Kerry and Knights in spotlight
Two Norfolk anglers are on the threshold of national stardom.Lee Kerry, the son of well known Norwich beach casting champion and expert sea angler Paul Kerry, and Chris Knights Jnr from Shelfanger near Diss, have the chance to climb to the very pinnacle of the big money sport in today's mega rich Fish O'Mania final, and remarkably both these local hopefuls made the 16-man line-up on the famous Hayfield Lake Fishery, near Doncaster by entry through the back door.
Two Norfolk anglers are on the threshold of national stardom.
Lee Kerry, the son of well known Norwich beach casting champion and expert sea angler Paul Kerry, and Chris Knights Jnr from Shelfanger near Diss, have the chance to climb to the very pinnacle of the big money sport in today's mega rich Fish O'Mania final, and remarkably both these local hopefuls made the 16-man line-up on the famous Hayfield Lake Fishery, near Doncaster by entry through the back door.
Kerry, who represented England at youth level and is now sponsored by Browning, is a member of the famous Barnsley Blacks match outfit.
He made the Fish O'Mania showdown when the winner of the Lindholme qualifier earlier this month dropped out because of personal reasons and thus runner-up Kerry was promoted.
This week the 24-year-old civil engineer who is based in Leeds, said he was prepared mentally and physically for the big day against some of the nation's top names competing for the £25k purse.
"I accept I need to pull a decent peg out of the draw bag, but I have devoted about 24 hours solid practice on the match venue so all I can do is hope to sit on the fish," he declared.
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Chris Knights, a 40-year-old local government administrator was disappointed to finish runner-up by less than 3lbs at the April 18 qualifier staged on Barford Lakes.
However, the winner that day, Alex Bates of March, was subsequently disqualified for violating the Barford keep-net rule that limits the number of fish retained and thus the Harleston and Wortwell Club man was promoted to the qualifying spot for his catch of 136lb 10oz.
"I felt desperately sorry for Alex but I am delighted to be in the final and have done my homework," said Knights.
However our local hopefuls are competing against some truly formidable opposition some of whom who have the know-how to get the absolute best out of an average swim.
Steve Cooke, who won the tournament in 1999 has fished four of these finals, so has Steve Jackson who won in 2001 while Marc Jones pocketed the top prize from his only appearance in 2005.
Competitors of international status like Will Raison will also be among the line-up of this angling extravaganza which will be screened live on Sky Sports 2 from 12 noon to 5.30pm.
In addition there is a cut-out ticket in this week's Angling Times that will get you on the banks of Hayfield free of charge from 9am.