It was back to ‘winter mode’ for the third qualifying round of the XVII Fish ‘O’ Mania at Dynamite Baits Makins Fishery, Wolvey, Warwickshire. A sharp overnight frost and a cooler day than of late made it difficult to tempt bites in areas; the lowest ten peg winning section was 26-8-0 which was quite acceptable given the tough conditions.
The third name to be added to the eventual sixteen targeting the £25,000 first prize in the Fish ‘O’ Mania final is Sean Huggins from Wigston. It was a hop over the Leicestershire border for Sean to Phases Two and Three where the larger lakes, Lagoon and Lizard were well fancied by those ‘in the know’. The self employed painter and decorator was actually on the reserve list to fish this match – in fact he was thirteenth reserve! The dreaded number 13 was looking unlucky again as Sean drew on Severn 25, a peg that had good form in the distant past but certainly not in recent times. He started off on 6 ml punched bread fished quite shallow towards the feature island catching the odd carp here and there until halfway through the match. As the fish started ‘backing off’ at this point he introduced minimal amounts of pellets, literally three or four via a small cup every now and then. He caught a few more on punched bread and the odd one on paste before a final change of tactic to the pellet waggler. This final move in the last hour kept even more carp coming and he ran out a very worthy winner with just over thirty carp for 95-15-0. Sean has a happy knack of doing really well in the bigger competitions and must now be one to fear in the Grand Final. The former winner of the UK Championships has fished a few Fish ‘O’ Mania qualifiers before and was keen to get in this one because Dynamite Makins is a local venue to him.
Runner-up Ben Emery of Garbolino Banstead fished method feeder and pellet, right in the grass stalks of Lagoon 13 to net carp to 4 lb 8 oz in his 78-1-0. Paul Law of Trabucco South East was third with carp to 6 lb, skimmers and roach for 68-10-0 from Lagoon 4. Former River Trent legend John Allerton of Tri-Cast was fourth with 49-15-0 followed by David Bacon 49-4-0 and Matt Hall of Sensas 49-0-0.
The fourth match in this series of Fish ‘O’ Mania qualifiers is on Leicestershire’s Lakeview Fishery this weekend and it will be interesting to see who will join Ray, Steven and Sean in the line up to the final.