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Jacko's Birthday

Historic spring festival celebrates 30th anniversary.
As one of the oldest commercial fisheries in the country, it is hardly suprising that Docklow Pools in Herefordshire boasts some of the oldest commercial fishing competitions – but the famous 'Jacko's Festival', that is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, must surely go down as one of the oldest.

The event was originally run by venue owners Mike and Josie Bozward, who founded Docklow Pools back in 1972! As Mike reflects on the Docklow website, back in those days the charge for rent in the Farmhouse was just £1 a night!

For the last 25 years Dave 'Jacko' Jack and Phil Hoad from Essex have taken over the running of the festival, and created quite a following.

Jacko explained: "At first, the event ran over Easter, and in the early days the close season rules were still in force – which meant targetting coarse fish was illegal, so Mike would stock some trout in the lakes, which we would fish for with worms.

"In the early days there were only about 14 of us, made up of three families, and our children, but as the years went by the event grew and grew as we made more and more friends at Docklow.

"Now, upwards of 60 anglers compete – and we take over the whole complex – but the emphasis is still on having fun rather than winning. We always make sure that we spread the money out well, to avoid the event being too competitive and serious.

"Friends travel from all over the country come to compete, but the Midlands and the South are the main hotbeds for our anglers. My son even travels over from Canada every year to compete – although I always seem to end up paying his air fare!

"Along with co organiser, Phil Hoad, I would like to extend my thanks to Mike and the family at Docklow for their hospitality over the years. Without them, the festival simply wouldnt have been possible."  

Two weeks ago, Jacko and Phil ran the 30th spring festival at Docklow Pools for regular guests and friends. It proved a terrific week of friendship, with some quality anglers taking part.
Taking place over Farmer Jack, Snake, Stock, and Match Lakes, the four-match event was won by Barry Rogers with a six-point score and a weight of 241lb 6oz.
To mark the occasion, Des Taylor of the Angling Times was on hand to present the trophies to the winners.

For more information on the great fishing available at Docklow, check out the website: www.docklowpools.com

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