The latest Fish ‘O’ Mania qualifying match was fished at Woodland Lakes in North Yorkshire on Saturday 13th June 2015, using 5 of its lakes.
As ever, cool, breezy and overcast weather conditions for another northern qualifier,after a day of heavy rain would mean that fish would take some persuading to feed.
The layout of the rectangular lakes meant that those anglers drawing one of the corner pegs, particularly those benefitting most from the breeze, would possibly have an advantage, especially as the carp might be tight up to the rushes.
The early stages of the match showed that sport was slow, with the carp cruising about. Anglers were switching methods from pole to pellet waggler and feeder to try and find some feeding fish, and it seemed that Paul Pannett in the windy corner on Partridge 18 and Ben Richardson on the opposite corner on 19 had caught a few fish to get off to a steady start.
Others to show early form were Colin Scott on Partridge 4 with 4 carp, with Matthew Higgins on Skylark 30 and Warren Martin on 31 also catching fish. The windy corner on Skylark peg 18 was also providing fish for Dale Shepherd who fished long pole with pellet to the boards. Dale drew this peg in last year’s qualifier here and finished second, so he was hoping to go one better. Kevin Worth on 17 and Steve Barraclough on 14 were both catching too.
It was clear at this point that Partridge and Skylark were producing the most fish, with only odd anglers catching on the other 3 lakes, including Paul Wright on corner peg Kestrel 1.
Nathan Watson, fishing corner peg 1 on Curlew, could only manage small carp up against the boards on long pole with pellet. Meanwhile, Stewart Bell on 2 and Les Marshall on 3 were beginning to catch a few carp.
As the afternoon wore on, anglers on Curlew, Kestrel and Wagtail were only catching odd carp and would probably not match those on Partridge and Skylark, and so it proved.
Dale Shepherd used his experience of last year, remembering that he had lost carp which were going under and behind the boards and was able to steer the fish away, finishing with 95 lb 5 to win the match and qualify for his second Fish ‘O’ Mania final. Dale, a 26 year old labourer from Wakefield, said after the match that he just knew he was going to draw the same peg.
Runner up was Paul Pannett on Partridge 18 who survived a quiet last couple of hours to end with 74 lb 15 on his debut.
Paul was delighted and hoped to emulate Dale by winning next year!
Paul fished 10mm cubes of meat to catch carp to 10 lb.
Stephen Barraclough (Skylark 14) broke the run of corner pegs with 73 lb 9 of carp to 15 lb, fishing pellet shallow to finish third, Kevin Worth 4th (Skylark 17) 69 lb 12, Ben Richardson (Partridge 19) close behind in 5th with 69 lb 4 and Matthew Higgins (Skylark 30) 6th on 65 lb 3.
A frustrating day for many with carp reluctant to feed, but a great day out on this very picturesque and mature complex and we hope that next time conditions are more favourable and weights will do justice to the fine head of fish here.
Thanks to Jimmy and all the staff for all their help.
There are just three more qualifiers remaining for this year, the next one takes place at Woodlands View in Droitwich on Wednesday 17th June.