An sell-out of 150 anglers fished this first Fish’O’Mania Qualifier of the year at the ever-consistent Tunnel Barn Farm and they were greeted by almost perfect conditions; mild, overcast with a light breeze. Perfect for seeing those shy F1 bites.
As the match started there was a flurry of action with anglers mainly opting to fish the pole but with a myriad of tactics from short with maggot, to tapping pellet across to island features. Most anglers were putting fish together, but the real art being stringing consistent bites across several lines.
The only angler noted to be catching well was Kerry Kirkwood pegged next to the café at House 14. Going into the weigh in Kerry was favourite to reach yet another Fish’O final, however, nobody had noticed Ashly Davies on Jennys peg 11 quietly putting together a decent weight. Confiding in his pals that he thought he might have 120lb, attention suddenly switched to the other end of the fishery. Ashley duly weighed in 131-11 and pipped Kerry to the final after his catch weighed 120-4.
Ashley caught F1s and carp to 4lb by fishing maggots at depth on the short pole and on pellets down the edge, whilst Kerry caught almost all of his fish on maggots also at depth at 5m. Ash commented, ‘I’m buzzing to get into probably the most prestigious final in match fishing against the elite, I’ve never chased the big qualifiers much, but thought I’d give it a go this year and I’m over the moon!’.
Rounding out the top three was Pete Upperton from High peg 46, his catch included a 10lb carp and this saw him put 113lb 3oz on the scales.
This was a cracking start to this year’s Fish’O’Mania campaign with a close top six all over the magical 100lbs. The Angling Trust would like to thank both Andre and the team at Tunnel Barn Farm for all their help on the day.
The next Fish‘O’Mania qualifier takes place at Viaduct Fishery on Wednesday 18th March, which is another SELLOUT!
How to Book Tickets:
Tickets for the Fish’O’Mania 2020 are available via the Angling Trust events booking website. Ticket prices have once more remained at £25 per qualifier, however we are seeing a greater demand this year with four events sold out already, so please book in advance to avoid disappointment.
1st Ashley Davies Maver Gold Dynamite Baits 131-11
2nd Kerry Kirkwood Matrix 120-4
3rd Peter Upperton Guru 113-3
4th Matthew Bingham Spotted Finn 108-11
5th Stephen Bellion Milo MGM 105-6
6th Jamie Hughes Matrix/Spotted Finn 102-14