Jamie Hughes wins top spot at the first Fish ‘O’ Mania qualifier for 2016 at Tunnel Barn Farm

The 150 competitors arriving for the first Fish ‘O’ Mania qualifier of 2016 were greeted by scattered snow showers and a biting North Easterly wind at Tunnel Barn Farm in Shrewley, Warwickshire on Saturday 5th March.

For many, this resulted in a hard day’s fishing. However, as temperatures rose and with the wind dropping a little, alongside some sunshine going into the last hour of the match, the venue’s shoals of carp and F1s fed remarkably well.

It was Jamie Hughes, an Angling Coach from the Wirral, who was installed immediately as favourite when he drew end peg 2 on Canal pool. He didn’t disappoint either, winning the event easily with 141lbs and being the first qualifier for Fish ‘O’ Mania 2016. Amazingly, his catch of 50 fish – carp and F1s up to 8lbs – were caught dobbing bread punch to a series of lines without feeding any bait at all for four hours of the match, and even then 40 maggots was the total bait used.

Canal pool was the place to be and further along the bank on pegs 6 and 8 Andrew Mann and Andrew Neal – Wales-based travelling partners and stable mates under the Milo Bait Tech banner – fought out a peg-to-peg battle. It was Andrew Mann who came out on top catching 83lbs 14oz of carp and F1s across and short, using the same dobbing bread and maggots short tactics as the winner down the edge with Andy Neal also fishing the same and finishing in third with 65lbs 8oz.

The second Fish ‘O’ Mania qualifier moves to Viaduct Fishery, Somerset on Wednesday 9th March 2016.