Fish 'O Mania Final - Pemb Wrighting

Since qualifying for the Fish-O-Mania final back in April, I've been channeling all my angling efforts towards the competition. By that I mean I've been researching methods, fish stocks and what has worked well at the Arena Lake at Cudmore fishery in the past.

After I found out what the tactic was going to be on the day, I made sure I went to venues near me and perfected them to get into the groove of what I thought would help me to take the title.

The draw for the final is slightly different to most other competitions; it takes place the night before the event. Matchroom sport put on an event for the draw and I have to say, they put a great event on. They put all the finalists up for the night, provide dinner and breakfast.

When it came to the match I drew peg 7, one of the ones I dearly wanted. Ideally I wanted to be in pegs 5-10, so to be right in the middle of those made me very happy.

My tactics for the day were kept simple. The way I look at these sorts of matches is that you won't win fishing like someone else, so you have to pick a few methods your confident in and stick to them. That's the way I look at it anyway. From practice I earmarked long pole shallow with pellets, long pole with paste on the bottom and a straight lead with pellets towards the island.

Come the day of the race, I was buzzing and raring to go. The fishing was slow going all round to start with. I did manage a couple of carp early doors, both on a long line rig, swinging my hookbait about five feet past the pole tip. The fish seemed very spooky early on and reluctant to come under the shadow of the pole. After a while, the shallow feeding carp drifted off, so a change of tactics was in order. At about half way through the match, I had a good run on the straight lead, fishing about 3/4's of the way across. Five carp came in quick succession to my 8 mm pellet hookbait. My setup for the bomb included the new X-Safe bombs. I can't rate these highly enough, they give great hooking properties and with the elastic they give you a bit of extra insurance in the hook hold. Coupled with a size 12 QM1, I find very few come off. The new Incredible Pult is spot on for this method too; it groups your pellets very well and doesn't let you down.

For a while I have to admit I thought the title might of been mine. Usually when you start catching on the lead like that it gets steadily better throughout the day. But on the day it just wasn't the case. In the end, I ended up fourth, but in the truth we were all only there for one place and that's first. A massive well done to Andy Geldert for winning, he fully deserves the win and is a really nice bloke to boot.

A massive thank you must go to all the people who supported me on the day and in the lead up to the event. My friends, family, fiancé Vikki and of course my sponsors Guru and Bag Em Match Baits. Without all these people I couldn't do what I do so thank you very much.

It wasn't my year this year, but what Saturday has done has made me even more determined to get back to the final and win it.