Fish O’ Mania How it was won
Third time lucky as worm clinches win for Andy
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.
IN EPICENTRE OF GOOD PEGS
“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.”
WORM DID THE BUSINESS
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!