FISHOMANIA 2018 will be fished at Hayfield Lakes… and Angler's Mail can tell you all you need to know here about qualifiers and the final itself.

Fishomania will see a return to the South Yorkshire complex that hosted the big money Sky Sports-televised event for 11 years between 1997 and 2007

A whopping £50,000 winner’s cheque will again be the coveted top prize, on Saturday July 14, 2018.

And the co-organisers Matchroom Multi Sport and the Angling Trust released dates and venues for the qualifying rounds (22 in the UK and two overseas).

Their switch back to Hayfield marks the end of Cudmore Fishery’s ten-year tenure of the Fishomania Final on the Staffordshire venue’s Arena Pool (pictured above).

Popular venues have extra 100-plus peg qualifiers in the 2018 Fishomania calendar – and ‘where appropriate’ numbers of pegs at other qualifiers have been reduced, creating space for better matches.

Tickets will again be sold via website  anglingtrustevents.net There will be two ‘rounds’ to get tickets.

The first ticket rush started on Monday, January 29 and saw massive rush demand. The second round starts at 10.30am on Tuesday, February 13.

And due to the high demand the Angling Trust has introduced a process that ensures all anglers who want to fish in the competition can book at least one ticket per qualifier.

Prices are still £25 per qualifier, and anglers (16 years and over) must have individual membership of the Trust, available on 0343 5077 006 or via their main website.

There’s a ‘How to Book Fish’O’Mania Tickets’ guide and short video at on the Trust’s website.

Hayfield used to host Fishomania and has in the last two year’s been the home of Maver Match This, with mega money payouts.

2018 Fishomania qualifiers

Here’s the full list of Fishomania qualifiers in England. There will also be some international qualifiers to be announced:

Wed, March 14 – Viaduct Fishery, Somerset.
Sat, March 17 – Tunnel Barn Farm, Warks.
Sat, March 24 – Heronbrook Fisheries, Staffs.
Sat, April 7 – Viaduct Fishery, Somerset.
Wed, April 18 – Lindholme Lakes, S. Yorks.
Sat, April 21 – Woodland View, Worcs.
Wed, April 25 – Tunnel Barn Farm, Warks.
Wed, May 2 – Heronbrook Fisheries, Staffs.
Sat, May 5 – Partridge Lakes, Cheshire.
Wed, May 9 – Larford Lakes, Worcs.
Sat, May 12 – Tunnel Barn Farm, Warks.
Sat, May 19 – Monk Lakes, Kent.
Wed, May 23 – Messingham Sands, N. Lincs.
Sat, May 26 – Colemans Cottage, Essex.
Wed, May 30 – Makins Fishery, Warks.
Sat, June 2 – The Oaks, N. Yorks.
Wed, June 6 – Boldings Pools, Shropshire.
Sat, June 9 – Woodland Lakes, N. Yorks.
Wed, June 13 – Partridge Lakes, Cheshire.
Wed, June 20 – Lake View, Leics.
Sat, June 23 – Gold Valley Lakes, Hants.
Wed, June 27 – Lindholme Lakes, S. Yorks.
FISHOMANIA 2018 FINAL: Sat, July 14 – Hayfield, S. Yorks. Spectator entry will be free for the Final at Hayfield Lakes, with car parking priced £5.

Jamie Hughes collects the £30,000 big cheque and trophy at Cudmore after winning his second Fishomania Final. He won it again, for a third time.

Reactions to Fishomania 2018 Final move

JAMIE HUGHES

Jamie Hughes became the first angler to win the Fish’O title three times, after lifting the trophy in 2017 following victories in 2015 and 2013, gave the move his thumbs-up.

“My Fish‘O’Mania era has all been at Cudmore, but it’s all about looking ahead. Hayfield’s Island Lake has been a good venue in the past two Maver Match This Finals and I’m sure it will be for Fish‘O’Mania 2018. I’ll be going all-out to qualify,” MAP-backed Jamie told Angler’s Mail.

