Fish 'O Mania Final - Here We Come - Pemb Wrighting

Our very own Pemb Wrighting managed to beat off 129 strong competitors at Gold Valley Lakes, to qualify for the Fish 'O' Mania Grand Final. Here’s his story…

"I decided to have a really good go at Fish ‘O Mania this year. I applied for a load of tickets and eventually ended up with three. With my first qualifier being at my local Gold Valley, it was the ideal starting point for the campaign.

On the morning of the match there was a real buzz about and I couldn’t wait to put my hand in the bag of dreams and get started! Anyway in the hand went, and out came peg five on Gold Lake, which was one of the pegs I really fancied to do some damage. What's good about peg five on a match like Fisho, when every peg is in, is that you have your own water and no-one else can affect you. Plus, as an added bonus, I had the shallow water of an island to cast to.

Having drawn this peg before I knew what to expect, so geared up accordingly. Near the island is very snaggy so strong gear was the order of the day. I planned to fish the method feeder all match with 10lb Guru Drag Line on the reel, to a 0.25mm N-Gauge hook length and a size 14 MWG hook. To this I hair-rigged a bait band that would hold an 8mm pellet. Feeder choice was a 36-gram Guru X-Safe, as when fishing the method it’s vital that once the feeder hits the bottom it doesn’t move. I started off fishing mainly micro pellets around the feeder, but after a slow start a switch to groundbait really seemed to make a difference. I always tend to find that either pellet or ground bait is better than the other, so it's always worth a bit of experimenting.

The match was a bit patchy in that I'd get bursts of two or three fish then nothing for a while. One thing that did nick me three vital fish was to cast five turns further for the last hour, actually past the point of the island, where the fished seemed to have backed off to.

At the weigh-in I was one of the first to weigh and put 115lb 15oz on the scales, which was slightly more than I’d thought. My gut feeling though was that Richard Taylor on the other bank had beaten me. Because of this I was just packing away, like you do, when my mate Myles come along and was telling me the weights as Richard was being weighed in. I couldn't believe it when it I heard Richard had weighed 103lb so I’d done it! It made it even better because I was so sure I was second!

I cannot wait for the final. After seeing it on TV last year I thought it looked like such a good day, and to get there so soon is great. I'll certainly be putting plenty of time and effort into doing the best I can with the Fish ‘O Mania title on the line."