It fell to the well established Maple Lake to come up with the goods at the eighth Fish ‘O’ Mania qualifier at the Oaks Fishery on Saturday 14th May 2011. Local angler and Oaks regular Shane Atkin, a Carer from Billingham in Cleveland took full advantage from peg 67 to take 28k 500gm, to become another fresh face who will take part in this year’s grand final in July. Shane fished 4mm expander hook pellet over micro feed pellet at 13metres and 14.5 metres tight over for carp up to 6lb to achieve his qualifying place.
Somewhat shell shocked after the match, Shane said “I was over the moon at qualifying at my first attempt as I applied for three Fish ‘O’ Mania tickets this year and got one. Unfortunately I have not been fishing for 6-7 weeks due to work commitments, but I felt that my peg always had the potential of throwing up a good weight of fish as long as I could maintain good presentation in the windy conditions, and noticed that there was not much wind in the corner so fished the pole across. I am really excited about the final but also really nervous being live on camera.” It was a double celebration for Shane as it was his son’s eighth birthday.
Two previous nights of cold heavy rain coupled with strong gusty winds met the 130 anglers for the qualifier on Saturday, though it managed to stay fine up to the last 40 minutes of the match the strong gusty winds persisted throughout the day making for a testing time for all competitors that took part.
Many locals thought that when Andy May drew peg 1 on Sycamore he might be the man to win on the day as this peg was always fancied. With the lake being stocked with small carp averaging from ½ to 1lb plus fish, this would suit Andy’s style of fishing as speed would be the order of the day if he was to put together a weight that could secure him a place in the final; however on the final whistle his weight of 25k 900gm knocked him into second place. Third place went to Colin Scott from Bury, fishing peg 66 on Cedar with a mixed net of F1s and mirror carp to 6lb for a weight of 25k 600gm. Previous Fish ‘O’ Mania winner Marc Jones finished in fourth place from peg 1 on Cedar, fishing pellet across to the far bank for 25k 050gm.
The ninth Fish ‘O’ Mania qualifier for 2011 will take place at Peatling Pools, Peatling Parva, Leicester on Wednesday 18th May 2011.