Fish ‘O’ Mania 2003 Champion, Matthew Hall sneaked into the final of Fish ‘O’ Mania at Woodlands Lakes near Thirsk this weekend, in a bid to go where no man has gone before winning the biggest crown in angling for the second time.

With bright, sunny and warm weather being forecast for the day, no one could predict where the winner would come from as the match was won by a margin of only 10ozs. It would have only taken two of Woodland’s renowned carp to have placed any of the top five anglers on one of this years Grand Final pegs on the 19th July.

It was not until the final weights had been checked that third time finalist Matt Hall was confirmed as this rounds qualifier for the final. Fishing from peg 17 on Partridge Lake, Matt took full advantage of his end peg to finish the match with a total weight of 120lbs 9ozs with his biggest fish being a 10lb + common.

Matt alternated between the pellet waggler, and closer in on the pole with pellet to catch his winning weight which included 23 carp. Talking to Matt after the match he commented, “When I drew, I knew there was a chance and I just kept catching here and there, chopping and changing my technique. I was surprised to find someone so close to me at the end as I thought Phil Ringer was my nearest rival on 107lbs. It is a huge target of mine to be the first person to win this competition twice and I will be practicing hard to win it at Browning Cudmore in July”.

The angler who pushed the previous winner of the competition all the way was Jamie Moore from Hemsworth, West Yorkshire who was fishing only his second Fish ‘O’ Mania qualifier. Jamie who drew end peg 17 on Kestrel Lake was fishing two lines with one at 8 metres down the shelf and his main line fished out towards the boards at the end of the lake. It was this that brought in a steady stream of carp on pellet up in the water helping him finish with 119lbs 15ozs. It is a shame for Jamie as he was only 10ozs behind Matt, however talking to him after the match he was convinced his two fish lost at the net had cost him his place, but was determined to make it back next year.”

The third and fourth spots were also closely fought with again only 10ozs separating last years Woodlands qualifier Phil Ringer and Keith Pentland. It was Keith who won this battle finishing third by fishing pellet up in the water for 107lbs 12ozs. Phil Ringer came in fourth taking carp on pellet up in the water for a final weight of 107lbs 2ozs.