Fish O’Mania 2010 is once again heavily over-subscribed Angling Times can this week reveal, despite fears that compulsory membership of the Angling Trust in order to fish the qualifiers would have a drastic effect on numbers.
The Trust has released figures for entries so far, with just short of 3,000 separate applications being received as we went to press, all chasing one of the 1,880 tickets on offer for the eliminators that begin in April.
Angling Times can also unveil details about a special champion of champions event to run at Cudmore 24 hours after this summer’s main event, featuring previous Fish O’ victors slugging it out in front of the Sky TV cameras for a £10,000 winner takes all prize.
“All of the 16 venues bar three are already oversubscribed, some of them twice over,” said Angling Trust chief executive Mark Lloyd. “Those that are yet to meet the full subscription are only around 10 anglers short and we would expect these to be taken quickly. There’s always a big rush in the final week of applications.”
One of those many hundreds of anglers who will be fishing thanks to the Veterans Club system is double champion Matt Hall. Winner last year, he will be invited to fish the Sunday match and can’t wait to make a return in front of the TV cameras and thousands watching bankside.
“It’s good to hear that it’s finally going ahead and I’ll be there but I can’t help thinking more could be made of it as it’s a pretty unique event,” said Matt. “Maybe more prize money to make it a really special match? I’ll fish it and hopefully I’ll be there the day before! I don’t know if all of the previous winners are still fishing but for 10 grand even I’d dust the gear down and give it a go!”
One or two of those former winners have gone off the match fishing radar a little in recent years but Matchroom Sport are confident of getting in touch with all 15 and having a full turnout for the Sunday when the nation will see who is the ultimate champion.
“A match like this was always on the cards once we got to the 16th year,” said Matchroom’s Luke Riches. “It’ll be a celebration of the event really, a chance to get the gang back together. The prize fund is subject to confirmation but it’ll be a big one and hopefully we’ll have a sponsor to back both days too.”