Pic : Coventry’s Jon Arthur broke the Fish ‘O’ Mania qualifying record at Viaduct Fishery.
Jon Arthur Smashes Fish ‘O’ Mania record The first name to be added to the eventual sixteen targeting the £30,000 first prize in the Fish ‘O’ Mania XVIII final on Saturday 16th July 2011 is Coventry’s Jon Arthur.
The 35-year-old, who edits Daventry based Pole Fishing magazine, bagged an impressive win at Viaduct Fisheries, with 252-11-0 of carp from Spring 5 to break the record for a Fish ‘O’ Mania qualifier and beat Mick Bull’s 247lb 2oz record taken at Willinghurst two years ago.
Bright sunshine greeted the 130 competitors for this first Fish ‘O’ Mania qualifier of 2011 on Saturday at Viaduct Fisheries.
Jon said: “I’m ecstatic to have qualified for this year’s Fish ‘O’ Mania final after the first qualifier! I’ve only ever visited Viaduct a couple of times as it is 150 miles away but I think it is a fantastic venue, full of quality fish and I had a really good feeling about the match as I drove down. It was a baking hot day with little wind and lots of carp cruising in the morning. My peg on Spring 5 offered an island to cast to and open water in front of me, so I set up two pellet waggler rods, a feeder rod, a shallow pole rig and a short pole rig.
“With carp cruising around I thought I’d start on the pole shallow at 14 metres hoping to mug a couple of early fish. After half an hour I had already caught two. I assumed I had about 20lb with these two fish but in hindsight it was more like 30lb-plus.
“I had one more carp before it went quiet so I had a few casts with a meat feeder and came back with my smallest carp of the day and a 2lb skimmer. I then decided to stick to the long pole for the rest of the match as although I wasn’t catching fast, the fish were really big and worth waiting for.
“In the end, I found fishing 16 metres out with meat around 16 inches deep was best. Using my sunglasses allowed me to spot dark shapes under the surface so I kept lifting and dropping the rig towards anything swimming towards me. I ended up with 18 carp and one skimmer and guessed I had 130lb to 150lb, so I was a bit shocked when I actually totalled 252lb – the fish were massive! I’ve never caught so many double-figure fish on the pole in five hours before and it has to rate as one of my best ever matches. Before today, my personal best fish was 16lb 8oz and I think at least three or four smashed that figure – the biggest went 24lb!”
In second place with a weight of 145lb 7oz was Grant Albutt from Halesowen, West Midlands drawn on peg 80.
The second qualifier in this series of Fish ‘O’ Mania XVIII is at Makins Fisheries, Warwickshire on Wednesday 20th April.