Finally, reasonable weather turned up for this, the seventh Fish ‘O’ Mania qualifier of 2013, held at Maver Larford Lakes, near Stourbridge on Saturday 4th May.
Again as is usual for this event all three lakes were in use, Specimen, Match and Arena, but strangely the fishery staff could not predict where the winner was likely to come from. Many of the competitors fancied Specimen Lake being the favourite due to the high numbers of large carp that the water held, and if these decided to have a go then a big weight was on the cards. Unfortunately, the big carp never fed in numbers on Specimen, and the expected winning weight never materialised from this lake, but from Match Lake.
Drawn on Match Lake peg 43, on the burr bank side and end peg on the island, Gary Hick, a Gas Engineer, who had made the long trek from St Martins near Oswestry, ran out the eventual winner, netting carp to 8 lbs. Fishing meat down the edge for most of the time and catching the odd fish at 9 metres he amassed a total weight of 136 lbs 3 ozs to become the seventh qualifier for the Fish ‘O’ Mania final and make his long journey worthwhile.
In second place and just behind the winner with 133 lbs 4 ozs, drawn on Match Lake peg 37 was Jamie Hughes, an Angling Coach from Wirral. Fishing pellet shallow and groundbait and maggots down the edge he caught a mixed bag of carp to 10 lbs and F1’s. Third place, again from Match Lake was Lee Kerry, fishing for Barnsley and District, from Leeds. Drawn on peg 27 he alternated method feeder to the island and pole at 11 metres to weigh in 120 lbs 13 ozs made up of carp to 10 lb. In fourth place and this time from the fancied Specimen Lake was James Hawkins a business owner from Kegworth, near Derby. He drew peg 2 and finished the match with a weight of 101 lbs of carp, with his biggest fish weighing 19 lbs 9 ozs. Fifth placed angler, again from Specimen Lake was Kevin Dicks, Maver Bathampton, from Bristol. Drawn on peg 72, he weighed in a total of 84 lbs of carp and skimmers with his biggest carp weighing 17 lbs 13 ozs.