Matt Hall, 2003 Fish O Mania Champion, won the 16th and final qualifier on a scorching day at Lindholme Lakes Fishery on Wednesday 1st July with a top weight of 133lbs 15ozs.
Top class fishing in the middle of a British heatwave is usually pretty difficult to come by but almost all the competitors in this, the final qualifier for 2009, caught far more than the sun at this prolific venue. The weight sheets showed that 85lbs was needed to make the top six and the lowest weight to win a 10-peg section was over 42lbs . In fact 9 sections were won with more than 70lbs.
There were a number of anglers possibly in contention until late in the match although Matt Hall, a technical author from Awsworth near Nottingham, had led the way throughout the five hours. He put 140 F1’s on the scales to for is winning weight at Oasis peg 63. His biggest fish was around 4lbs. All his fish fell to 6mm pellet fished shallow on the long pole. Former Fish 'O' Mania Champion Matt, a finalist on two other occasions, was really “made up” to have qualified again. He was disappointed with his performance last year so relishes another chance to tackle the arena pool at Cudmore.
Runner up, Ben Holmes, of Newark, weighed 105lbs 11ozs of carp at peg 11 on the much fancied Bonsai Pool. He caught carp to 3lbs alternating between the feeder and pole. Third place was taken by Phil Ringer who caught an outstanding weight of 101lbs 11ozs on Laurels Pool.
Fourth was Andy North who just missed out on a ton bringing 07lbs 13ozs to the scales. Fifth place was taken by Chris Kendall from Ilkley, who picked up a ticket on the morning as one of the reserves. Chris put together a great net of “proper” carp to 7lbs totalling 95lbs 10ozs. He caught all his fish on the pellet waggler from Loco peg 6.
The final will be Fished at Cudmore Fisheries on Saturday 18th July and is due to be televised live on Sky Sports.
The Other 15 finalists are: Mick Bull, Paul Christie, Tony Curd, Pete Goodwin, Andy Power, Adam Richards , Dave Roberts, Tony Robertson, Mark Stevens, Dave Swain, Mark Tullet, Chris Vandervleit, Edward Warren, Nathan Watson and Rob Wootton.