Plans unveiled for head-to-head challenge for Fish O'Mania champions

All past Fish O’Mania winners could be set to go head-to-head in a special Œchampion of champions’ match, we can exclusively reveal.

Matchroom Sport, the company behind the prestigious competition, has revealed plans to run the new event the day after next year’s £25,000 winner-takes-all Fish O’Mania XVII final on Arena Pool at the Whitmore, Newcastle-under-Lyme commercial.

The company is due to enter talks with Sky Sports to televise the unique contest, which would feature anglers of the calibre of Steve Ringer, Neil Machin and twice Fish O’ champion Matt Hall. A big prize fund is also being discussed to add spice to the match.

“The television equipment would already be in place so it wouldn’t be difficult to do, and to bring back the winners from the early days of Hallcroft and Hayfield would be a fantastic spectacle. Fish O’Mania has made the career of several anglers who are now well known and make a living from fishing,” said Matchroom Sport’s Luke Ritches.

“The winner of next year’s Fish O’Mania final would be invited to stay and fish the match the next day to make up the 16 competitors, that is of course assuming that the angler hasn’t won the event before, as we saw this year!” he added.

Stoke-on-Trent match star Neil Machin, who pocketed £50,000 by winning both the 2006 Fish O’Mania and Parkdean Masters finals, is relishing the prospect of possibly fishing for two huge cash prizes in the same weekend.

“I’d like to see at least £5,000 to £10,000 put up for the champion of the Sunday match. This will probably be the hardest Fish O’Mania match of all to win because all the finalists have already been there, got the t-shirt and handled the pressure,” he said.

White Acres holiday park in Newquay is also looking at hosting a similar Œlegends match’ on Sunday, October 11, the day after the 10th £25,000 Parkdean Masters final, said fishery manager Clint Elliot. Each year, 24 anglers contest the Parkdean final, qualification of which is via the venue’s Preston Innovations Festival.

“We’re asking all nine past winners if they are available to fish such an event. I’m not sure we will offer a cash prize, rather the prestige of keeping the Parkdean trophy for good,” said Clint.