11 July 2018
Meet The Anglers: Part 2
Ahead of this Saturday’s Fish‘O’Mania at Hayfield Lakes in Doncaster we profile the 24 anglers taking part.
The king of Fish‘O’Mania, Jamie Hughes has won the competition an unprecedented three times. The 35-year-old from Wirral has qualified for the seventh year in succession – another FishO record he holds – and is the early favourite to take this year’s trophy too. This will be Hughes’ eighth Fish‘O’Mania Grand Final and his previous wins came in 2013, 2015 and 2017. Victory this year would see him take another record and become the first angler to successfully defend the FishO title.
Andrew Bailey has home advantage in Doncaster this weekend. The 43-year-old only made it to Heronbrook Fisheries 20 minutes before the start of the qualifying match he eventually won, but set to work quickly to net 122lbs 4oz in a closely-run match. Bailey made it to the Fish‘O’Mania semi-finals two years ago – the only time a semi-final match was run – but didn’t make it through to the Grand Final. He finally gets his chance to fish the main match this weekend.
Steve Openshaw lists making last year’s Fish‘O’Mania final as his greatest angling achievement, and he came a respectable 13th out of 25 anglers on the day. The Wirral angler has qualified for a second time in 2018 and will be hoping to challenge at the top with the advantage of previous FishO experience now under his belt. The 57-year-old is a Fisheries Manager and goes by the nickname ‘Spanner’.
Warwickshire’s Richie Hull netted the top spot at the Larford Lakes Fish‘O’ Mania qualifier in May to return to the Grand Final for the first time since making his debut 15 years ago. Hull came 11th in 2003 but says his biggest angling disappointment was losing out by 2oz to become UK Champion. The 54-year-old has been fishing for 48 years and has won numerous national titles in that time.
Black has qualified for his first Fish‘O’Mania Grand Final this year. The 21-year-old works in a tackle shop in Birmingham and won through May’s Tunnel Barn Farm qualifier with 172lbs 14oz. Pete made use of the popular banded caster approach, feeding regularly to take F1s and carp to qualify.
Kristof de Busser
Belgian angler Kristof de Busser won one of two international qualifying matches; at Snakelake de Berenkuil in Holland. The 31-year-old is a two-time regional champion and has been fishing since the age of 9.
→ Click here to read Part 1
Keep an eye out for Part 3 and Part 4 on Thursday.
Fish‘O’Mania is live on Sky Sports Action and Sky Sports Mix from midday on Saturday, July 14. Spectator tickets are FREE of charge (£5 car park fee applies) and can be downloaded at: http://www.fishomania.net/tickets/