Neil Machin (Garbolino/Bagem Baits), a Logistics Manager from Stoke on Trent came out as overall winner at The Oaks at Sessay on Saturday 5th June.
After winning his section in nearly every Fish ‘O’ Mania qualifier he has fished this season he finally came good at The Oaks. It was on one of the new lakes, Ash 11, that Neil drew an end peg one short of the ‘corner’, It was undecided whether the two usual event lakes of Maple or Cedar would continue to throw up the big fish weights or would the introduction of the three new lakes Ash, Beech and Sycamore with their heavy stocking of smaller fish make an impact on the final result.
Neil gleaned all the information he could about Ash Lake and decided to forget about big fish as there wasn’t any, to concentrate on the small common, mirror and F1 population. The former Fish ‘O’ Mania winner of 2006 found a ‘sand bar’ at thirteen metres to concentrate his attentions. The target was around forty fish an hour in the hope that a weight of around 80 lbs would be good enough. Fishing a 4 ml soft pellet in two and a half feet of water Neil caught virtually from the off. Unfortunately he did try on a closer in line, but the bites disappeared as fast as they came, so he stuck with the 13 metres mark. He caught over a little loose feed and also got through a bag of XP Bagem groundbait to be on exactly 100 fish at the halfway stage. The only variation in tactics was to occasionally come up shallower, but in the main fishing at the exact depth was best. At the end of the five hours Neil had 199 fish, all from 4 – 8 ounces with the exception of just one at 1 lb! He clocked up 39k600 to complete an amazing sequence of qualifying to the Fish ‘O’ Mania final, first in 2004, 2006, 2008, and now 2010.
Runner-up was Wayne Heywood (Subfish Tackle) from Tibshelf, Derbyshire with carp to 6 lb, taken on poled paste, with 33k050, from Maple peg 2. In third place was Mark Benson (Runcorn) who was also on one of the new lakes, Beech 12, with 31k700 of ‘new’ mirrors, commons and F1s in his pellet caught 31k700. Ashley Clements (Daiwa Cleveland Angling) was fourth with 30k450 of carp from Cedar 2 leaving Grant Albutt (Daiwa Dorking) in fifth with 29k000 of carp from Cedar 15.