An overnight frost on the Friday night, the first for a number of weeks, was expected to affect this, the seventh Fish ‘O’ Mania qualifier on Saturday 3rd May at Tunnel Barn Farm Fishery, Warwickshire.
Many thought it would be difficult due to the sudden night time change with the likelihood of the winning weight being around the 100 lb mark and not the 200 lb weights that the venue had been producing during the previous opens.
Despite the overnight frost the venue fished very well with eight weights over the 100 lb mark and a number of 90s and 80s with the lowest section winning weight being 68 lbs.
Winner on the day was birthday boy Ashley Price, a metal stud partitioner from Walsall, fishing his first ever Fish ‘O’ Mania qualifier, but no stranger to Tunnel Barn Farm fishery.
Drawn on Jenny’s Pool peg 18 Ashley opted to fish top 2 in the margins straight from the off using meat as feed and hook bait and continued to fish this method for the whole of the match catching a mixed bag of F1’s, barbel, skimmers and carp to 8 lbs to finish with a winning weight of 170 lbs 9 ozs. In second place was Jamie Hughes, 2013 Fish ‘O’ Mania champion with a weight of 165 lbs 11 ozs.
Jamie drew House Pool peg 9 an unfancied peg that had no previous form and fed little or nothing during the whole of the match. There were a lot of fish cruising around in his peg throughout the match and he caught the majority of his weight between 6 metres and 16 metres by fishing shallow, looking for the sign of a fish on the surface and dropping his bait in front of the fish.
Third place went to Frank Donachie, (Colmic Aaron), a Council Officer form Swindon. Drawn on Jenny’s Pool peg 19, next to the winner, he also caught on meat, but this time fished shallow to finish with a weight of 164 lbs 8 ozs.
In fourth place from House Pool peg 14 was Gary Thorpe (Gott baits), a builder from Aylesbury with a weight of 123 lbs 13 ozs. Fifth place went to John Alexander, a Shift Manager with a weight of 11 lbs 6 ozs from Club Pool peg 16.
Monk Lakes Fishery in Marden, Kent will play host to the eighth Fish ‘O’ Mania qualifier on Wednesday 7th May.