Former Fish ‘O’ Mania Champion, Neil Machin booked his place in this year’s Fish ‘O’ Mania final with an emphatic win at the recent qualifier at The Oaks Fishery in North Yorkshire.

With changing weather conditions over the past few weeks, the outcome of the 12th qualifier of this year’s Fish ‘O’ Mania was unpredictable and nobody could forecast where the winner would come from. However, as always there were a number of high profile anglers who can never be ruled out with top match men Neil Machin, Phil Ringer and Nathan Watson all drawing adjacent pegs on Maple Lake, making it certainly the lake to watch.

As the end of the match approached, it became clear that the winner was to come from the lake with 2006 Champion and in form angler, Neil Machin beating his high profile rivals to win the battle of Maple Lake and book his place at Browning Cudmore.

Neil was alternating between caster, fished both at full and shallow depth feeding pellet, which produced the goods for him as he kept a steady stream of barbel and carp throughout the match. With some good sized fish, he ended with a weight of 44.000kg, more than 5kg ahead of his nearest rival in second place.

Neil will be a feared finalist as the venue is only five miles from the home of the angling star, giving him the opportunity to get plenty of practice in before the big one in July. Commenting after the match Neil stated “Though not a noted peg, it was one of two or three pegs which were always in with a shout if the fishing became hard. [Browning] Cudmore has always been a good venue for me, although I’ve not spent a lot of time on the Arena pool which is where the Grand Final will be held in July”.

It was Maple Lake which also took second place with Martin Holmes fishing from peg 16 and ending with a final weight of 38.300kg. Martin fished a good match and despite only being a few pegs down from eventual winner Neil on peg 19, he caught carp on pellet. As we have seen in a number of qualifiers this year, the difference between booking your place in the final can be just a few decent sized fish and if Martin had been lucky, it could have been himself who would now be preparing for the 2008 Fish ‘O’ Mania final.

Following Maple Lakes performance to produce the top two positions, the next two places fell to anglers fishing from Cedar Lake with Darrell Taylor and James Dent finishing third and fourth respectively. Both anglers fished pellet from their pegs at either end of the section with Darrell edging out his rival with 21.000kg and James ending the match with 19.600kg.