Mark Stevens an industrial radiographer from Tipton has won the fourth qualifier of Fish ‘O’ Mania at Octoplus Boldings in Bridgnorth on Saturday 25th April and is now in with a chance of receiving the jackpot £25,000.

On a day that started showery with a cold easterly wind, expectations for the sort of weights this venue had been producing during the preceding weekend’s matches were low, with many thinking that the winning weight would be in the region of 50 to 60lbs. However, the Tipton angler threw these suggestions into disrepute as he fished a perfect match to land 95lbs 14ozs.

The Willis Worms backed angler, who was fishing only his second ever Fish ‘O’ Mania qualifier, drew Hawthorns peg number 15 and pole fished at 14.5 metres to an aerator. Using 2.5 pints of Castor and 1/3rd kg of worms, he caught F1’s and Carp steadily throughout the match with his biggest return proving to be a 4lb carp.

Commenting after his winning performance, Mark said: “I knew the venue really well and had one a match at Boldings only the week before. Les Thompson who fished the final last year is my travelling partner, so I know Cudmore quite well having sat behind him on the day.”

Some distance behind Mark, was runner up Antony King who was lucky enough to draw one of the fancied pegs, fishing number 11 on Stock Pool. However, the Macclesfield angler couldn’t capitalise on his draw ending with 87lbs with his biggest fish being a 10lb Mirror Carp.

The engineer alternated between 11.5m and 13m, fishing casters up in the water behind a tree stump, catching an impressive 30 F1’s, plus three Mirror Carp. This was Antony’s first ever Fish ‘O’ Mania qualifier, and if he continues to fish like he did at Octoplus then he may be able to turn his second place into first in the future.

Accompanying Antony King on Stock pool was well known angler and Fish ‘O’ Mania regular Jeff Moors from Northwood near Stoke on Trent who finished in third place. Fishing both pole and waggler he caught F1’s and Mirror Carp, using 3 pints of maggots in the process, to record a weight of 74lbs 10ozs.

Both Stock pool and Hawthorns proved to have the most in form lakes on the day with fourth place being taken from peg number seven on the latter by Wirral angler Jamie Hughes. The Merseyside match man finished with a more expected weight considering the conditions of 62lbs 15ozs. Fishing two pints of pellets shallow, Jamie landed all carp with his most successful strike weighing in at 6lb.

Octoplus Boldings in Bridgnorth was one of the three new venues used in this year’s competition and it proved that it was the day that relative newcomers to Fish ‘O’ Mania had the most success. Fifth place on the day was landed by another novice, Tony Walsh of Halesowen in Birmingham. The Mosella Black Country angler caught all F1’s feeding 3 pints of maggots and 1kg of worm to land 62lbs 6ozs.

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