Tom Noton recently qualified for this years RiverFest final, winning his zone at Rolleston on the river Trent around Newark. Here is how Tom got on. 

I drew peg 29 at Rolleston, interestingly enough, the same peg I was on when I got a good hiding from Hadrian Whittle previously. So, a chance to hopefully put things right. 

With another scorcher of a day weather wise I decided that 10lb would a reasonable target. Two lines on the feeder, a worm line and pole with hemp were to be the days tactics. A slow start for all, but I managed a few dace and roach with the odd 4-5oz skimmer amongst them. I had to scale down and change things constantly to keep bites coming as the fish didn’t want to feed confidently.

I had a really good spell around 2pm when I couldn’t get in quick enough for little skimmers to 6oz. A few bites were to be had on the pole, but it wasn’t as quick as the feeder, and the stamp was small. At the whistle I finished with 13lb 4oz, which was enough to win the zone and a place in the final again. Hopefully I can go a few better this year and win it this time 🙌🏼🙌🏼 

Well done to the other qualifiers Lee Wright, Paul Goulding and match winner James Robbins

My tackle for the day was as follows – 

Browning Sphere 13ft 100 MH. I set up two of these rods paired with the Browning Black Viper Compact 855 compacts. Loaded with 0.10 Cenex Sink Braid. These rods are superb for small fish fishing. Super light and a lovely fish playing action. Hooklengths were 0.14mm Cenex Hybrid mono and a size 12 Sphere Ultra Lite Feeder hook was by far the best.

I also set up the Black Viper 3 14ft 120g to cast across into the main flow, but fortunately never needed this rod. I paired this rod with the super powerful Black Viper 870 reel and the same braid setup as the other rods. I opted for much stronger 0.18mm Cenex Hybrid mono hooklength and a size 12 Sphere Ultra Strong Hook on this outfit as there was a good chance of hooking a big fish.

I set up a pole which was the ever faithful Xitan Z16 for my 13m groundbait line, and also a short 6m chopped worm line. A nice strung rig for my long line for baits like maggot and hemp with 0.14mm Cenex Hybrid mono down to a 0.10mm hook length. The perch line was up with a bulk down rig with 0.18mm Hybrid mono down to 0.16mm for perch and eels. 

My groundbait mix was a 50-50 mixture of Black Magic and Quick Skimmer. A lovely mix for this sort of fishing. It smells great!!

There are lots of options on the Trent here and it can be a really tactical match.

I was really happy with my net of small fish for the zone win.