The penultimate qualifier for the grand final of Fish ‘O’ Mania to be held at Cudmore Fisheries on Saturday 18th July 2015 was held at Partridge Lakes, near Warrington on Saturday 20th June.
This venue is considered by many to be one of the most picturesque and extremely well managed and hospitable venues in the country and has played host to many qualifiers over the years.
Cloudy and drizzly conditions greeted the 180 competitors that had booked in for this event and although the conditions were damp, it was expected that they would improve during the day.
The lakes in use were Covey 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6 along with Holbar, Willow, Ribbon, Marsh and Spey, all of which were well stocked and pegged for this match to give the competitors as much room as possible.
Due to the ups and downs with the weather over the past weeks, changes in pressure, temperatures etc. many of the fish had not spawned properly and weights were not expected to be very high with 80 lbs expected to win. As is normal with any predictions, they never work out.
The eventual winner and 15th qualifier was Connor Barlow, an electrician from Manchester, (Daiwa/Guru), with a weight of 154 lbs 11 ozs, which put paid to the low winning weight predictions.
Drawn on Ribbon peg 8, one of the smaller lakes at this venue and stocked with mainly F1’s, he set his stall out to fish shallow at 11 metres as tight to the far bank reeds as he could. Using caster as feed and hook bait, he got through 4 pints of caster during the match, with his biggest fish approximately 4 lbs.
In second place, drawn on Holbar peg 16 with a weight of 101 lbs 14 ozs was Andy Bailey (Daiwa Dons), a Sales Representative from Doncaster. Initially starting on the bomb and pellet and then changing to the short pole he caught a mixed bag of carp, F1’s, barbel, skimmers and roach with his biggest fish being an 8 lb Mirror.
Third place went to Wayne Kearney, (Tricast Rochdale), a joiner form Manchester with 93 lbs 11 ozs. Using groundbait and maggot down the edge he caught carp and F1’s with his biggest fish around 6 lb.
In fourth place with 91 lbs 11 ozs was Stu Conroy form Covey 1 peg 4, with Grant Albutt in fifth place from Covey 6 peg 166 with 85 lbs 9 ozs.
The final Fish ‘O’ Mania qualifier for this year heads to Garbolino Lindholme Lakes, Epworth, Doncaster on Wednesday 24th June.