Many of the country’s finest female anglers made their way to the fantastic Partridge Lakes for the first, All Ladies Fish’O’Mania Qualifier, on Covey Lakes 5 and 6. Conditions for the weekend could not have been more favourable, with high overnight temperatures and settled conditions throughout the match.

The introduction of this qualifier for the first time has caused uproar in some circles and has been branded as blatantly sexist by many, as ladies are fully entitled to enter all the normal qualifiers. However, the orgnisers clearly want a lady in the final and went ahead anyway.

It was two England Internationals that spearheaded the qualifier, with Abbi Kendall and Kayleigh Smith both catching steadily throughout the match. However, both ladies went about it very differently.

Drawing on peg 149 Abbi spent a hard day all the way across with a 4mm expander on the hook and feeding micro’s over the top. This caught everything going and at the scales she’d put together an impressive 97lb 3oz, which took the qualification spot for the Final, Abbi commented,

“It’s my first time back on the bank for six months and I’m absolutely over the moon to have won the Ladies Fish’O Qualifier. I’m going to put a lot of hard work into the Final, I’m going to compete and not just be a number!”

Running her close was Kayleigh on peg 173. Kayleigh worked three lines hard catching fish shallow, across on pellets and a few down the edge in the slow periods. Bait wise Kayleigh got through 6 pints of maggots! And caught on corn and pellets down the edge. Undeterred by the result Kayleigh commented, “onto the next qualifier”.

Rounding out the top three was May Potter, who took the honours the previous week in the practice match. Drawing an unfavoured peg in 132, May went on to eek out 57lb 15oz on expander over Micros.

Looking at the top three, female angling really is in good hands, all ambassadors for the sport and all still in their twenties, and this can be said for all of the field that supported the first year of this qualifier.

Our thanks must go to Barbara and the team at Partridge Lakes for hosting two awesome qualifiers and to Mike Story for juggling all the behind the scenes organisation for two matches.

We move Southwards for the next qualifier at Gold Valley Lakes, which is a near Sellout! It’s worth noting; as always, we close the tickets on a Monday, or a Wednesday before a match at 15:30, so make sure you visit the booking site to guarantee a ticket for Larford Lakes, which is selling fast!

How to Book Tickets

Tickets for the Fish’O’Mania XXVI qualifiers will again be sold via the Angling Trust events booking website HERE. Ticket prices have once more remained the same at £25 per qualifier.


1st Abbi Kendall 97lb 3oz
2nd Kayleigh Smith 91lb 4oz
3rd May Potter 57lb 15oz

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