The Fish ‘O’ Mania qualifiers reached the halfway stage on Saturday at the highly regarded Stafford Moor Fishery in North Devon.
Tim Bull (Dynamite Baits) aged 39 years, brother of former winner Mick and a Business Development Manager from Leamington is the eighth qualifier to join the line up for the Fish ‘O’ Mania final with a winning weight of 138-8-0 of Carp from Tanners 2. Tim picked up some useful information at Stafford Moor before the match and was told that Tanners would be the lake to draw as favourite in the conditions.
Unfortunately for Tim it was not plain sailing as he had quite a steady start catching smaller carp of around the 3 lb mark in the first hour or more, using a straight three/eighth ounce bomb with an 11 ml Dynamite XL pellet lassoed on his basic rig. Tim cast about 40 yards towards the far bank but the big key was to pick his moments when the wind died down to feed. As he went into the second hour the carp got bigger, but there were longer intervals between the bites.
However, with careful feeding and fish of around the 7 lb mark he was building up a good weight. At the end of five hours Tim had around twenty-eight carp for his win and produced the biggest margin victory of all the qualifiers, this year, to date. After a few years of trying Tim has been very close on a couple of occasions but he will be competing in the final at Cudmore in July for the first time where he obviously hopes to emulate his brother the top commercial angler, Mick Bull who won the Fish ‘O’ Mania final in 2008.
With Tanners dominating this event local angler Mark Hayman (Stafford Moor) used his experience on the venue to make the most of his peg Tanners 34 draw, catching carp to 10 lb in his 84-2-0 of carp, with tactics being bomb and pellet. In third place from Tanners 6 was Trevor Senior (Vespe Army) from Salisbury with a weight of 76-4-0. Harry Marsh (Maver Farnborough) from Reading took fourth place from last year’s winning peg Tanners 18 with a weight of 73-2-0. In fifth place from peg Woodpecker 21 with 70-1-0 was one of last year’s finalists Andy Power (Preston Innovations Thatchers) from Wells Somerset.
The conditions on the day were not ideal, cold and overcast with rain forecast for later in the day. The weather played a big part in the results, with many anglers who were catching from the start seeing their swims die after a few hours as the wind moved the fish around and pushed them on to the pegs that had not had such a good start. In the end the result was a close run thing, all through the day the predictions were changing from one peg to another and into the final hour it could have gone either way between the top 5 anglers. Tim made the most of his peg and took his chances to leap ahead and win as it turned out quite comfortably, with the other four places separated by 4 or 5 fish.