Andy Favill came up trumps as he fished his first Fish 'O' Mania qualifier for 10 years at Peatling Pools Match Lakes.
Favill (Sun Inn, Tuxford) put 47 carp to 4lbs on the scales for a total weight of 121lbs 3ozs from peg 45 on B Lake at the Peatling Parva venue, in Leicestershire.
He started shallow on meat, but after only one fish he switched his attack to the margins catching firstly on corn, then on worm.
Speaking afterwards, the Unit Operator from Newark said: "I have never fished at Peatling Pools before and this is only my second Fish 'O' Mania qualifier I have taken part in, but thought I could do well when I drew my peg.
"I am looking forward to taking part in the final, and will now be looking forward to practising in the build up to the day."
Unfortunately the day didn't get off as predicted as the match start time had to be delayed for an hour due to a serious road traffic collision between junctions 29 and 30.
A large number of anglers were also caught up in a massive tailback after a man jumped off a bridge near Derbyshire.
A head on collision directly outside the main gates of Peatling Pools also added to a further delay for the anglers getting to the draw.
With Peatling Pools hosting it's first ever Fish 'O' Mania qualifier, and prior practice sessions limited, it was a trip into unknown territory for the majority of anglers.
On top of this, it was a surprisingly hard day for many with cold rain and winds clearly affecting catches which fell disappointingly short of expectations on a couple of lakes.
Recent open matches had shown that the catch potential on all the lakes was very similar with several producing big weights only last weekend, but that said 37lbs or more was needed to win 9 of the 13 ten peg sections. In the end it was the bigger lakes which produced the goods.
Runner up on the day was local angler Steven Porter from Kibworth in Leicester who fished Peg 2 on B lake to weigh in with 102lbs of carp to 12lbs alternating between a 5 metre line and the margins with corn. Tom Pringle took third spot with 81lbs 1ozs to fish shallow. Fourth place was Tom Pickering who took carp to 8lbs in a 75lbs 11ozs net on the method feeder. Doncaster angler Andrew Bailey was fifth with 75lbs 4ozs.
On Saturday 21 May the Fish 'O' Mania qualifiers go to Tunnel Barn Farm in Shrewley, Warwick for another chance to see who will join this year's line up in the grand final on July 16 with Jon Arthur, Tony Curd, Chris Kendall, Tim Nash, Alan Bruce, Andrew Neal, David George, Shane Atkin and Andy Favill.