Tony Curd Qualifies for Fish’O’Mania Final!

Bait-Tech’s Tony Curd loves the big money events and spends a lot of time travelling the country in a bid to qualify for some of the sports biggest prizes – He qualified on Wednesday from the Monk Lakes Qualifier to make his third Fisho Final, here’s how he did it…

Anyone who knows me will be aware that Fish’O’Mania and the other big events are really what make me tick, spending hours and hours preparing tackle and driving thousands of miles in the process. I’ve been fortunate enough to make the Fisho Final a couple of times before but over the last few years there has been quite a few near misses which can be frustrating to say the least. This year I bought 11 tickets, the first three at Tunnel Barn Farm, Colemans and Viaduct passing without any chance at all it was off to Monk Lakes in Kent this past Wednesday for another attempt.

I drew Peg 136 on Lake 4 – I’d come 2nd from this peg a couple of years ago with 180lb however the lake has changed a lot in that time with a lot of the fish taken out and moved to another lake so I didn’t feel I could compete if it was to be another big weight bonanza. If it was going to be a day where less than 150lb would be needed then I had a slight chance I felt. The peg itself is one of only a few on the lake where you can reach the island with a pole and having fished it previously I knew that is where I needed to catch if it was going to be my day. With that in mind I set up just three rigs for fishing to the island on two lines, one in a little gap in the grass where I could reach the shallowest water, and another tight to the grass on the point of the island to the left where I had the same depth. The rig I fished on the deck was a 4×12 MAP IS3 float to 0.18mm MAP Power Optex which was quite heavy but there was a good chance it would get a lot of hammer from the island foliage, to an 0.13mm hook length and a size 18 B911 shotted with a simple bulk. Elastic choice was a nice soft 6-10 White TKS Twin Core. I also set up a few shallow rigs to fish across tight to the bank as that was key the last time I drew there.

The bait tray couldn’t have been any more straight forward if I tried, some 4 and 6mm Carp and Coarse Pellets which were given a coating of Liquid Pellet to ensure they all sunk and a mixture of 4 and 6mm Xpand Pellets for hook bait, I decided to stay away from micros as I felt they may cause me problems with foul hooking fish and getting lots of false bites so bigger pellets were going to be my focus.

At the start of the match I simply started off on the line in the gap in the grass feeding a few 4mm pellets via a flexi pot to just gauge the response to begin with while leaving the point line for later, all the while I was fishing in front of me I kept pinging pellets to the point which would hopefully get it built up strong for when I needed to go there. I caught well from the off only small carp and the odd F1 but the name of the game on Lake 4 is to catch right the way through the match so I set myself a little target of a minimum of 20lb an hour.  I managed to keep this going for the first two hours of the match with plenty of small carp and the odd F1 going in the nets. After the two hour mark I felt I had 40lb which I was told was quite good by Mike Mcmillan and the venue was fishing hard so that gave me a bit of confidence that all the 16m shipping wasn’t a complete waste of time just yet…

Half way through I felt I’d given the line to the point of the island enough time to build and I decided to have a look there to hopefully catch a lot quicker, potting in some more 4mm pellets I dropped in and immediately the float shot under and the first of a good run of slightly better mirrors was on it’s way to join the rest in the net, I stayed on this line until the end of the match swapping between the deck rig and the shallow rig but I had to stop myself from persisting with the shallow approach as it wasn’t right on the day, and I think where it worked so well the last time I fished the peg was the water was quite a bit higher, and obviously a few more fish present! I’d managed to keep catching until the end and I had absolutely no idea how well I’d done on the day, weights started to come back and when the scales reached me I was the last angler to weigh in on the match and word was 131lb was the best weight… Having had a little look in my nets I knew I had a bit more than the 90/100lb I thought I had so it was down to the scales, which when all added up came to 134lb enough for the win and a place in the Fish’O’Mania final where £50,000 is on the line. It’s been a long wait to get back to the final and I’ll be hoping it’s third time lucky this time around…

Tight Lines

Tony Curd

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.