Meet The Anglers – Part 1

Ahead of this Saturday’s Fish‘O’Mania at Hayfield Lakes in Doncaster we profile the 24 anglers taking part, starting with the first six who qualified for this year’s Grand Final.

 

Andy Bennett (Cheshire)
Qualified From: Defending Champion
Previous FishOMania Finals: 2019 (winner)

Cheshire’s Andy Bennett won FishOMania on his debut last year, capturing the £50,000 first prize with a total match bag of 52.2g, 7kg more than his nearest challenger. Bennett is a four-time Matchman of the Year and enjoys the competitive ‘you vs. nature’ element of fishing.

 

Abbi Kendall (Cambridgeshire)
Qualified from: Ladies National Champion 2019
Previous FishOMania Finals: 2019 (14th)

Abbi Kendall returns for her second consecutive FishOMania Grand Final. The 26-year-old won last year’s Ladies National title with a record weight of 86.8kg. Kendall has been fishing since she was six years old and as a son called Rio, named after the venue of her fist World Championship.

 

Billy Marlow (Northamptonshire)
Qualified from: FishOMania Junior Champion 2019
Previous FishOMania Finals: Debut

Billy Marlow won last year’s Junior match, earning himself an invite to this year’s main event in the process. The Northamptonshire painter and decorator lists last year’s FishO champion Andy Bennett as one of his favourite anglers.

 

Ashley Davies (Cannock)
Qualified From: Tunnel Barn Farm (51.31kg)
Previous FishOMania Finals: Debut

Ashley Davies won the first FishO qualifier of 2020, back in March at Tunnel Barn Farm. The West Midlands angler says Jamie Hughes is his favourite angler and boasts a biggest match bag of 335lbs. The Birmingham City fan enjoys switching off from daily life when he’s out on the bank and describes himself as funny, chatty and very competitive.

 

John Hannam (Ebbw Vale)
Qualified From: Viaduct Fishery (73.36kg)
Previous FishOMania Finals: Debut

Welshman John list qualifying for FishO this year as his best angling achievement yet. The 31-year-old is a keen weightlifter who works in the chemical industry. He began fishing at the age of eight and has previously also qualified for the Golden Reel final.

 

Connor Barlow (Ashton-under-Lyne)
Qualified From: Partridge Lakes (86.18kg)
Previous FishOMania Finals: 2015 (2nd)

When FishOMania qualifiers resumed after lockdown in June, Connor Barlow wasted no time in booking his place at Hayfield Lakes, winning the first qualifier back at Partridge Lakes. He came agonisingly close to the grand prize when he made his FishO debut in 2015. He came second at Cudmore Fisheries that day, just four kilos behind winner Jamie Hughes.

In line with government guidelines, FishOMania 2020 will be staged behind-closed-doors with no public admittance. The event will be shown live on Sky Sports Action and Sky Sports Mix from 11.30am on Saturday, August 29. International broadcast details can be found here.