The largest attendance of the competition so far turned out for the Saturday morning draw with 90 top class anglers from across the country all trying to secure their place in the minimum £50,000 final on August 20th.
Conditions on the day were far from ideal with a stiff NW wind lashing both the match and specimen lakes and periods of heavy rain later in the day lowered the ambient temperature. The fish had also started to spawn on both lakes making things very difficult with the resident carp being slow to move on to angler's baits.
Winner on the day, and securing his place in the main final, was Paul Tommy Hiller (Daiwa Dorking) from peg 54 on the Match lake with 110-07-00. Paul fished down the inside and short on the deck at 5 metres alternating between dead red maggot and worm hookbaits over the top of groundbait and casters. Paul had mainly carp and F1's ranging between 2-4lbs, with better fish reaching 8lbs.
Now that Paul has qualified for the main event, his runners-up qualification spot goes to Garbolino rod Richie Hull, who finished 3rd at Woodlands View.
In second place, and reaching the £5,000 runners-up final was Fishing Republic's Mark Stainsby. Mark fished the Speci lake on peg 35 starting on the method and straight bomb, but came down the inside just two hours in and pole fished luncheon meat over sweetcorn at 13 metres to take carp up to 17lbs in just 18 inches of water for a lake-winning 106-09-00.
In third place, and narrowly missing out on a final placing, was Fox Match rod Leigh Hodgkinson. Lee drew well on the Match lake fishing from one of the pegs tipped to win, peg #39. Leigh opted for two lines of attack with a straight bomb over to then island in front and pole in the margins, the latter of the two accounting for the majority of his fish. Using meat and worm down the inside, Leigh caught carp averaging 2-3lbs with lots of smaller F1's to put 104-05-00 on the scales.