Angling: Andy Bennett claims bumper Fish‘O’Mania first prize

After years of awful attempts at televised angling, this year’s Fish‘O’Mania final held at Doncaster’s Hayfield Fishery got everything right and showed a massive worldwide audience that match angling can make great viewing.

By Steve Fearnley
Tuesday, 23rd July 2019, 6:00 am
Andy Bennett, with his £50,000 prize for winning Fish'O'Mania 2019.
Andy Bennett, with his £50,000 prize for winning Fish'O'Mania 2019.

Broadcast as far afield as Australia, Brazil and Africa, anglers watched a classic final unfold as just 4kg separated the top three going into the last 30 minutes.

Four-time Matchman of the Year and full time angling coach Andy Bennett (Manchester) showed why he is regarded as one of the very best, keeping his cool and netting over 8kg in those final minutes to come out on top and take the whopping £50,000 top prize.

His win and total weight of 52-500kg gave him the added bonus of automatic qualification for next year’s final and it would take a brave man to bet against him making it a double. Second-placed Simon Skelton (Leicester) fell just short with 45-225kg but walked away with £10,000 in prize money so shouldn’t be hurting too bad, all of the other 24 qualifers pocketed a handsome ‘thanks for coming’ £500.

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Though the international, big-money televised finals and Open match events make most of the headlines, grassroot club anglers made organisers take notice at one of our local commercial complexes at the weekend.

Kippax Park has suffered a number of setbacks over the past 12 months with KHV (Koi HerpesVirus) being diagnosed last season and its Osprey Lake closed at the moment at the request of CEFAS due to a number of spawn related fish deaths.

They deserved some good news and the local Rothwell RAS club certainly gave everyone something to smile about when long-time member Frank Britton not only set a new club record but obliterated the fishery record with an astounding 208-8 catch.

Drawn on Lapwing peg 1 he showed good club anglers have all the skills needed to build these mega match weights as he plundered the showing carp with an expert display of shallow fishing using luncheon meat and the long pole.

The latest Leeds Summer League held on the lower River Aire around Beale Bridge gave everyone something to talk about with some massive bream making up the bulk of the winning catches.

Last week’s dace ace Martin Highe showed that you have to be good at all methods to stay at the top, and his feeder fished worm and caster provided him with just four bream, but with them all being half the size of a car he weighed 24-5 and came out an easy winner.

Runner up Ricky Bonas also got in on the giant bream act with specimen size fish up to 9lb in his 19-2 total.

It seemed to be a specimen fish weekend with the River Ouse at Alice Hawthorn joining in some big fish action of the stripy variety with well known Swarcliffe angler Frank Aveyard including a number of perch to over 2lb in his catch on a recent challenge competition at the venue.

It could be well worth a visit for lure anglers looking to bag a big ’un.

Results

Fish O Mania final Hayfield: 1, Andy Bennet 52-500kg (£50,000); 2, Simon Skelton 45-225kg (£10,000); 3, Jamie Hughes 39-600kg; 4, Jordan Holloway 34-800kg; 5, Andy May 34-675kg.

Leeds & District Walt Leary Trophy Ulleskelf: 1, T Parr 17-06; 2, J Jordan 15-08; 3, A Parr 15-02; 4, T Morgan 14-04; 5, D Hare 14-00.

Leeds Greenwood Cup Ulleskelf Tidal Wharfe: 1, J Jordan 23-02; 2, K Smith 18-09; 3, S Wilson 16-12; 4, G Brown 16-04; 5, D Robson 15-09.

Bradford No 1 AA, Centenary Trophy Match, River Nidd, Cowthorpe: 1, K Mitchell 20-11; 2, I Bradley 12-03; 3, P Naylor 10-15; 4, I Newby 9-12; 5, ALewis 9-09.

Bradford No 1 AA, Calder League Rd 2: 1, D Pitt, Willy Worms 20-08; 2, A Miller, Mirfield 19-12; 3, D Taylor, Punky’s 8 19-06; 4, T Gausden, Barnsley 17-08; 5, S Heaton, Punky’s 8 17-00. Team Result, Punky’s 8, 39pts; Willy Worms, 38pts; Barnsley, 37pts; Calder & Mirfield, 33pts; Bradford No 1, 30pts; Reserves, 11pts.

White Horse AC, Redwood Park, Redwood Lake: 1, P Robinson 35-14; 2, J Sykes 33-08 (visitor); 3, M Gregson 32-00 (visitor); 4, J Craven 30-00.

Merlins AC, Aston Lilly: 1, D Pool 67-02; 2, N Sefton 53-12; 3, D Coote 35-02.

Swarcliffe V Forum AC, Alice Hawthorn: 1, S Lindley 15-04; 2, G Duckworth 14-00; 3, F Aveyard 13-00; 4, A Mortimer 9-05.

Leeds Summer League, Beale Bridge: 1, M Highe 24-05; 2, R Bonas 19-02; 3, P Austin 17-14; 4, S Haigh 14-00; 5, B Foster 13-01.

Rothwell R.A.S. Kippax Park: 1, F Britton 208-08; 2, D Taylor 46-08; 3, N Burnell 42-10; 4, P Hurdus 41-08.

Moor Monkton Pools, Sunday Open, Cyprio: 1, Ollie Hewitt 144-08; 2, Tom Bainbridge 114-12; 3, Dave Wright 104-13; 4, Ben Fisk 95-12.

