The eagerly awaited Fish 'O' Mania attracted a 91-strong field to the Tees at Yarm but the early season bream nets were just a memory as competitors scratched for mainly perch on the lower reaches, desperately missing the flow, writes JEFF HERBERT.

Armley Angling Centre's Stuart Wilson certainly earned his place in the grand Sky TV Final worth a cool £25,000 to the eventual winner.

Stuart drew three above the Levenmouth and cupped in chopped worm on four and nine metre pole lines and apart from a few small roach and a lone skimmer it was perch up to the pound mark for 9.13.0 to put the conclusion beyond doubt.

Then Map Garbolino's Alan Lepatourel edged second place with an all perch net of 8.9.8 from a swim in Scarfoothill Wood to pole and worm presented at 13 metres from 'in form' Newman Scott's Dave Smiddy on 8.1.8.

The event was well organised by Yarm AA officials who wisely opted for the spacious car park & Ship Inn at Low Worsall for match HQ.

Apart from the river conditions on the day the region's top anglers were well impressed and hopefully this will kick off the first of many more blue ribbon contests on the ever improving River Tees.

It was a similar story on Sunday for the opening fixture of the Drennan Northern Division on the Lower Tees when lack of colour and flow meant the absence of skimmers along the Wards Lane to Eaglescliffe Golfcourse match length.

Brian Percival of Newman Scott Red netted 6.10.8 enough to topple the 80 competitors.

Drawing peg 157 below the Levenmouth and going 3/4 across on feeder and worm brought a few quality perch amongst chublets and small roach.

Teamate Rob Emery followed on 6.6.0 to put the Reds on the way to a first day victory.

Upstream of Nellies Beck on the cabbage patch length swapping between feeder and worm and pole and squat resulted in mostly bits boosted by a bonus chub of 1.8.0.

Top three teams on the day: 1 Newman Scott Red 63 pts; 2 Darlington Angling Centre Gold 60; 3 Newman Scott Blue 55.

Dace are making a welcome return on many parts of the Swale and RSPS star Kevin Weighell included around 12.0.0 of them with specimens up to 10ozs in his winning bag of 28.10.0 during Northallerton's match at Scruton.

Fishing above Morton Bridge stickfloat and bronze maggot down the edge picked up four chub then added 3 more on the bomb across from farside cover.

Travelling companion Pat Adams replied with 26.7.0. Pegged at the bottom of the Horseshoe Bend above the willows bomb with caster and maggot hookbaits tempted seven chub at intervals.

In the Ripon Piscatorials Garbutt Cup staged between Hutton Beck to Barn Island the Ure was low and clear yet there was still a very respectable 14 double figured nets.

Steve Newns of KL Tackle had the most 30.0.0 of chub. On the gravel run off opposite Sharows Bell Bank Steve took two early chub but suffered a blank hour before relocating the shoal. Alternating red maggot and caster on the waggler and bomb brought the rest of his net.

The big gravel bend downstream of Hutton Beck delivered for Turners Tackle Graham Skirrey whose eight chub backed by dace to waggler and caster made for 23.13.0 from Jim Taylor RSPS 22.8.0.

Carp Results

Woodland Lakes (Wed) - Partridge Skylark & Kestrel (64 pegs): 1 Lee Murray (Faps Stainforth) 87.14.0 All carp to pole & paste at 6 metres including a mirror of 6.0.0 from Partridge 12; 2 Gary Mathews (Castleford) 77.8.0; 3 Ray Singh (Elton Tackle) 67.13.0.

Woodland Lakes (Sat) - Partridge & Skylark (70 pegs): 1 Derek Willans (Sensas Garbolino) 81.14.0 Mixed bag to pole at 13 metres on caster and worm off Partridge 11; 2 Kev Holvey (Elton Tackle) 71.11.0; 3 Ian Thompson (Elton Tackle) 66.12.0.

Oaks Sessay Open (Thurs) - Maple Lake (38 pegs): 1 D Smith (Map Elton) 58.6.0 All carp from peg 52 to pole meat & pellet at 13 metres; 2 P Taylor (Map Elton) 47.14.0; 3 R Minikin (HAS Oaks) 43.0.0.

Oaks Sessay Open (Sund) - Maple Lake (56 pegs): 1 M Coyne (CAC) 46.4.0 all carp peg 55 to pole cat meat and pellet; 2 D Smith (Map Elton) 45.2.0; 3 M Lucas (Ted Carters) 44.12.0.

* Darlington Brown Trout - Future meets for match draws will now be switched from The Station to The Comet at Croft commencing July 14 onwards.

Trout round-up

Quality rainbows featured at Leighton Reservoir and Stockton's C Ellis tempted a big specimen of 14.0.0 on a Dawsons olive from Darlington's Charlie Newton who opted for a black fritz to grass another beauty of 13.0.0.

Many visitors recorded limit bags with Dawsons olive black fritz orange fritz and muddlers accounting for fish. 346 trout landed by 177 rods.

Grassholme: 198 visitors - 407 fish and week's heaviest a rainbow of 5.0.0 went to A Bell. Best brownie 3.8.0 fell to D James. Six rods - eight fish limit.

Blackton: Quiet 43 rods - 91 fish. Best bag of 13.0.0 taken by J Jack. Not much surface activity due to cold conditions.

Hury: 186 anglers - 416 fish. Good numbers of rainbows in the 3.0.0 bracket were caught. Best catch of the week C Brown totalling 11.0.0. East End most productive.

Scaling Dam: Some quality rainbows. Anglers catching at both ends of the dam wall. Good results from East End during evening sessions. Black and peacocks bibio and invicta successful. Best fish of the week two rainbows of 5.8.0 apiece.

Fontburn: Father and daughter team took the best bag of the season so far - M Turner of Stanley with eight fish weighing 34.8.0 to worm. Numerous fish between 4 & 8.0.0 falling to most methods. Best flies black fritz Dawsons olive daddy longlegs and buzzers.

Keilder: 121 rods - 279 fish - rainbows up to 3.8.0. Worm anglers getting the best results whilst water levels high. Black and red lures pheasant tail nymph and montana nymph all taking fish.

Derwent: 314 visitors - 737 fish - rod average 2.3. Rainbows to 6.3.0. Strong winds keeping fish well out. Millshields and Cronkley best areas for fly rods. Cats whisker muddlers and tadpoles fished on intermediate lines giving results.

Jubilee Lakes Redworth: Fishing well with big rainbows nudging 14.8.0. Black buzzers bloodworm and small black dry flies all doing well.


Tomorrow: *NFA Embassy Division 2 National Boston Drains Lincs. *Yarm AA Summer Series (2) Lower Tees.

Sunday: *Idle & Thackley AA Open River Swale at Swainby - Tickets on 01274 618569. *Angling Times Team Championships Final on the River Nene Peterborough. *Thornaby AA July Cup River Tees - Croft to Hurworth. *Richmond AS Langstaff Memorial Open Upper Swale - Richmond to Great Langton. *Drennan Northern Super League (2) Lower Tees Yarm. *Ripon Piscatorials Simpson Cup (80 pegs) River Ure - Hutton Beck to Barn Island. *ROF Tees at Over Dinsdale.