Fish O’ Ma­nia How it was won

Third time lucky as worm clinches win for Andy

Angling Times (UK) - - WELCOME -

FISH O’Ma­nia 2016 turned out to be a case of third time lucky for Andy May af­ter the like­able Cheshire star took the £50,000 top prize in his third fi­nal ap­pear­ance at Cud­more Fish­eries.

He won a peg to peg bat­tle with Manch­ester’s Kerry Kirk­wood to weigh in 27-150 at the end of a tense five hours in front of the Sky TV cam­eras.

The MAP/Bait-Tech an­gling coach from Mid­dlewich fin­ished a lit­tle un­der 4kg clear of Kerry to take match fish­ing’s premier prize on the Arena Pool.

How­ever, go­ing into the fi­nal few hours, any one of four an­glers had that big pay day within their grasp and it was Andy on fan­cied peg 5 who stamped his au­thor­ity on pro­ceed­ings in that last hour.

Vic­tory added an­other blue riband ti­tle to the 37-year-old’s CV which has seen him win the Ka­masan Match­man of the Year ti­tle three times, as well as fish­ing for the Eng­land Youth team, but Fish O’ will be one that he’s de­lighted to tick off the list af­ter miss­ing out twice.


“Win­ning the Ka­masan three times is an ob­vi­ous high­light, but this is right up there,” Andy said. “I couldn’t have asked for a bet­ter draw than peg 5, which was right in the epi­cen­tre of the good pegs. I’d have been pleased with any­where from peg 2 to 10, but I re­ally, re­ally fan­cied the draw as the wind was blow­ing into it and I knew from prac­tis­ing on Wed­nes­day on the lake that there were loads of fish to go at.”

The Arena Pool had been re­stocked in the run-up to the fi­nal and that left Andy, like the other 15 fi­nal­ists, un­sure how the new fish would re­act and where they would set­tle. As it turned out, they hadn’t moved far from those early pegs with Kerry tak­ing sec­ond on peg 4.

“In prac­tise I’d caught lots of fish on ground­bait and chopped worm on a short line and on slop fish­ing shal­low at 13m, so this was my ba­sic plan com­bined with the Method feeder to the is­land,” Andy ex­plained.

“I kicked off on the feeder but, de­spite hav­ing in­di­ca­tions, didn’t catch. I could see the lads get­ting a few on the pole, so I put the rod down and went out to 7m where I’d fed Karma ground­bait with chopped worms and loose cast­ers. I made sure the ground­bait was rock hard as I wanted the fish to at­tack the ball and not come up in the wa­ter.”


A worm head or worm tail fished overdepth saw Andy catch im­me­di­ately and other than a short spell fish­ing shal­low, which proved dif­fi­cult ow­ing to the wind, he stayed on this line for the rest of the match. He topped up with a small nugget of ground­bait and chopped worm, cast­ers go­ing in by hand over the top on a reg­u­lar ba­sis.

“I saw fish swirling over my long pole and slop swim, but the pre­sen­ta­tion was no good and with around two hours to go I de­cided to sack this line off com­pletely and con­cen­trate on the short pole as there were lots of fish there,” he re­vealed. “I felt as though this would be enough to win it for me. To be frank, this type of fish­ing was right up my street, catch­ing a mix of fish on worms and ground­bait.”

Lead­ing up to the last hour Andy was in con­tention, ly­ing

sec­ond or third and he came good in the fi­nal hour to pull clear of the lead­ers, catch­ing F1s, ide, bar­bel, skim­mers and small carp.

“With half an hour to go I felt I’d got it in the bag and my run­ner Andy Ben­nett, who was brilliant, had to calm me down as I started to get the shakes!” he re­called. “Strangely though, I felt no nerves or pres­sure. The semi fi­nal the day be­fore was dif­fer­ent, as so much was rid­ing on it and to miss out at that stage would have been a killer!”

Re­sult: 1 Andy May, 27-150; 2 Kerry Kirk­wood, 23-600; 3 Ross Harold, 23-050; 4 Rob Minikin, 21-750; 5 Ian Gid­dins, 20-675; 6 Ja­son Collins, 20-375; 7 Ben Fisk, 19-250; 8 Les Mar­shall, 18-650; 9 Dave Wood­worth, 17-075; 10 Jamie Hughes, 16-100; 11 Andy Power, 15-500; 12 Dale Stones, 14-175; 13 Nathan Wat­son, 11-825; 14 Stuart Fother­ing­ham, 10-075; 15 Ryan Lidgard 9-475; 16 Paul Wright, 7-350.

Sweet suc­cess – the tro­phy’s all yours, Andy, af­ter a tense five-hour bat­tle.

Andy in ac­tion – it wasn’t un­til the fi­nal hour that he knew he’d clinched it.

Part of the catch that brought Andy vic­tory.

An­other fish goes into the net, bring­ing the tro­phy one step closer!

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