JAMIE HUGHES became only the second angler in the 22 year history of Coral Fish ‘O’ Mania to win the title twice as he lead from the early stages to carry off coarse angling’s most prestigious prize at Cudmore Fisheries, Stoke-on-Trent.
He now stands with Matt Hall in British fishing’s most exclusive club having taken this title for the first time in 2013. The 32 year-old from the Wirral, Merseyside claimed the £30,000 top prize as well as the magnificent trophy.
Hughes winning weight was 16.600kg, which put him 4.050 ahead of nearest rival Connor Barlow.
With Arena Lake at Cudmore having been drained, netted and re-stocked following last year’s final, there was plenty of debate and discussion as to how the water would fish.
With strong winds in the early part of the match, as well as sunshine and a record-breaking crowd, the conditions were tough. Hughes, fishing off favoured peg 4, found his feet early and caught consistently throughout with the half hourly weigh-ins telling the story. By the half way stage he had built a clear lead as he adapted to the conditions well. In the end he was uncatchable as he caught F1s, two tench and plenty of small carp and skimmers.
“The match went a lot different than all of us planned I think. We all thought we would be catching a lot more fish. Perhaps the disturbance around the lake scared some of the little fish and it has fished completely differently.”
With the weights generally low, there was always a chance Hughes could be caught if he slowed up and one of the chasing pack made a move. However, he never lost his grasp as he roared to victory.
Hughes added, “It made it a lot more technical; you had to be really busy rotating your lines and catching fish when people weren’t catching fish. It made it a good match but it was a bit nerve-wracking at the end with it being so close.
“My bank runner was keeping a track of what was going on all of the time. There are fish big enough in this lake that Connor could have caught that up within two fish, so up until the last 15 minutes there was always a chance he could have caught me.
“I don’t know how I will spend the money. I saved most of it last time so with this to add hopefully it can go towards a new house.”
Second placed Connor Barlow from Droylsden, Manchester took the £5,000 cheque while Wayne Taylor bagged the trophy and £1,000 for the biggest fish – a 2.100kg carp.
Samantha Sim, the 29 year-old from Worthing, West Sussex, became the first woman to collect four Fish ‘O’ Mania Ladies’ titles as she came on in the last hour to take the title ahead of Elizabeth Crewe.
Sim’s winning weight was 6.630 kilos, 1.470 ahead of her nearest rival and she netted the top prize of £1,000. The win gave Sim her record-breaking fourth Coral Fish’O’Mania Ladies title, ahead of Emma Pickering and Sandra Scotthorne who have both won three.
It was the 17th annual running of the Coral Fish’O’ Mania Ladies match Sim’s victory followed on from wins in 2007, 2011 and 2012.
“Myself, Emma and Sandra were all on three. Me and Emma are really good friends but we are competitive as well; and now I am better than her!” said a delighted Sim.
“I had a complete change of tactic in the last hour and ended up fishing with ground bait, soil and worm with a little worm on the hook. It turned into a completely different hour for me.
“Earlier than that I was fishing a method feed tight to the island. I fished the pole lines with worm and caster. We started off on the pole but the fish moved off as the time went on, so they went to the island.
“It was too positive so we came back, scaled down with a more negative approach and the fish came onto it, and I was lucky enough to have that big fish as well which has boosted my weight back up.
“Every year, Fish ‘O’ Mania is amazing. The atmosphere is great. This is my fourth win, a record, and I love it. I can’t wait to come back again!”
2015 Coral Fish’O’Mania XXII – Full Results
- Jamie Hughes (4) 16.600kg
- Connor Barlow (2) 12.550kg
- Wayne Taylor (10) 10.525kg
- Kerry Kirkwood (11) 10.075kg
- Josh Pace (6) 9.875kg
- Eddie Green (12) 9.250kg
- Matt Hall (9) 8.625kg
- Steve Freeman (8) 8.500kg
- Simon Colclough (3) 8.100kg
- John Harvey (16) 8.050kg
- Dale Shepherd (15) 7.475kg
- Roland Lucas (7) 6.425kg
- Frank Donachie (5) 5.550kg
- Dave Roberts (1) 4.625kg
- Perry Stone (14) 2.575kg
- Steve Mazza (13) 2.200kg
- Samantha Sim (Peg 4) 6.630kg
- Elizabeth Crewe (3) 5.160kg
- Abbi Kendall (6) 4.010kg
- Kayleigh Smith (5) 3.590kg
- Gemma Matthews (1) 1.360kg
- Linda Cooke (2) 0.825kg
Team England, comprised of Will Raison and Des Shipp, continued English dominance of the Coral Fish ‘O’ Mania International event as they lead from wire-to-wire to pick up the title for the fifth consecutive year and claim the £10,000 first prize.
