Angling: Tactics are something of a ‘bonus’ for Ricky

Ricky Bonus
Ricky Bonus
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IT was a brilliant weekend for some and a disaster for others as I was labelled a ‘Jonah’ by some.

Saturday’s penultimate Riverfest qualifier, held on the river Ouse/Ure sections of Leeds & Districts Hunters Lodge and Linton fishery, welcomed a sell-out entry from around the UK.

They were attempting to claim one of the three zone wins needed to secure a place in this year’s final on Hereford’s River Wye.

Sherburn’s Lee Furnace won the match with a light bomb and maggot approach, looking to catch anything that swims.

His best bite of the day swam for 45 minutes on his little fish set-up before he skilfully netted a lump of welcome Ure barbel, a little short of 9lb to give him the bulk of his 9-8 winning weight.

River regular Ricky Bonus, on Ouse peg 244, used his venue knowledge to slider fish his way to a modest 4-8 of small roach.

It wasn’t enough for a top-six spot but more than he needed to win B zone, a crack at the Wye final, and the start of his brilliant weekend.

Leeds angler Chris Ruse kept the qualifiers local, winning C zone from Linton bottom with seven solid perch on lobby tails for his weight of 6-3.

The final will be fished over the weekend of November 14-15 with a total prize fund of £34,000.

Six-man sections will be worth £250, the 10th-placed individual will take £500 leading up to the winner’s purse of £12,000.

Having competed in over 30 Ouse Championships, knowing the best areas and pegs, species needed to win and the methods used to catch them, it should have made things easy for me as I confidently headed towards the rough field at Red House School expecting to get some photographs of the winner feeder fishing his way to a big bream catch.

How wrong could I get?

After passing numbers of breamless star names and only 40 minutes of the match remaining, I decided to sit with York’s Tim Harrison who, after over four hours of catching nothing, needed some luck.

One minute later, his tip bent over and, after playing a big bream, it snagged him solid, breaking him above his feeder.

After he calmed down, I made my excuses and moved to next downstream peg Dave Miles, who, fortunately, had caught an early six-pound bream and only needed one more to give him the chance of winning.

Only another minute passed before the classic bream pull and Mr Miles was grinning while expertly playing a bin lid of a bream and thanking me for visiting him.

Seconds later the bream became the expert and unhooked itself before slipping the net almost certainly costing him the championship! I left both Miles and Harrison shouting in stereo something about being a ‘Jonah’, which I thought was a bit harsh.

Fortunately, I arrived at the weekend’s star man, Bonus, after the match had finished, sparing him the chance of losing a big fish, falling in or breaking one of his rods.

Bonus, using the same six-gram slider rig as the day before, caught roach steadily, adding a couple of bonus perch before hooking and landing a bream of around 4lb on his double maggot hookbait to give him a well deserved, if unusual, float win and River Championship with 12-12.

Match Diary

Saturday

Viking Saturday Open Hawk Pond: 30 pegs, £16, contact 01405 860764.

Kippax Park, BSR Winter League: contact Sean 07814454271.

Poppleton Saturday Open: Pools, £15, draw cafe 10am, contact Roger 01904737279.

Aire & Calder Pollington: £15 all in, contact Kelvin 07779991483.

Birkwood Farm Fisheries: Emily’s or Oscars, draw 8.30am, contact 01924 892251.

Woodlands: 72 pegs, tickets £18, contact 01845 520110.

Oaks at Sessay: 50 pegs, tickets £17, contact 01845 501321.

Langwith Lakes: 60 pegs, tickets £16, contact 01904 431874.

Kippax Park: 27 pegs, tickets £20, contact 07967000746.

Moorfields Farm: 54 pegs, tickets £16, contact 07710817150.

Fleets Dam: 50 pegs, tickets £15, contact 01226 292579.

Birkwood Farm: 60 pegs, tickets £16, contact 01132 80609.

Viking, Hawk Pond: 30 pegs, tickets £16.00, contact 01405 860764.

Tollerton Ponds: Open Match all ages, (Kingfisher 20 pegs, Coot 18 pegs, Heron 32 pegs), contact 01347 838115.

Listerhills AA, Leeds/Liverpool Rodley: £12 all in, contact Eddie 07984597328.

Sunday

River Swale Maunby/ Catton/Thornton Bridge: November 8, tickets £15, contact Simon 01274 571175.

Woodlands: 72 pegs, tickets £18, contact 01845 520110.

Oaks at Sessay: 50 pegs, tickets £17, contact 01845 501321.

Langwith Lakes: 60 pegs, tickets £16, contact 01904 431874.

Oak Tree Leisure: 50 pegs, tickets £15.00, contact 01347 810686.

Leeds DASA, Moor Monkton Pools: contact 07967000746.

Poppleton Sunday Open: 50 pegs, draw 11am Cafe, contact 07425 146677.

Monday

Woodlands over-50s: 30 pegs, tickets £15, contact 01845 520110.

Langwith Lakes over-60s: 30 pegs, tickets £10, contact 01904 431874.

Tollerton Ponds over-50s: Tickets £16, contact 01347 838115.

Tuesday

Kippax Park: 27 pegs, tickets £10, contact 07967000746.

Wednesday

Birkwood Farm Fisheries: Emily’s or Oscars, draw 8.30am, contact 01924 892251.

Woodlands: 72 pegs, tickets £18, contact 01845 520110.

Fleets Dam: 50 pegs, tickets £15, contact 01226 292579.

Tollerton Ponds: Open match, all ages, contact 01347 838115.

Glen AC Ouse Thrash: Contact D Miles 01133 910570.

Thursday

Kippax Park: 27 pegs, tickets £12, contact 07967000746.

The Environment Agency are working together with anglers on the River Nidd.

Environment Agency deserve credit for their work on the River Nidd