The 14th Fish ‘O’ Mania qualifier took place in scorching heat with temperatures in the low 30’s as Stockport ace David Swain claimed the first of the remaining three places in the Fish ‘O’ Mania Grand Final.


With high temperatures and little wind the anglers were anticipating a difficult match. However, with the pegs spread over all the New Pools, Suez and Arena, everyone had plenty of room. The match produced a good result with the top 5 anglers recording in excess of 80 pounds and 25 anglers over 50 pounds. The lowest weight to win a 10 peg section was 21lbs 8ozs and over 40lbs was needed to win all but three of the sections.


The winner was David Swain of Stockport who weighed an excellent 107 lbs 8ozs from Peg 32 on Suez. When asked about the Peg he drew David stated, “I have been strong on the New Pools and was really worried when I got Suez and didn’t think I had a chance”.  David fished shallow with caster catching predominantly F1 carp to 2lbs. In all David used 6 pints of casters to hold the fish in his swim.


After the match, David who is a maintenance programme engineer for MyTravel airlines was high in the sky on Monday after his impressive victory. When asked about his win he stated, “I have fished lots of qualifiers over the years and now I have qualified, cannot wait for the Grand Final on 22nd July. I have made it through to the final twice before and hope that this time it will be third time lucky.” When asked what he would do if he won the Grand Prize, David said with a smile, “I would take the family away to the Maldives for a cracking holiday”. Let’s hope David proves successful in the biggest competition in angling so he can take a break from fixing planes and take to the skies himself with that hard earned prize money!


Runner-up on the day with 98 lbs 2 ozs was 20 year old electrican Alan Rutherford of Manchester. He also drew Suez, Peg 23 and used similar tactics to the winner taking a mixture of carp, F1’s and tench.  Peg 52 on New Pool 2 gave Gregory Norris of Birkenshaw 84lbs 8ozs and third place.


This turned out to be a very good, close match with up to 10 anglers appearing to be “in with a shout” at the final whistle.  Careful peg selection by the staff at Browning Cudmore clearly made a difference and their help during the day was invaluable.