NORFOLK matchman Warren Martin is the 19th winner of the prestigious and lucrative Fish ‘O’Mania title, impressing the audience and viewers including Angler’s Mail magazine.
He stayed cool cool and smiled through the tense contest, despite the pressure associated with this Sky Sports-televised final.
The 35-year-old quantity surveyor, from Lyng, joked that his girlfriend was “Googling for shoes and handbags to spend the £30,000 cheque on” as the clock ticked towards the all-out at 5.05pm.
Tackling the even, doughnut-shaped commercial venue – Arena Pool at Cudmore Fishery in north Staffordshire – 14/1 shot Warren was in contention after he got over over a blank first weigh-in (scalesmen step in every 30 minutes). But he came strong mid-match, and to the hooter, to build a comfortable lead.
Warren’s final weight of 30.670 kg was almost 9kg ahead of runner-up Simon Medd, from Stockton-on-Tees in the North East, who crept up to finish ahead of a tight chasing pack… for no reward.
It had looked, with two hours to go, that bigger carp down the margins could make it anyone’s match… a 16-peg thriller for the good-sized crowd, even as rain came down in the closing stages.
But the better carp, that looked like feeding strongly near reeds in the margins, didn’t keep coming for anyone. One notable sufferer was Ben Emery, from Surrey, who took the lead but lost it as his swim proved a struggle later on.
Matrix-sponsored Warren’s mixed catch – featuring carp to 5.59 kg or 12 lb 5 oz in “old money” (the biggest fish of the match and worth a £1,000 bonus), barbel, skimmers and chub – was clearly the standout performance.
Warren caught mainly on worms, a bait he found brought barbel in practise when the aerators made the tow a different proposition. On the day, when lighter pole floats were fine, he fished long and down the margins to pick fish up steadily from peg 4, potting in chopped worm and casters.
Angler’s Mail magazine editor Tim Knight said: ‘This was a fantastic contest fished in the right spirit at a very fair venue, and with a worthy winner in Warren Martin. He made it look easy – the sign of any sportsman at the top of his game.
‘But the rest of the field fished their hearts out to stay in contention, which many of them were until the very final stages. Top angling lads – it made terrific viewing!
‘A thriller like this on live TV shows angling in the right light to any sports fan, which is why Sky Sports back it year after year with full-on all-day coverage. They’re still clearly onto a winner with Fish’O'Mania, as are the viewers.’
Final Fishomania result 2012:Warren Martin 30.670 kg; Simon Medd 21.890; Andy Geldart 20.25; Jamie Hughes 20.230; Chris Kendall 18.240; Pete Marlow 17.910; Ben Emery 17.790; Rob Wootton 15.840; Steve Cooke 13.530; Geoff Vallance 13.490; Simon Fry 13.480; Stephen Tucker 12.050; Mark Johnson 11.800; Adam Richards 8.700; Stu Ballard 7.800; Shane Atkin 2.580.
SUPER SAM WINS LADIES FISH’O'MANIA TITLE
The ladies Fish’O'Mania final ran on the pool’s other pegs for much of the main event, thus preventing anyone having end peg advantage in the big money content.
Even when it finished, before the main match, other anglers – including Tom Pickering on his daughter Emma’s peg – kept the swims going.
Star performer was Samantha Sim, from West Sussex. Her 27.970 kg catch was heavier than all the men – bar Warren!
The Preston Innovations-sponsored mum-of-three had her third child only ten weeks ago, and showed her class at top level once again to retain her title and bank £1,000.
COMING SOON! Be sure to check out the top follow-up coverage coming soon in Angler’s Mail magazine.
DON’T MISS! We review the best poles on the market in our next issue (on sale from Tuesday, July 17).