The day dawned grey and misty on the morning of the latest Fish ‘O’ Mania qualifier, fished in the lovely natural surroundings of The Oaks complex at Sessay, near Thirsk in North Yorkshire on Saturday 4th June 2016. By the time the draw had been made and anglers had got to their pegs, the sun was beginning to break through and conditions looked good. The light North Westerly breeze would probably favour those on the new complex of rectangular lakes, especially those in the windward corners. It might be tougher in the more natural tree lined lakes with little ripple on most pegs unless the wind picked up.
Anglers on Maple were catching a few fish early on, most people slapping shallow to get the carp feeding up in the water in the warm still conditions. Marc Rodger in favoured corner peg 1 was slowly building up a weight fishing down the edge. In the new complex the corner pegs were true to form, with Steve Openshaw on Sycamore catching steadily in the edge, and reserve entry James Dent taking advantage of empty pegs in the opposite corner to net carp on meat close in. Graham Boddice on Beech 1 and Craig Goldstraw on Ash 1 catching down the edge with Graham on meat and Craig on maggot.
As feared, Alders, Cedar and Maple were suffering in the hot, still conditions; Ben Fisk had a bit of ripple and was catching a few fish, but most were struggling to put a decent weight together.
The “square” lakes of the new complex were providing most of the action, with Craig Goldstraw constantly catching smaller carp on the maggot, Graham Boddice and James Dent catching slightly bigger fish on meat. Wayne Nolan was spotted catching on Ash peg 15 too.
As the final hooter sounded, no-one was sure who would win the day, Craig and Graham seemed to be close, but James Dent endured a slow finish and he felt he was just short.
As the weights were collected and checked, it proved a very tight finish with only one fish in it. Craig Goldstraw emerged as the victor with 132-12 from Ash 1, having caught carp to 2 lb on maggot. Craig, a Joiner from Ashbourne in Derbyshire qualifies for a place in the semi finals in July.
Graham Boddice was just a fish short with 131-06 of carp to 4lb from Beech 1 to finish as unlucky runner up. Making up the frame were Wayne Nolan in third with 114-06 from Ash 15, James Dent had 112-12 from Sycamore in fourth, Dean Kenworthy took fifth with 110-07 from Beech 4 and Karl Wood finished sixth – weighing 108-02 from peg 11 on Beech. So the predictions came true, with all of the top weights coming from the new complex.
After Larford’s qualifier held on Sunday, the action returns to North Yorkshire to Woodlands Lakes on Saturday 11th June 2016