Messingham Sands fishery’s second Fish O Mania qualifier was won by Paul Wright, a Doncaster angler who weighed on nearly 200lb on the day.

The fishery had been in fine form and with good, settled weather in the run-up hopes were very high of a big weight match all round.

Rain and a cold wind tried to change things on the day, but the carp didn’t mind with some anglers into them immediately. Emma Pickering had a dozen or so in the first 35 minutes from Oak Tree pond. Jack Turner was catching carp on a pellet waggler fished tight up to a tree on Swan, where anglers on the early pegs were catching carp close in on the pole.  Islands Lake was not so productive, but some good catches were being taken from the middle pegs on Tripp Pond. Vic Molyneux and Kevin Smith were having a good battle on Hollywood, but as the match progressed, it became clear that Oak Tree was producing the most consistent catches, with Luke Bamford catching carp in the edge on pole, Paul Wright similarly catching close in and Frank Hayhurst on peg 5 beginning to build up a weight also on the pole.

When the final hooter went, with the rain easing only slightly, the weigh in showed that Oak Tree had produced the top 3 weights, with Paul Wright emerging as the winner from peg 30 with 193-12. Paul, a Decorator from Doncaster, found that an early switch from 6 to 8mm pellets proved crucial as the smaller fish left his bait alone for the bigger carp to snaffle up, giving him his ticket to the semi-finals in July.

Close behind was Luke Bamford who weighed 186-15 of carp to 18lb from peg 15 for the runner up spot, and Frank Hayhurst finishing with 174-12 and third place. Kevin Smith won the battle on Hollywood, weighing a fine 144-03 to finish fourth overall, just ahead of Paul McNicol on Swan 26 who had 143-03. Matt Marshall completed the leader board in sixth place with 132-14 from Merrys Pool peg 9.

With a dozen weights over a hundred pounds and many other decent backing weights, most of the rain sodden anglers went home feeling that they had a decent days fishing on this superb complex, and many of whom complimented the way that owner Kevin Johnson has his stewards weigh the fish whilst standing in the water to minimise handling and the time the fish are out, giving a good stock of healthy fish.

The next Fish ‘O’ Mania qualifier this year heads to Colemans Cottage Fishery in Essex on Saturday 28th May.