Andy banks a holiday prize in search of landing a massive final pay-day

Andy wore his Easter bonnet with all the frills upon it – and went on to hit the high spots at Barford’s Easter parade.

No longer a hopeful rover, he wallows now in clover, with the chance of a final pay day, a monster £50,000.

That sums up Oakham Matchman Andy Adams’ Bank Holiday performance on the Barford Top Lake peg five, where he lifted out carp to 11lb in a 104lb 11oz winner of the Fish ‘O Mania qualifier.

That catch sends him through to the final, with 23 other Brits and four Europeans, to be staged on the famous Cudmore Fishery in Staffordshire on July 8.

This was the competition’s eighth qualifier of 24 this year.


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A total of 130 top rods drew pegs to compete on Barford’s six lake venues, each capable of producing the winner from the field who makes fewest mistakes.

And, at the end of a nerve-shattering five hours of intense concentration and, indeed, confrontation, it was the Rutland angler who chalked up the only three-figure mark to emerge triumphant.

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A number of other hopefuls fell short with 90lb-plus catches and afterwards the winner told fishery manager Sarah Thomson: “I decided to fish pellet on a size 18 hook to 0.14 main line and 0.12 hook length.

“I received reports during the contest that some anglers had lost fish and the result would be close, and I am absolutely delighted to have come through against some truly top-class opposition pegged around this very fair lake venue.”

Runner-up was well-known Bury St Edmunds regular Stuart Bracey (Dynamite Baits), who must have fancied peg 23 on the Willow where he offered worm and caster on the float and netted carp up to 10lbs for a 98lb 9oz total.

Alan Southgate, from Bishop’s Stortford, finished third with 92lb 9oz of carp from Railway peg 2, his best fish 13lb, and all caught on worm over ground bait.

Thomson said: “The winner could have come from almost any of our venues and I believe some anglers lost fish that would have blown away the opposition.”

The qualifiers, whioch began at Viaduct Fishery in Somerset on March 8 head to Partridge Lake sin Cheshire today before concluding on Wednesday, June 21 at Lindholme Lakes in south Yorkshire.

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