It became apparent around the halfway stage that it would be a race to see who could claim second prize as Shipp and Raison proved why they are unstoppable on commercial waters.
Raison netted the biggest individual weight of the match – 17.150 kg – while Shipp weighed in with 13.700 kg, the joint third highest weight of the match.
In the end they won by over eight kilos from second placed Holland – a repeat of the first and second from last year. The Dutch pair of Dieter Friederichs and Jurgen Spierings once again picked up the consolation prize of £5,000.
A delighted England team manager Mark Addy said, ”You can’t beat these two at this kind of fishing. They won it in 2013 and last year, and they are just fantastic – they are fishing machines.
“They were a bit nervous as they were expected to be No.1 so I was keeping them in touch with what was happening and any little tweaks between them, I would carry the messages across.
“With half n hour to go I thought nobody could beat us and I told them they were fishing for the individual,”
Will Raison said “It is fantastic, we have won every event here. It is a brilliant event with a nice, big crowd and it is an original event. We do get to fish some big events with big crowds but this is a certain style of fishing that myself and Des have done a lot of and we are good at it is nice to come and fish here.
“The team is the most important thing but to win the individual is nice. The team is the main thing and we have seen that over the years, the team is the priority and anything individual is a bonus. I had two skimmers, three tench and the rest stockies.
“You only have to look at the quality of the other anglers and how keen they are; it is only a matter of time until they get into this style of fishing.”
It was left to Des Shipp to sum up a magnificent day for England, “We drew an area neither of us wanted to be in but the game plan was to get bites, as it has been every time we have come here.
“The big carp have been taken out so it was about getting bites and putting fish in the net and vary the baits during the day to suit. I was catching small carp, some F1s, three tench and I had a skimmer. So the silver fish haven’t really fed.
“We do feel the pressure, massively. Everywhere we go in the world we are under immense pressure because everybody thinks England is no. 1. Wherever we are, we are expected to win.
“I have only concentrated on myself and Mark has been walking around telling us after each weigh-in that we were ahead. It is nice in a way that the big fish haven’t showed because we were six or seven kilos ahead going into the last hour so you think then you just have to keep plodding.”
- England – 30.850kg
- Holland – 22.775kg
- Belgium – 19.900kg
- Wales – 19.675kg
- Ireland – 18.250kg
- Italy – 16.975kg
- France – 15.350kg
- Scotland – 11.250kg
- Will Raison (ENG) – 17.150kg
- Eric De Venti (BEL) – 14.750kg
T3. Des Shipp (ENG) – 13.700kg
T3. Dieter Friederichs (HOL) – 13.700kg
- John Harvey (WAL) – 11.500kg
- Jean Desque (FRA) – 10.125kg
T7. Nick Howell (IRE) – 9.125kg
T7. Vincent Walsh (IRE) – 9.125kg
- Jurgen Spierings (HOL) – 9.075kg
- Milo Colombo (ITA) – 8.950kg
- Lee Edwards (WAL) – 8.175kg
- Claudio Guicciardi (ITA) – 8.025kg
- Jamie Masson (SCO) – 7.400kg
- Gilles Caudin (FRA) – 5.225kg
- Hans Slegers (BEL) – 5.150kg
- Brian Clark (SCO) – 3.850kg
The 2015 Fish ‘O’ Mania Junior match was won by 15 year-old Sam Collett from Leicester Forest East, who enjoyed a comfortable win as he bagged up 12.275kg in the four hour match. That gave Collett a 2.875kg winning margin over his nearest rival Kristian Jones, with Tom Edwards coming in third place.
It was Collett’s second appearance in the Fish’O’Mania Junior match – he came last in 2013 – and he takes home the winner’s cheque of £1,000 for his fine effort. A recent 4th place finish in the Fish ‘O’ Mania qualifier at Barford Lakes showed his recent form.
“I had a mixture of F1, carp and tench from mainly fishing double dead maggot.
“I was in this a couple of years ago and from that I learnt a few things. I practiced a lot more this time and was able to keep my cool better. I tried different things and fished a normal match, trying not to think about it being Fish ‘O’ Mania.
“I fished my own match and didn’t keep too much of an eye on what else was happening. After the second hour I felt I had a chance. I had a really bad first weigh but started to fish steadier after that.
“I had two good carp in the last hour and a couple of f1 so by the final weigh in I knew I was ahead. I haven’t thought about how I might spend the money.
“I fished the main event qualifier at Barford Lakes and came fourth. I didn’t get in but to win this has really made up for it,” said a delighted Collett.
Sam Collett – 12.275kg
- Kristian Jones – 9.400kg
- Tom Edwards – 6.050kg
- Daniel Slack – 5.400kg
- James Allen – 4.925kg
- Morgan Davidson – 3.500kg
Biggest Fish (£1,000)
Tom Edwards – 1.375kg