A very strong field made their way to Messingham Sands Fishery in North Lincs on Wednesday 29th May 2013 for the Fish ‘O’ Mania qualifier match, and with no less than seven previous champions in attendance, and a host of grand finalists taking part this all looked like it would be a hard fought round.
Following his recent success with booking his place in the 2013 ‘Maver Match This’ grand final, the ever popular England International, and Preston Innovations backed Tommy Pickering from Barnsley drew on the point (peg 30) on Oak Tree Lake to make his attack for one of the last five places in this year’s grand final.
Tommy fished a banded 6mm or 8 mm pellet at 6 metres to take a total of 42 carp throughout the match, with the largest going to 8 lb to give him a total weight of 144lb 10oz.
Tommy was thrilled with his win which has given him his second chance to try and lift one of the greatest titles that had eluded him, that of the ‘Fish ‘O’ Mania Champion’.
Second place went to Andrew Neal who made the long journey all the way from Ebbw Vale to take part, drew peg 28 also on Oak Tree he was neck and neck with Tommy for most of the match, again fishing short pole line with meat hook bait Andrew put together a total weight of carp up to 8 lb and skimmers to weight 125 lb 8 oz.
Third place went to Grant Albutt from Halesowen in the West Midlands who was also pegged on Oak Tree (peg 3) fished banded pellet shallow on a long pole to bring 113 lb 9 oz to the scales. After the match Grant said following his recent Fish O’ Mania qualifying results he was still looking forward to the possibility of qualifying for this year’s grand final, and all he can do is continue to put in the work and it will come.
Fourth place went to Simon Skelton from Leicestershire who drew peg 6 on Hollywood lake, he fished pole at 14 metres in deep water to weigh 109 lb 7 oz, with his biggest carp being over 15 lbs. Nathan Younge from Sheffield was fishing his first ever Fish ‘O’ Mania qualifier finished in fifth place, and drew peg 1 on Oak Tree fished bomb and pellet waggler for carp to 6 lb to give him a finishing weight of 103 lb 6 oz.
With only four Fish ‘O’ Mania qualifiers left to go for this year, the next one takes place at Partridge Lakes Fishery, Warrington on Saturday 1st June 2013.
Photo – left to right: Andrew Neal, Tommy Pickering, and Grant Albutt