Another near sell-out on the eighth round of Fish’O’Mania XXVI at the fantastic Partridge Lakes and conditions for the weekend could not have been more favourable. Overnight temperatures were high and although the sunny conditions made the fish a little more finicky in areas, 140lb was needed to be in the top three!
Going into the qualifier there had certainly been some weights from Ribbon and Willows, and it was the latter that hosted yet another belter of a head to head, between F1 expert Andy Bennett and England International Will Raison.
Pegs 2 (Will) and 4 (Andy) were the respective anglers’ homes and it was Andy who went out of the blocks faster, putting his venue knowledge to good use and putting nearly 100lb of fish together in the first two hours on caster shallow.
It was then Will’s turn to strike back hard, as his 6m margin line hotted-up, taking an outstanding run of F1s on dead maggots and worms, to firmly put him in charge of the qualifier. However, Bennet wouldn’t roll over and had a late flurry of fish to make things agonisingly close at the scales.
It was the eight times finalist that came good and pipped Andy to the post with an awesome 142lb 7ozs. This was just 9oz’s clear of Mr. Bennett, who put 140lb 14oz on the scales but was gracious in defeat, having given Will some advice on the peg before his own draw.
“Will has always been the angler I model my fishing around. As in my opinion he’s the best angler on the planet, so you could say my angling hero. If I’ve helped him catch one more, then that’s just how it is”. Andy then went on to praise third place angler Matthew Hale and sees real potential in the young 18-year-old.
Matthew drew Ribbon peg 2 and put an awesome 95 F1s together, on caster shallow and down the edge. Unfortunately, his stamp was a little down on the Willows fish and he finished with 140lb 7oz in his first ever Fish’O qualifier!
We move Southwards for the next qualifier at Gold Valley Lakes, which is a near Sellout! It’s worth noting; as always, we close the tickets on a Monday, or a Wednesday before a match at 15:30, so make sure you visit the booking site to guarantee a ticket for Larford Lakes, which is selling fast!
How to Book Tickets
Tickets for the Fish’O’Mania XXVI qualifiers will again be sold via the Angling Trust events booking website HERE. Ticket prices have once more remained the same at £25 per qualifier.
1st Will Raison 142lb 7oz
2nd Andy Bennett 140lb 14oz
3rd Matthew Hale 140lb 07oz
4th Kieran Marsden 115lb 3oz
5th Connor Barlow 114lb 14oz