Andy Bennett won a gripping Fish‘O’Mania which went right down to the wire as he finished with a total match bag of 52.200kg to see off the challenges of Simon Skelton (45.225kg) and Jamie Hughes (36.9kg) and take home the £50,000 winner’s prize at Hayfield Lakes in Doncaster.
With just four kilos between the top three heading into the final half hour it was anyone’s match but Bennett held onto his position from peg six at the top of the leaderboard, taking 8.725kg in the final 30 minutes to Skelton’s 4.1kg, while Hughes didn’t net.
As a result of his win, Bennett automatically qualifies for Fish‘O’Mania 2020. Runner-up Skelton takes home £10,000.
“I am absolutely made up,” said a beaming Bennett. “I cannot believe it has come to plan. I was hoping they would come back late on the pole and they did, so I am made up.
“It hasn’t sunk in yet. I am a fishing coach, so this is my living, so what this will do for me is massive. I want to push on and try and win more and more now.
“I didn’t really know where I was up to, it was only in the last 40 minutes that I knew I was in with a chance. I thought Jamie was well ahead but we have clawed it back and he didn’t catch in the last hour. I didn’t think Simon had what he had, I was just totally focused on what I was doing and it came good in the end.
“This peg is a pole peg, it narrows up so the fish naturally push onto the pole line. I had a couple early, a couple late and a few on the waggler. Looking back, I should have sat on the pole all day but it is hard when you’re not catching and you want to make something happen. You have to be patient and stick to your guns.”
Andy Bennett (Peg 6) 52.500kg
Simon Skelton (Peg 5) 45.225kg
Jamie Hughes (Peg 2) 39.600kg
Jordan Holloway (Peg 1) 34.800kg
Andy May (Peg 18) 34.675kg
Will Raison (Peg 15) 32.500kg
Gavin Bridge (Peg 4) 28.175kg
Luke Webster (Peg 7) 26.150kg
Kristian Jones (Peg 8) 24.195kg
Lee Thornton (Peg 14) 22.350kg
Carl Visser (Peg 19) 21.655kg
Lee Riley (Peg 3) 19.675kg
Vince Cross (Peg 13) 16.725kg
Abbi Kendall (Peg 9) 16.050kg
Simon Fry (Peg 22) 15.955kg
Luke Gasson (Peg 20) 15.850kg
Ben Hagg (Peg 16) 15.800kg
Paul Gibson (Peg 17) 12.850kg
Tim Peters (Peg 12) 9.000kg
Douglas Jackson (Peg 21) 8.430kg
Ben Emery (Peg 24) 8.080kg
Markus Billen (Peg 23) 1.825kg
Roland Lucas (Peg 10) 0.125kg
Steve Brindley (Peg 11) 0.000kg