Fish O’ Ma­nia plans for 2017 event

Or­gan­is­ers praise big weights from re­ju­ve­nated Arena Lake

Angling Times (UK) - - WELCOME - TONY GRIGOR JEVS Se­nior Re­porter

OR­GAN­IS­ERS of Fish O’Ma­nia have la­belled this year’s fi­nal ‘the best ever’ and have al­ready started work on plan­ning the next cam­paign.

Thou­sands of peo­ple tuned in to watch the ac­tion un­fold and were treated to ar­guably the most thrilling fi­nal in the his­tory of the tour­na­ment.

It wasn’t un­til the dy­ing stages that the win­ner be­came clear, with Andy May just about do­ing enough to see off a tal­ented field and bag the cov­eted tro­phy and £50,000 top prize.

Host venue Cud­more Fish­eries had been sub­ject to crit­i­cism from some quar­ters af­ter weights dwin­dled dur­ing the 2014 and 2015 fi­nals, but the Stafford­shire com­plex bounced back in style.

Tour­na­ment own­ers Match­room Sport were de­lighted at the event and Me­dia Di­rec­tor Luke Riches told An­gling Times: “It was an amaz­ing fi­nal that saw the 16 an­glers share over 600lb of fish be­tween them – that is more than dou­ble what was landed last year.

“The Arena Lake was al­ways go­ing to take time to set­tle down from drain­ing and re­stock­ing, and it has cer­tainly done that now.

“There were four dif­fer­ent lead­ers and the lead changed hands six times. The run­ner-up spot for £10,000 was not de­cided un­til the very last weigh-in... how’s that for drama?”

Cham­pion Andy May was in full agree­ment that the fi­nal will live long in the mem­ory, and he said: “The staff at Cud­more have got the stock­ing spot-on, and it made for a fan­tas­tic match that was alive un­til the very end.”

Dis­cus­sions have al­ready been held to de­cide the for­mat of next year’s tour­na­ment, and Luke hinted that changes could be made for 2017.

“We saw the event as a huge suc­cess but we have had plenty of feed­back from an­glers.

“As a re­sult of this we will be look­ing at tweak­ing the qual­i­fi­ca­tion process to make Fish O’Ma­nia even more ex­cit­ing,” con­cluded Luke.

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