Tunnel Barn Farm Fishery in Warwick, the host to the sixth Fish ‘O’ Mania qualifier had recently been fishing well with weights of over 150 lbs being needed to win many of the open matches.
Many thought it would be difficult on Saturday 27th April 2013, due to the change in the weather conditions, with hail, sleet and a two hour torrential downpour of very cold rain the day prior, and going from a balmy 2 degrees on arrival, and never getting to above 7 degrees by the end of the qualifier which did not auger well for the 130 competitors.
The likelihood was just the odd peg was likely to throw up a weight of over 80 lbs, but the results showed that if nothing else, the change in the weather conditions had made the event a level playing field for many of the competitors, as well as making it extremely difficult to assess where the winner was going to come from.
The venue fished very well, with nine weights of over 100 lbs and the lowest section winning weight being 72 lbs, with the top five individuals coming from different lakes. There were also no fewer than eight previous final qualifiers fishing the match, and amongst these was the 2010 Fish ‘O’ Mania Champion Neil McKinnon (Preston Innovations – Sonu Baits), a contract manager from Gloucester, who became the eventual winner to become the sixth qualifier for the grand final.
Neil drew on Club Pool peg 15 and fished long and short pole using chopped worm, caster and method mix groundbait to amass a total weight of 121 lbs 1 oz made up of carp to 4lb, F1’s and barbel.
In second place and just under 2 lb behind Neil was Howard Kelly (Thameside Matrix), a sales representative from Stalybridge. His second placed weight of 119 lbs 4 ozs was made up entirely of F1’s caught shallow on maggot at 6 metres catching steadily throughout the match from Extension Pool peg 25.
Third place went to Steve Seaborn a building surveyor from Herefordshire, fishing peg 5 on Jenny’s Pool. Steve finished the match with a weight of 118 lbs 2 ozs made up of F1’s and the odd barbel using chopped worm and caster, long and down the edge.
Fourth place went to Ben Fisk (Middy), a journalist from Leeds with a weight of 116 lbs 3 ozs, made up of carp and F1’s fishing shallow and down the edge from New Pool peg 13.
Fifth place went to Kerry Kirkwood a meter operative from Manchester who drew House Pool peg 29, and finished with a weight of 113 lbs 1 oz using worm and caster.
The next Fish ‘O’ Mania qualifier for 2013 moves to Maver Larford Lakes, Worcestershire on Saturday 4th May.