A new face for the final this year is Chris Kendall, (Yorkshire Anglers and Maggotdrowning.com) a Recruitment Consultant from Ilkley, West Yorkshire.
Chris an internet era match angler, better known as ‘Hatman’ in the world of fishing forums was showing as third place on the reserve list on the day, and was lucky enough to get a ticket to draw peg 18 in the middle of Reef bank.
He fished red maggot as hook bait, feeding a combination of maggot and pellet to the far island bank, varying his depth from 3 feet to 18 inches up and down the slope, he caught carp and F1’s from 1lb to 3lb steadily throughout the match. Unfortunately a fence behind the peg and too many tree branches made fishing at 13 metres into the shallowest water difficult, but Chris managed to keep catching throughout the match in the far slope area so did not need to complicate things by trying other areas.
Bright Sunshine, cloudless sky and flat, calm conditions greeted the 130 competitors for the third Fish ‘O’ Mania qualifier of 2011 at Lakeview fishery on Saturday 23rd April 2011 which, many of the regular participants who fished this event considered to be one of the more even and fairer venues in the Fish ‘O’ Mania calendar.
As with previous years events held at Lakeview Fisheries, no one wanted to put their heads on the block and predict openly where the winner was likely to come from, although secretly, Lagoon or the recently re-instated and re-opened Reef lake, which had been won with 150lbs last weekend, were considered to be favourites, but in general most felt that, as in previous years it would be a closely run match with so many anglers on the banks. And so it turned out to be, with only 3lb separating the top two anglers, 10lb separating the top there and others needing 50lbs plus to win their respective sections.
Chris Kendall said “I was on the reserve list, and although I was certain I’d get a peg, it was a relief when it was confirmed. I’d seen recent results from the matches on Reef so when I drew peg 18 on Reef I was delighted and felt I’d have a realistic chance. Unfortunately owing to having to wait for reserves to draw I was a little short of time to set up my gear, but the match started well for me and it didn’t take too long to fine tune my tactics and gear for the day. By the end of the match I was confident of having done a ‘ton’, but didn’t realise that the second place angler was so close to overtaking me from just a couple of pegs away. I had no idea of how other lakes had fished, but once everyone on Reef had weighed in I was starting to hope that it was a win, since some of the other competitors were congratulating me well before most had weighed in”.
“It took a while to sink in that I had won the qualifier, even on the way home I was half expecting someone to ring and tell me they’d added up the weights wrongly. I am very happy to have made it through to the final as all the heats include some high profile names in angling, so a relative nobody like me needs a lucky break and I got one. I’ve now got several weeks for the nerves to calm down before the Fish ‘O’ Mania final”.
In second place with a weight of 107lbs 1oz was Fish ‘O’ Mania regular Andy Moors (Maver Pickerings), who was kicking himself for loosing so many fish which cost him the match. Drawn on Reef peg 15, three pegs away from the winner, Andy fished shallow, long and short using caster as both feed and hook bait and, like the winner caught carp and F1’s with his biggest fish going 9lbs. Third place with a weight of 100lbs 9ozs, drawn on peg 24 on Reef, went to John Hall a tackle shop owner from South Wigston, Leicester. Fourth place went to another Fish ‘O’ Mania regular Rob Wootton from Leicester, drawn on Lagoon peg 9 with a weight of 91lbs 11ozs.
On Wednesday 27th April the fourth qualifier goes to Woodlands View Fishery at Droitwich.