to ask too much of already busy people. But I have to say that Dave has been outstanding. He has spoken at conferences, provided great support for our Action on Cormorants campaign, is always ready with a helpful quote or a bit of wise advice and now, more than we could have ever hoped for, he has rolled up his sleeves and worked tirelessly with Ben and Sandra in our competitions team to make RiverFest one the outstanding new events in the UK matchfishing calendar.
The Angling Trust RiverFest 2013 will carry the biggest ever individual river competition first prize of £10,000, plus more big main list and section cash prizes in the final. Twenty qualifiers of up to 60 anglers on various river venues around the country will now see three anglers from each match qualify for a two-day weight aggregate final on the fish rich River Wye at Hereford on the weekend of November 16th & 17th. After last week’s floods the river is fining down nicely and the locals are expecting a cracking match with 20lb plus weights of roach, dace and perch to compliment the inevitable nets of chub and occasional barbel.
The Angling Trust has secured some great additional sponsorship for the grand final with an additional place added to the list of prizes with 6th place now claiming £700 and the ten section winners each day now seeing their pay out increase to £175. Such a healthy prize pool is one in the eye for those sniping keyboard twats on some of internet forums who were implying that there was something dodgy going on with Angling Trust competition accounts. Dave Harrell has been absolutely steadfast in his support and told us to ignore the doubters and let the success of RiverFest speak for itself.
As it happens The Angling Trust has published a breakdown of the income and expenditure of the main national coarse angling competitions which have been completed in 2013 and provides a financial report for each competition when it is completed, and a breakdown of all competitions it runs in all disciplines as an appendix to the accounts which are made available to all members of the Trust by the 31st of July each year and presented at the AGM.
The Trust are grateful to Thames Water and Severn Trent Water who are contributing a total of £4,000 sponsorship which will go towards the prize pot for the grand final, a sign of their continued support and commitment to angling and river fishing in their respective regions.
Dave’s connections in the tackle trade have borne fruit with Bait-Tech providing each finalist with a selection of bait for the final, which includes Bait-Tech’s new Pro Natural groundbait as well as a variety of Halibut feed and hook pellets, Halibut Marine Method Mix groundbait, tins of Superseed hemp and assorted Hybrid barbel hookbaits, a package worth almost £2,000.
Daiwa Sports have also donated their latest TDR2508 reel worth £245 for the angler who catches the biggest fish over the weekend, and the section stewards also have a chance of getting in on the action with a prize draw to win a TDM2508 reel worth £150.
Despite not qualifying himself, something of a shock to most people, Dave will be at the final both days working alongside the Angling Trust team. Myself and Angling Trust boss Mark Lloyd will be there on the Sunday and at the prize giving in the evening. Spectators are welcome so do come along and watch some of our best river anglers in action. Parking and is free for Angling Trust members and there is a path along the full length of the river where the match will be held and access is easy. Cars should be parked in the field adjacent to the Hereford Rowing Club at the bottom of Greyfriars Avenue.
Spectators will also have the use of the facilities and be able to get refreshments at the rowing club where there will be a bookmaker present to take bets on your fancied anglers.
In addition, Dave Harrell, will be on hand to answer your questions and to show you his full range of DH Angling products. Sky Sports will also be in attendance on the Sunday to televise the event and the Mail and Times will also be attending.
The draw takes place each day at 8am and the club is open to Angling Trust members from 9am. Fishing is from 10.30am until 3.30pm each day.
Do come down and be part of a great occasion – hope to see you there!
TO JOIN THE ANGLING TRUST Tel: 0844 770 0616 or go to http://www.anglingtrust.net/