Bitterly cold conditions with a biting wind greeted the 130 competitors for this, the second of the Fish ‘O’ Mania qualifiers for 2014 held at Preston Innovations Boldings, Bridgnorth on Saturday 12th April.
The early arrivals for the event had taken their customary walk around the fishery and the talk prior to the draw was that it would fish relatively hard with the conditions, but 80 – 90 lbs would be needed to win however, no-one was prepared to stick their necks out and make a prediction as to where the winning weight would come from.
After a slow start, many of the anglers started to catch, but no one was breaking any records, although Perry Stone, a window fitter from Surrey, drawn on Larch 16 and fishing at 16 metres had lost 6 to 8 fish in the first hour after they had shot off into an adjacent weed, thrown his hook and spooked the fish
A change to a stronger elastic solved the problem of lost fish and continually feeding caster and maggot he soon had the fish feeding again. Fishing shallow with caster on the hook Perry caught F1’s steadily throughout the remaining time, his biggest fish being 3 lb. At the end of the match he weighed in a total of 113 lbs 1 oz, enough to win the match and qualify for his fourth Fish ‘O’ Mania final.
In second place with another ton of fish was Wayne Shepherd, a steel fixer from March in Cambridgeshire. Weighing in a weight of 102 lbs 5 ozs, Wayne drew Ash peg 9 and caught F1’s and Carp to 8 lbs, mostly from the margin on pellet. Third place went to Matthew Higgins, a Plumber from Liverpool with the 3rd ton of the match. Matthew drew Hawthorn peg 13 and caught F1’s and carp to 5 lbs to finish with a weight of 101 lbs 14 ozs.
On Wednesday 16th April the Fish ‘O’ Mania action moves to Makins Fishery, Bramcote, Nuneaton.