Moor Monkton Pools, Wednesday Rover, All Pools: 1, Ben Fisk 188-11; 2, Garry Watson 145-12; 3, Paul Carter 100-01; 4, Martin Dodsworth 82-06.

Moor Monkton Pools, Sunday Open, Match Pool: 1, Tom Bainbridge 111-07; 2, Lee Smith 77-14; 3, Dave Wright 67-06; 4, Garry Watson 60-00.

Moor Monkton Pools, Wednesday Rover, All Pools: 1, Dave Pollitt 148-06; 2, Alex Warren 138-01; 3, Garry Watson 136-13.

Kippax Park Fishery, Saturday Open, Osprey: 1, Andy Middleton 60-07; 2, Steve Pearson 58-11; 3, Mark Wade 56-07.

Kippax Park Fishery, Tuesday Open, Lapwing: 1, Andy Gallant 102-00; 2, Dave Wright 93-10; 3, Barry Clark 68-11.

Kippax Park Fishery, Saturday Open, Lapwing: 1, Paul Cromie 72-05; 2, Mark Wade 71-04; 3, Andy Middleton 59-05; 4, Steve Pearson 57-12.

Kippax Park Fishery, Tuesday Open, Lapwing: 1 Dave Wright 79-04; 2, Richard Thomas 78-12; 3, Les Owen 63-11.

Armley AC at Kippax Lapping: 1, R Varty 88-4; 2, A Faithwaite 46-6; 3, B Trigg 30-5; 4, D Fish 28-10.

Viking Saturday Open (Deer): 1, J Brain 170-10; 2, M Holmes 122-0; 3, R Green 108-0; 4, L Grimmit 94-3.

Yorkshire Post (Viking Hawk): 1, G Lancaster 127-10; 2, T Jackson 85-8; 3, A Heaps 69-10; 4, M Scaife 55-13.

Viking Saturday Open (Hawk): 1, A Blythe 185-14; 2 T Rodgerson 100-14; 3, K Wilson 98-15; 4, C Jewitt 87-10.

Ackworth AC (Viking Deer): 1, S Crossfield 108-10; 2, S Nock 79-2; 3 J Batty 77-9; 4, P Batty 40-8.

Leeds Electric (Viking Deer): 1, P Foster 66-7; 2, J Butler 63-15; 3, L Scaife 46-3; 4, P Lindley 46-1.

South Leeds Cons (Viking Fox): 1, B Stanley 106-9; 2, C Spencer 76-3; 3, K Shelley 71-15; 4, G Williamson 63-6.

Chapel Street (Viking Hawk): 1, S Cawthorne 86-0; 2, C Clarkson 60-8; 3, D Bocking 57-8; 4, S Cawthorne 52-0.

Match Diary

Saturday

Kippax Park: Saturday Open, Lapwing or Osprey 07967000746.

Poppleton: Saturday Open, pools £15. draw cafe 10am, contact Roger 01904737279.

Birkwood Farm Fisheries: Emily’s or Oscars draw 8.30, contact 01924 892251.

Woodlands: 72 Pegs, tickets £18, contact 01845 520110.

Oaks at Sessay: 50 Pegs, tickets £17, contact 01845 501321.

Langwith Lakes: 60 Pegs, tickets £16, contact 01904 431874.

Moorfields Farm: 54 Pegs, tickets £16, contact 07710817150.

Fleets Dam: 50 Pegs, tickets £15, contact 01226 292579.

Birkwood Farm: 60 Pegs, tickets £16, contact 01132 80609.

Viking: Saturday Open, Deer pond, 24 pegs £18, 01405 785206.

Tollerton Ponds: Open Match all ages, (Kingfisher 20 pegs, Coot 18 pegs, Heron 32 pegs) contact 01347 838115.

Kippax Park: Winter series, Osprey Lake only contact Stan 0796700046.

Sunday

York & District: Open Matches, River Ouse, Contact Mick Potter 07890870551.

Leeds & Liverpool: Kirkstall contact Roger Movley 01132 772215.

Listerhills: Leeds & Liverpool Canal contact Eddie Harrison 07518721051.

Woodlands: 72 Pegs, tickets £18, contact 01845 520110.

Oaks at Sessay: 50 Pegs, tickets £17, contact 01845 501321.

Langwith Lakes: 60 Pegs, tickets £16, contact 01904 431874.

Oak Tree Leisure: 50 Pegs, tickets £15, contact 01347 810686.

Poppleton: Sunday Open 50 Pegs draw 11am Cafe, contact 07425 146677

York & District: Opens, contact Mick Potter 07890870551.

Monday

Woodlands Over-50s: 30 Pegs, tickets £15, contact 01845 520110.

Langwith Lakes Over-60s: 30 Pegs, tickets £10, contact 01904 431874.

Tollerton Ponds Over-50s: tickets £16 contact 01347 838115.

Tuesday

Kippax Park: Draw 10am, tickets £10, contact 07967000746.

Wednesday

Leeds & District: Moor Monkton Pools, Draw 10am, contact 07967000746.

Birkwood Farm Fisheries: Emily’s or Oscars draw 8.30, contact 01924 892251.

Woodlands: 72 Pegs, tickets £18, contact 01845 520110.

Fleets Dam: 50 Pegs, tickets £15, contact 01226 292579.

Tollerton Ponds: Open match, all ages, contact 01347 838115.

Thursday

Poppleton Lakes: Evening, draw car park 5pm, pools £11 contact Roger 01904 737279.