Having just qualified from Lakeview Fishery in Melton Mowbery, we caught up with Jamie Hughes now he has once again qualified for Fish'O'Mania...
MAP: Six Fish’O’Mania finals in a row… It’s crazy to be actually writing it down – how does it feel to have actually done it?
Jamie Hughes: It's unbelievable to be honest! Last year my goal was to make it 5 consecutive finals as this had never been done before. To go one further and qualify 6 years running is something I never thought was possible.
MAP: You’ve finished the match with 118lb 4oz, talk us through your match?
JH: My match was pretty much as straight forward as they come, I had drawn peg 13 on the canal pool at lakeview fishery which is somewhere I have never fished before. Talk before the match was that 80-90lb would be enough to win which would be around 35 fish on the lake I had drawn.
The target species for the day were small carp and F1's which helped me decide on an all out hard pellet approach which is a bait I have a massive amount of confidence in. I have spent the match rotating 6 areas of my peg, catching just 2-3 fish off each before moving, feed was just 6-10 4mm pellets after each fish.
Without a doubt most important factor was using the lightest float possible with well spread shotting, every single bite has came just after my hookbait had settled as the fish watched the bait fall. I have ended the day with around 40 fish for a weight of 118lb which thankfully gave me a place in the final at Cudmore.
MAP: In the end you’ve had a comfortable margin of victory, did you know you’d won it or was it still a nervy affair at the weigh in?
JH: I was actually the very last angler to weigh in so I knew that I needed to have 93Lb+ to win. I thought I had just over 30lb in each of my nets so was fairly confident I had enough, as it went my first keepnet weighed 45lb and at that point I knew id have 100lb+ and enough to win.
MAP: With a few months ahead of you now, is it full focus on Match This and Golden Reel, or have you got some other matches in the pipeline?
JH: My entire Summer will now be focusing on Golden Reel and Match this qualifiers, I would dearly love to have another shot at the Match This title after coming so close last year! I am also fishing the UK champs again which is another title that I would really like to have.
MAP: With your consistency when it counts in these matches, it is obviously more than luck at the draw bag, what’s your best advice for people looking to qualify themselves?
JH: Keeping things simple would undoubtedly be my best advice to anyone hoping to qualify for one of the big finals. Approach each peg in a confident way and fish just a couple of methods that you are confident in.
Persistence also plays a bit part as it is extremely easy to get demoralised in these type of events, by always being positive and believing that you can win will always ensure you fish well and get the most out of the pegs you draw.
MAP: With another change to the Fish’O final having 28 anglers fishing, how do you feel this is going to effect the match and will it effect your approach to the match?
JH: I honestly have no idea how having 28 anglers on the lake will effect the fishing, I would expect it to be a fairly low weight affair with possibly 40lb winning but who honestly knows? As with every final I will start very cautiously and feel my way in.
MAP: This makes you the third MAP angler through to the final already – Do you think there will be any more joining you?
JH: The MAP lads really are having a good start to the season, it's great that there are already three of us in the final which should lead to same great banter. There are still plenty of chances for the other lads to qualify too, it wouldn't surprise me one bit for Andy May to be there again defending his title although after the latest 15 minute challenge he may need a little coaching first!
MAP: Thanks for that Jamie and huge congratulations! We can't wait to see how you do in the final...