The new ticketing system for the allocation of places in this year’s Fish O’Mania qualifiers has received a lukewarm reaction from anglers with praise for ensuring that every entrant receives two guaranteed places but disappointment over the lack of mystery generated by the random draw plus the scrapping of the reserves list.
Tickets go on sale on Monday January 30 with a new on line booking system, making the allocation of places quicker, easier and significantly more efficient and it will also ensure that applicants get a maximum of two tickets for the event and then book, pay and receive tickets instantaneously.
Released in two rounds, the first batch of places will be open from 10.30am on January 30 until midnight on Thursday February 9, round two kicking off at 10.30am on Tuesday February 14 and then remain open until the final qualifier in June. In this second round there will be no restriction on the number of tickets anglers can book.
The reserve lists have also been scrapped with cancelled tickets to be re-listed via the online system and sold on a first come first served basis and to flag up re-listed places, a ticket news subscription option is available. However, the changes that at face value look good, have not been given a unanimous thumbs up from match anglers.
“It’s good that all applicants will get two tickets and it’ll stop the moaning on line from people who apply for 12 tickets and get none!” said double Fish O champ Jamie Hughes. “However, I think that it may backfire on the moaners because they might get tickets for a venue that they don’t want to fish. Say you live where I do in the North West and your two tickets are for monk Lakes and Viaduct! That’s a mega trek. And then what are the chances of the on line system crashing?”
“I personally enjoyed the old system as you never knew what you would get and the luck of the draw made it exciting. We’ve seen a lot of changes to Fish O in recent years and I just hope that this is not going to be another one year special when we revert back to how it used to be in 2018!”
Darren Cox is an agreement as well. The England international has graced several Fish O finals and believes that the former system was better.
“This way of applying doesn’t guarantee that you’ll be fishing where you want to be and I think it is a little unfair because it is still first come first served,” he said. “True, you do get two guaranteed tickets and that’s a good thing but at 10.30am on January 30 not everyone will be able to get on line and book. They may be on holiday or at work.”
“The second round of tickets is then just like the old days when an angler can buy 20 tickets if they want and it becomes a bit of a bunfight. I also personally liked the reserve list as if you were 20th on it, you could turn up and be confident of getting on but now, you’ve got to have your phone in your had all-day to react quick enough and grab a ticket that gets re-listed.”