COMPETITORS from as far afield as Ireland, Leeds and Kent flocked to Hereford to be part of the 160 anglers taking part in Hereford & District Angling Association’s 50th river Wye championships.

The match was sponsored for the first time in its long history by Dave Harrell Angling.

The river was running at 0.75 metres and clearer than expected following a sharp frost on the Friday night.

Consequently, it was expected that chub would feature strongly but with less than 4lb separating the top five, it turned out to be a close match.

After five gruelling hours some of the favoured pegs failed to produce as the fish shoaled up tightly in just a few areas, but Mark Jones from Tredegar took the first prize of £1,000 plus a tackle voucher of £200 from D H Angling products.

From peg 118 at Field Farm, he caught nine barbel and one chub for a total weight of 63lb 10oz, using maggot and waggler.

There was a piece of competition history created when two anglers tied for second place.

Mike Bradley (Drennan Oxford) landed 15 chub from peg 19 at Breinton for a total of 60lb 8ozs with a waggler and maggot and finished level with Leigh Gardener (Team Shakespeare) on peg 95 at Bartonsham Farm who also had 60lb 8ozs of chub.

Stuart Harford (Dave Harrel Angling) landed 59lb 15ozs of chub on waggler from peg 18 at Breinton to finish fourth.