“People watching Fish‘O’Mania on TV never fully realise how the disturbance caused by TV crews and crowds affected sport at Cudmore. Everyone bagged up during practise. It’s a good lake that I’ll always have fond memories from, but I think everyone felt it was time for a change.

“Hayfield has several advantages, most importantly the size and volume of water,” continued the Wirral, Cheshire-based pro angling coach. “Island Lake has 70 pegs with depths to over 10 ft. Mature carp in the 5-10 lb range are the main targets; there’ll be little point in targeting anything else. It’s quite a simple venue to fish.

“In mid-July I’d expect a very open match with several pegs capable of winning. Long pole and waggler, both shallow and full depth, are the likely tactics,” he concluded.

MATT HALL

Matt Hall, the only other angler with more than one Fish‘O trophy in his cabinet, also expressed his approval.

Shakespeare Superteam stalwart Matt’s victories spanned both venues, with 2003 glory at Hayfield followed by a 2009 triumph at Cudmore.

“I’ve always liked Hayfield since I first fished it in 2003. It’s a happy venue for me. I fished two other Fish’O Finals there, including the amazing 2006 match when I caught 100 lb but only finished eighth or ninth,” recalled Matt, 55, from Awsworth, Nottinghamshire.

“As match anglers we can all get a bit blinkered. But workmates and club anglers who watch the Final on TV every year started saying it had got a bit boring recently. It was definitely time for a change.

“I’m not as driven as I once was for this event. But I still believe that if I can qualify then draw the right peg I could win it for a third time. I’ll certainly be trying again this year,” concluded Matt.

BARRY HEARN

Event creator, Matchroom chairman Barry Hearn, said: “We are thrilled that Fish‘O’Mania will return to Hayfield Lakes in its 25th year. Along with the team at Hayfield Lakes and our colleagues at Sky Sports, we’re determined to make this the best Fish‘O’ yet.”

ROBIN GOFORTH

Hayfield’s Robin Goforth said: “Maver-Dynamite Hayfield Lakes are delighted to welcome home the ‘FA Cup of Angling’ on its 25th anniversary. We’ve really missed this prestigious event and will work tirelessly to create an unmissable live event for the participating anglers, spectators and viewers on Sky Sports.”

JAMES LEWIS

Angling Trust competitions Development Manager James Lewis added: “We’ve listened to feedback from anglers last year and made several changes to qualifier dates, locations and pegging, in order to make the matches as fair and competitive as possible.”

Andy Geldart (centre) was crowned Fishomania champ in 2014 and is seen here with Barry Hearn (right) who helped make the event the huge success it has been.

5 Hayfield Fishomania Facts

  1. Hayfield first hosted the Fishomania Final in 1997, when Devizes, Wiltshire, matchman Kev Rowles won with 17 kg 590 g of skimmers and roach… without a carp in sight!
  2. Northamptonshire’s Steve Ringer won the 1998 Final. Two years later his dad, Geoff, brought the trophy back to the family home!
  3. Fishomania’s record winning weight of 98 kg 690 g was set at Hayfield in 2006 by Stoke’s Neil Machin in a scorching hot Final when average weights neared 100 lb.
  4. Hayfield owners, colourful couple Robin and Noelie Goforth, are no strangers to tabloid TV and newspaper stardust, having featured in episodes of Channel 5’s Britain’s Flashiest Couples and Channel 4’s Wife Swap series.
  5. Hayfield is a venue that has always attracted corporate sponsors from within the angling world. Maver and Dynamite Baits are the current partners. Past backers include Preston Innovations and Spro.

CAUGHT A BIG FISH OR GOT SOME NEWS? Email photos and details exclusively to: anglersmail@timeinc.com – you could appear in AM print magazine.

SUBSCRIBE NOW AT AM MAGAZINE’S SALE PRICE!

There’s still time to subscribe to one of the top Sale deals online at magazinesdirect.com.

You’ll then get Angler’s Mail print magazine delivered to your door, at discounted rates from just 96p per week!

Related stories by Angler’s Mail