Richie Hull (Dynamite Bates) gave fellow finalists and impressed onlookers a master class of margin fishing on Dynamite Bates Frenzied Garlic Meat to clinch the 2007 Midland Angler of the Year title.

The event’s format of 2 three hour contests – a float only morning session before an any method afternoon session – asked demanding questions of the thirty-five finalists at Barston Lake in Solihull.  With £500 to be won and a post-match barbeque courtesy of Barston boss, Nigel Harrhy, the match was fished in a friendly atmosphere and couldn’t have been any closer after Steve Ringer pushed him all the way by winning the afternoon session although he was beaten in the morning by last year’s winner Alex Bones, leaving Steve with 3 points with a total of 127lb.

Richie had won his morning session with 32lb 8oz giving him one point and an impressive 95lb 2oz in the afternoon giving him 2 points and the title with a total weight of 127lb 10 oz.

Richie with venue owner Nigel Harrhy (left)

Third place was taken by one of this year’s Fish O’Mania’s finalists, Amer Jawad, also with 3 points and a total weight of 102lb.

Fourth place went to previous winner, Neil Machin with 4 points and a total weight of 87lb.

Fifth was a tie between Rob Lawrence and Pete Bennett, both scoring 5 points, with Rob taking the placing with 72lb to Pete’s 68lb.

The eight section winners over the two matches were Pete Randall with 16lb, Alex Bones with 48lb, Pete Bennett with 43lb, Mick Bull with 40lb, Danny Hallam with 76lb, Brad Titmus with 44lb, Darren Cox with 50lb and Tim Bull with 58lb.

With a combined weight of 2000lbs over the thirty-five anglers, Barston Lakes can count it as the best match they have hosted to date, with an average of 57lb per angler, of mixed skimmers and carp.

Richie Hull worked late the previous night to get finished in time to make it to the match and was glad he did after picking up the spoils.  His practice during the Super League finals certainly paid off after catching his 30lb skimmers followed by an impressive 95lb of carp, both on the long pole.  The afternoon session was on the long pole down the margins fishing to a bush on his right as he took advantage of drawing an end peg.

Steve Ringer drew peg 5 in section A in the afternoon and caught 87lb of carp on the method, fishing to the far bank, netting fish up to 10lb.  This gave him the one point he needed to challenge for the title. It was literally to the wire, when he finished only 10ozs behind the eventual winner.

Amer Jawad, who reached his first Fish o’Mania final this year, drew peg 93, section C in the morning session, put 42lb 10oz on the scales to finish with 2 points before going on to win the afternoon session with 60lb 8oz on peg 123.  Amer was fishing for skimmers on the long pole, before getting broken twice and switching to a heavier rig after realising there were carp on his peg.

The ever-consistent Neil Machin drew peg 19 in section A to finish with 29lb 8oz of skimmers to finish with 2 points.  He then moved to section B in the afternoon on peg 39 and picked up 2 more points with a weight of 58lb 14oz.

The Midland Angler of the Year is in it’s 4th year at Barston, where Nigel Harrhy offers the venue for this competition and lays on the barbeque for the anglers.  Due to the prestige and overall enjoyment of the match, Darren Cox has now offered Garbolino as a sponsor for next year’s meet.