Silverfish are set to dominate future Fish O’Mania finals after the owners of the host venue revealed they are preparing a total overhaul the current stocking policy.
Staffordshire’s Cudmore Fisheries has staged match angling’s most prestigious event since 2008, with numerous big catches recorded from Arena Pool since then.
In 2013, winner Jamie Hughes weighed in over 150lb to take the glory, but weights slumped this year, with eventual champion Andy Geldart needing just 44lb to take the £30,000 first prize.
Blueprints have now been drawn up to bring Cudmore back to its best, with officials set to remove all of the current stock and replace them with thousands of barbel, chub and ide.
Fishery manager Vic Spooner is confident that the move will boost catches and he told Angling Times: “Carp have been the predominant species in the past couple of years but we plan to drain the lake in October and all of the current stock will be removed and distributed between the other waters.”
“It is then a case of restocking with 3,000 chub, over 1,000 barbel and the same quantity of ide from our onsite fish farm. There will also be lots of roach, bream and a good head of carp but I wouldn’t expect them to be as important in matches as they have been previously.”
Although no deal has been signed yet, it is widely expected that the 2015 contest will once again be at the complex and two times Fish O’Mania champion Matt Hall has seen the venue go through various phases in recent years and he said: “A multi-species fishery will make for a great match. Carp will linger in certain pegs but silverfish will move around and an angler that is struggling in the early stages could easily get themselves back into the reckoning.”
“What is important though is the size of the fish because viewers want to see big fish that fight hard. When I won in 2009 it was mainly barbel around the 3lb mark and fish of this stamp would certainly fit the bill,” he added.
Fish O’Mania owners Matchroom sport have also thrown their support behind the development and Media Director Luke Riches said: “This is a very positive move, not only for Cudmore but for Fish O’Mania as well and I’m sure we’ll experience a great match next July as a result of this action.”