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Matty Dawes looking forward to trip into the unknown after securing DragonMania final spot

Updated: Jun 29

The line-up for the final of the 2024 DragonMania Coarse Championships is starting to come together.

Among the anglers who have already booked their place in this year’s final at Fachwen Pool in Newtown on 21 September is Matty Dawes.

Matty, is of course, also the reigning champion of FishOMania – known as the ‘FA Cup of Fishing’ – after memorably winning a thrilling televised final at Westwood Lakes in Lincolnshire, having led from start to finish, to scoop the big £50,000 first prize last July.

He will return to that venue as defending champion next month before then setting his sights on becoming Angling Cymru Welsh Coarse Angling Champion.

That’s after he won the qualifier at Stamford Way, Ewloe earlier this month, weighing in with 120lb off peg 17. That put him ahead of Fred Moore who was second with 96.11lb and Mike Sedgewick in third with 96.3lb.

“I drew a good peg,” reflected 30-year-old Matty, who hails from Chester and has fished for Wales in the past as a junior.

“Stamford Way is quite local to me, although I don’t go there much but my mate goes there. I just went with my gut feeling and just stuck to what I thought was right.

“I had 120lb, there were a couple of 90s, I think the average weight was around 78, it fished well to be fair.”

Also already through to the DragonMania final alongside Matty are Adrian Mann, Andy Amos, Alan Jones, Trevor Limb, Ricky Lewis and László Gábor who have also come through a qualifier.

Fachwen Pool, the venue for the final, is one that Matty hasn’t previously fished at properly – but says that’s something he’s relishing.

“I think it’s the unknown and the anticipation which I like,” he continued

“I’ve only ever been there once, it was with the Welsh juniors on a training day a good few years ago and we didn’t catch anything, but it was the middle of February!

“Everything you go into you want to try and win and it’s the title and just saying that you qualified and won.

“It means that you went to a venue that you were unfamiliar with and happy with the way you didn’t know the venue, put a little bit of time in, worked a few things out and went with your gut feeling.”

Before heading to Fachwen, Matty also has the small matter of defending his FishOMania title next month live on Sky Sports.

But whatever happens, he certainly won’t be putting any pressure on himself and instead will just keep enjoying his fishing.

“You can’t put too much pressure on yourself,” Matty added.

“I just enjoy it and have a go at all the events that I can and put too much on it.

“That’s how I look at it, enjoy everything, and if you’re going to do well you’ll do well; it is what it is.

“You’ve just got to put a bit of effort in and enjoy it and that’s the main thing I think.

“If you start putting pressure on yourself, I think you start doing daft things and just don’t enjoy it then.”

There are a still a number of qualifiers in this year’s DragonMania Coarse Championships. Book for any of them via the Events page or click here.

You can also follow Matty Dawes Fishing on YouTube, Facebook and Instagram.

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