Simon is a local match angler that has been successful at venues across the country.
At Melton Angling, we work closely with Simon to support his current campaigns to qualify and hopeful win some of the big money match series including the likes of Fish’O’mania, Maver Match This, Golden Rod, Golden Reel and so on. In return, Simon advises tackle and tactics to approach individual matches and venues. Working with us allows Simon to not be tied to a particular brand, we prefer him to use what he sees as the best for the job, to get the best result. This means we are always looking for products that perform in tough match situations and hopefully pass this experience onto you.
With Simon due to fish the 2019 Fish’O’mania Final on Saturday 13th July at Hayfield Lakes, we thought it would be a good idea to share some of his background with you. Here are some of the answers we got during a recent interview.
Melton Angling – What got you into fishing?
Simon -I first went fishing with my dad and brother at Wanlip Gravel Pits. Not a lot of action but it was a great beginning. After this my brother and I would go off on our own, with rods tied to our bikes down to the River Soar in Leicestershire and catch gudgeon, perch and the odd chub near the 1860 bridge and in the Essex Weir. I still love the smell of a weir pool, it brings back some great memories.
Melton Angling – Is match fishing the only type of fishing you do?
Simon – I mainly match fish, but I have been on the Ebro in Spain twice and caught some monster Wels catfish with the biggest going 169lb. I also have been to Thailand twice to Gillhams Fishing Resort catching Siamese carp over 100lb, Red Tail Catfish to 80lb and Arapaima to 160lb, but my best fish from Thailand is a 190lb Mekong Catfish. It took me 45 minutes to land and I have never felt anything like it, the fight was immense. I am returning in November and hope to catch some other species.
Melton Angling – When did you get into match fishing?
Simon – My first match was probably 20 years ago. It was an evening match at Kirby Bellars near Melton Mowbray (recently re opened as Kirby Pool). I was fishing in the day and the lads turned up in the evening and said there was a match on, so I would have to get off the lake. I packed up, but then stayed and watched the whole match. The week after I was on the match and I won! and so the addiction started. I carried on fishing with that club on Friday and Sunday matches and then ventured onto the local open match scene before traveling the country to compete in Fish’O’mania and Maver Match This Qualifiers to chase the dream.
Melton Angling – What are your biggest influences in fishing?
Simon – My dad is the one who introduced me into fishing, so without his influence I wouldn’t be fishing at all. Also my brother Matt, as we grew up really close and we talk fishing all the time. We travel together to places now and share information. He is my bank runner for all the finals, I could not ask for anyone better. Phil Moore is another. He’s the one who got me and my brother into river fishing, an absolute legend in his day.
Melton Angling – How did you become so successful?
Simon – I’m not too sure really. I think it takes a lot of time and effort, travelling to different venues and picking up different ways of fishing each venue and learning to adapt your style of fishing to the situation. I did read a lot of magazines back in the day, but the best way is to ask questions on the bank, to the venue regulars and get inside their head, look at their rigs (if they let you) and watch them. It might take a few weeks to master a venue and might be pools fodder but keeping trying and never give up.
Melton Angling – What do you enjoy most in your fishing?
Simon – The thing I enjoy the most is the laugh you have before, during and after the match. It’s a hobby at the end of the day and if you can’t enjoy it don’t bother. I have made some great friends along the way and no doubt make some more.
Melton Angling – How would your fishing friends describe you?
Simon – Most would say I’m a Drawbag! Hopefully they would say im a lovely guy, I’m open and I will tell them everything they ask.
Melton Angling – Can you tell us some of the big event finals you have previously qualified for?
Simon- Yes, there is a few now
-4x Maver Match This Finals( 2x 3rds and a section win)
-1x Fishomania Final
-5x UK pole champs (2nd and 3rd)
-1x Golden Rod Final. (4th)
-2x County Champs Final (individual winner)
Melton Angling – Whats your best fishing experience?
Simon – So far it is getting to my 1st major final, which was Maver Match This 2013. I came 3rd in this and picked up £3000.00. I think getting to my first Fish’o’mania final has to be well up there to, it’s the prestige of the event that makes it so special and I’m really looking forward to the day.
Another is watching by oldest son catch his first fish. He waited all match in his tent behind me and let him have a go at the end. He bagged a 6lb carp, his face was a picture!
Melton Angling – What are you going to do with the Fish’O winnings if all goes well?
Simon – You can’t spend it until you have won it. So not really thought about it but I’m sure my wife Jen has some plans.
Melton Angling – What will you be chasing after Fish’o’mania?
Simon – I plan to carry on chasing more big matches wins like Fish’o’mania, Match This, Golden Reel and Golden Rod.
So dont forget, the 2019 Fish’O’mania Final is on Saturday 13th July at Hayfield Lakes. You can go to the event on the day, spectator tickets are free. You can watch all the qualifiers including Simon competing for a chance to win £50,000, and there is plenty more happening on site while you wait for the results. For more information visit http://www.fishomania.net/
If you cant make it to Hayfield, you can watch live on Sky Sports Arena from 11.30am-5pm.