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Just champion! Hughes wins Fish 'O' Mania grand final for record-breaking third time


Jamie Hughes 2017 FOM

Jamie Hughes kept his cool in the sun to win a record-breaking third Angling Trust Fish ‘O’ Mania title and the £50,000 first prize.

Wirral angler Hughes, who triumphed in 2013 and 2015, weighed in 26.900kg of carp and silver fish from Cudmore Fisheries’ favoured peg 7 to win the contest by more than 5kg.

Jamie Hughes Champion

Picture: Champion Jamie Hughes

Hughes was presented with the winner’s trophy by last year’s champion Andy May while his latest victory takes his Fish ‘O’ Mania final winnings to a cool £110,000!

After the match, sponsored by Vanarama, Hughes said: “I really wanted to be a three times champion – I don’t think anyone has been as persistent trying to get back to the final.

“I was made up with my peg. In that third of the lake you have a chance. I knew I was catching fish and I was there or thereabouts. I was feeling it slip a little when I was struggling to catch towards the end but everybody seemed to stop catching at the end and I had done enough.”

Jamie caught in spells as the lake’s newly-stocked carp circled the doughnut.

“The plan was to fish for everything at first. I caught a couple of carp and some silver fish and it was going alright and then the silver fish seemed to stop feeding completely so I decided to fish for carp and I caught ten or 12 in the last couple of hours.”

Hughes’ tactics revolved around feeding small amounts of casters and waiting to get a few of the circling fish to feed before shipping out and slapping his rig over the top of them.

“It is unbelievable. I had been chasing Fish ‘O’ Mania titles for ten years and at first the dream was to get to the final, then to win it but three titles – it isn’t meant to happen.

“The money is going towards the house, hopefully it will pay the house off.”

The battle for second place was an exciting match within a match as veteran Steve Jackson, multi-Fish ‘O’ Mania finalist Andy Power and last year’s third place finisher Ross Harold battled it out. In the end it was Power, making his sixth appearance, who came through in the final half hour to nick the £10,000 prize.

Power said: “They turned up for me in the last hour. The wind changed direction and I had the ripple. I could see there wasn’t a lot being caught so I knew if I kept going I had a chance of second.”

He added: “Going from a bad day catching nothing, to having a few fish in front of me, was all a mad rush.”


1 JAMIE HUGHES 26.900 peg 7

2 ANDY POWER 21.875 peg 2

3 ROSS HAROLD 21.250 peg 14

4 STEVE JACKSON 20.050 peg 8

5 STEVE COOKE 13.825 peg 15

6 CHRIS WEEDER 13.760 peg 6

7 BOB GILES 13.100 peg 3

8 TONY CURD 12.350 peg 13

9 JASON REDGRAVE 12.125 peg 12

10 ADAM RICHARDS 12.025 peg 11

11 LEE BENNETT 11.725 peg 1

12 MARKUS BILLEN 11.575 peg 22

13 STEPHEN OPENSHAW 10.650 peg 10

14 BEN SHARP 7.725 peg 18

15 JASON COLLINS 7.000 peg 5

16 STEVEN HAMILTON 6.525 peg 16

17 STEVE BARRACLOUGH 5.025 peg 23

18 PAUL BLINKHORN 5.010 peg 9

19 DAVE ROBERTS 4.700 peg 20

20 COLIN SCOTT 4.550 peg 24

21 RICHARD CHAPMAN 4.300 peg 25

22 WILL RAISON 4.125 peg 17

23 LEE KERRY 1.825 peg 21

24 KEITH PENTLAND 1.525 peg 19

25 ANDY ADAMS 0.925 peg 4

Kayleigh crowned Ladies’ champ

Kayleigh Smith, the 26 year-old England international from Leeds, was crowned Vanarama Fish ‘O’ Mania Ladies Champion following a terrific match angling display on Cudmore’s Suez Canal which saw her net 36.330kg.

Kayleigh Smith 2017

Picture: Ladies Champion Kayleigh Smith

Smith, who works as a research scientist, caught throughout the match in the shallows, and her tally was just under 100 fish. It was third time lucky for Smith who had previously been a Fish ‘O’ Mania runner-up.

She said: “I caught 97 F1s and a carp. I flicked some pellets across at the very start of the match – that was my main aim, to catch shallow. I fed my other lines in case it didn’t work but I saw that I had a swirl so I knew they were going to be there.

“I stuck at that all day, picking the odd fish off. It went quiet for a little bit but I was informed I was in front so rather than searching I kept plodding away and I got good runs of fish.

“I knew how many fish I had caught and they weigh 10 to 12 ounces a piece so I knew roughly what I had. I don’t know what I will do with the money yet, it will probably go on a new kitchen.”

Kayleigh Smith in the water 2017


1 KAYLEIGH SMITH (Leeds) 36.330kg

2 HELEN DAGNALL (Warrington) 23.500kg

3 SOPHIE HILL (Maidstone) 16.000kg

4 DEANA WOOD (Lancing) 11.575kg

5 HEATHER DEWEY (Burton on Trent) 9.150kg

6 WENDY LOCKER (Chester) 8.825kg

Magical McCranor wins Junior final

Will McCranor, the youngest angler in the field at 15 years, was crowned Vanarama Junior Fish ‘O’ Mania champion, as he outpaced Danny Slack of Rotherham to land the coveted title.

Will McCranor 2017

Picture: Junior Winner Will McCranor

McCranor found his stride as the match progressed and started to catch with regularity. He netted a total weight of 25.675kg to win by just under 4.5 kilos.

Will said: “It was really hard at first. I lost lots of fish and went to casters down the middle and caught a lot of ide, some F1s and in the last two hours I went across and caught casters shallow.”

“I couldn’t see what the others were doing, I tried to keep my head down and catch as many fish as I could because I had to catch a lot of fish.”

McCranor, who came fifth last year in his first attempt, wins the magnificent trophy as well as the £1,000 first prize. I am over the moon. I have the World champs in four weeks so my prize money will go on tackle towards that,” he added.

Will McCranor on stage


1 WILL McCRANOR (Balsall Common) 25.675kg

2 DANNY SLACK (Rotherham) 21.235kg

3 YESTYN SEPHTON (Leigh) 19.875kg

4 KRISTIAN JONES (Ellesmere Port) 19.700kg

5 SAM COLLETT (Leicester) 17.400kg

6 JORDAN HOLLOWAY (Bewdley) 9.600kg

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