Luke Bamford (Middy/Bait Tech), an industrial cleaner,  20 years of age from Jacksdale, Nottingham became the youngest of the sixteen qualifiers to earn his place in the Fish ‘O’ Mania XVII Final on Saturday 17th July at Cudmore Fisheries, Whitmore, North Staffordshire.

Luke won this very lively final qualifier at the prolific Lindholme Lakes, Epworth, Doncaster on Wednesday 30th June 2010 with a stunning 167-12-0 . Luke had previously finished sixth in his only other Fish ‘O’ Mania appearance at Lakeview Fisheries in Leicestershire this year. This time he netted carp to 3 lb from the off. Luke is no stranger to huge weights, and after drawing on a large sweeping bend on Bonsai 52 he fished a small Fox 15 gm in-line method feeder and a 6 ml ‘hooker’ pellet cast tight to a bush on his feature island. He fished a 3 lb line and a size 18 Kamasan B911 to cast the necessary twenty metres, or so to his feature. Luke caught his first small carp after about five minutes and kept catching carp and smaller F1s at a very steady pace. He kept feeding the inside line as well and took time out to net another half a dozen slightly better carp to 4 lb to boost his score. Luke managed to net 108 fish, with every single one being counted by his girlfriend and biggest supporter Chrissie. Luke has fished at Cudmore Fisheries on several occasions before and has won a few matches on the Arena Pool, so it comes as no surprise that two weeks on Saturday cannot come soon enough for Luke. Luke commented afterwards that it had been one of those days when it went right from the off.
Runner-up with another excellent weight was Grant Albutt (Daiwa Dorking) from the West Midlands. Grant again fished an excellent match, taking carp to 3 lb on bits of luncheon meat, and fished shallow, from Laurels 4 with 149-6-0. In third place was Steve Openshaw (Lingmere Fisheries) from Wirral also on Laurels netted mainly pellet caught F1s from peg 59 to net 110-11-0. Back on Bonsai 69 a former Fish ‘O’ Mania winner Nathan Watson (Louth) was fourth with 110-0-0 of carp, leaving Lee Kerry (Maver Barnsley Blacks) in fifth place with 107-6-0 on Laurels 16.
Despite the scorching hot conditions Lindholme Lakes once again produced an absolutely spectacular match. Owner Neil Grantham works tirelessly to continually improve standards and angler satisfaction and this event certainly was testimony to that. Carp, F1’s ide, barbel were in super abundance on all lakes and, more importantly, were keen to feed. The lowest weight to win a 10 peg section was 60lbs and indeed 8 sections were won 88lbs or more.
What an event the Fish ‘O’ Mania XVII Final will be on Saturday 17th July 2010 at Cudmore Fisheries with the line up on Arena Pool consisting of Ray Hayward – Viaduct Fishery, Steven Seaborn – Tunnel Barn Farm, Sean Huggins – Makins Fishery, Andy North – Lakeview, Neil McKinnon – Woodlands View, Ben Emery – Maver Larford, Kieron Rich – Monk Lakes, Tim Bull – Stafford Moor, Andy Benwell – Moorlands Farm, Richie Hoskins – Octoplus Boldings, Steve Bamford – Partridge Lakes, Rob Wootton – Heronbrook Fishery, Neil Machin – The Oaks, Stuart Ballard – Willinghurst Fishery, Tommy Pickering – Woodland Lakes and finally Luke Bamford from Lindholme Lakes qualifier.
All the sixteen winners from the qualifiers held will be competing to win one of the most prestigious titles in angling, Fish ‘O’ Mania Championship 2010 and £25,000 in prize money. There will also be a Junior and Ladies Fish ‘O’ Mania on the day with the top 8 Juniors selected from this year’s Angling Trust Junior National Championship, and the top 8 Ladies from last year’s Angling Trust Ladies National Championship, and also a celebrity match.
In addition to Fish ‘O’ Mania XVII on the Saturday, will also take the naming rights of the Champion of Champions match which takes place on Sunday 18th July and features all the previous Fish ‘O’ Mania Champions. This will be’s third year as Fish ‘O’ Mania title sponsors having previously been involved in 2005 and 2006. Both matches carry substantial first prizes, and both are five hour matches live on Sky Sports.