Woodlands Lakes, Thirsk can always be guaranteed to come up with close finishes and this year was no exception with just 12oz being the margin between first and second place. It fell to Nathan Watson last year’s Fish ‘O’ Mania Champion of Champion’s winner to take the honours from peg 20 on Partridge lake at the 15th Fish ‘O’ Mania qualifier on Saturday 25th June 2011. Nathan took full advantage of his end peg to give him a winning weight of 118lb 9oz of carp up to 10lb, which was taken by continually moving between the method, long pole shallow, down the margins and pellet waggler to give him his match winning weight.
It was all go on the morning for Nathan as his return holiday flight was delayed by four hours which meant he only made it from the airport to the draw with just minutes to spare.
Nathan said after the match “It was great to qualify yet again and I hope I can take the title to add to my previous win as well as my Champion of Champion’s win of last year.”
The conditions on the day were warm and light wind and expectations were high for the 130 anglers that made their way to Woodlands Lakes for the penultimate round of this year’s Fish ‘O’ Mania qualifying match. With the likes of two time’s Fish ‘O’ Mania Champion Matt Hall and a whole host of former winners such as Steve Ringer, Steve Cooke, Nathan Watson, Marc Jones, and Geoff Ringer, and many more well known names were all vying for one of the last two places in this year’s grand final.
Narrowly pushed into second place was Paul McIntyre from Leeds from peg 16 on Skylark who fished corn over a bed of ground bait. He took carp up to 10lb to finish with 117lb 13oz. Third place fell to Steve Ringer pegged directly opposite Nathan on Partridge 17, he fished banded pellet shallow on long pole to finish with 17 carp for 110lb 6oz. Steve said after the match the only thing he was short of was “that one extra big fish”. To keep it in the family Steve’s dad Geoff who fished peg 19 on Skylark had a very slow match, until everything turned round in the last hour with him putting 80lb of carp in his net in the last hour to give him a final weight of 90lb 12oz, to give him the fourth spot. In fifth place was Steve Forster from peg 5 on Partridge with a weight of 89lb 6oz.