’S Darren Cox put on a brave face after being pipped for the £25,000 Fish O Mania prize by a fish landed in the last two minutes of the match.

With weigh-ins every half an hour, Darren had been in the top three throughout and was over 5lb in front going into the final half an hour stint.

Darren had opted to fish worm over pellet with relatively light line so he could catch crucians and orfe as well as have a good chance at landing any carp he hooked, and it seemed his tactics was going to pay off handsomely.

However, Matt Hall from Nottingham (above) had other ideas, and fishing aggressively for carp with pellet fished shallow, he latched into three carp in the last half and hour including one hooked three minutes from the end.
The tension was incredible, as it was clear he needed the fish to win. It literally was a fish worth £25,000 as the runner up goes home empty handed in this event and what’s more the rules state that the fish must be in the landing net on the whistle to count.

However, the 40-year-old held his nerve and had the fish in the net with a minute to spare, and at the weigh in that last gasp 3lb 8oz carp saw him take the trophy and winner’s cheque by just 770 gr.

Here’s the report from the Sky Sports website:

“Matt, who was fishing on ‘lucky’ peg 13, had Darren in his sights who was just 2 pegs away on number 11. Matt was weighed in first and his hard work was rewarded with 4 kilos 400 grams, which gave him a final total of 22 kilos exactly.
This meant that Darren Cox had to weigh more than 1 kilo 850 grams if he was to win his second 25 grand cheque in 2 years.

The reigning Skol Masters champion watched nervously as his fish were put on the scales and the pointer finally came to a stop at 1 kilo and 80 grams. It wasn’t enough.

After five hours of intense competition Matt Hall was pronounced champion by just 770 grams. The ten thousand strong crowd rose to applaud the new king of Fishomania and he was congratulated by his wife Theresa, his stepdaughter Kelly (14) and daughter Jessica (9). Jessica couldn’t control her emotions and burst into tears as she hugged her father, who then jumped into the lake in celebration.”