Gary Miller crowned champ following a second day's battle too close to call before the weigh-in.
Gary Miller has been crowned this year’s Drennan Knockout Cup champion.
Following two days of frantic head-to-head fishing against fellow finalist Lee Kerry, in the end less than 14lb separated the two, with Gary taking the win with a combined total of 225lb 10oz.
Although the action was hot on the second day of the competition, the weather was anything but, with both anglers ending up as wet as if they’d fallen into the water at Docklow Pools that staged the high-profile event.
Not phased by the down pour though, Gary’s employed his tactics to great effect seeing him fish the majority of the match on either the bomb or waggler, searching the open water in front of his swim with huge skill to pick off fish with meat hook bait while introducing minimal feed.
Sat on the less-fancied ‘island’ peg, Lee also caught the majority of his second day net fishing meat, presenting his bait on the pole to the island and on a line closer in.
Although a variety of species made an appearance, the carp showed up in the two pegs to help enhance the weights, with both anglers losing a few fish each, which could have proved crucial in Lee’s case.
Throughout the match Gary looked to be edging ahead, although a late surge by Lee in the last 90minutes everyone in the dark as to who would be the winner.
The scales gave the final verdict though, with Gary weighing in 91lb 4oz on day 2 to Lee’s 67lb 1oz. Added to the first day nets, the overall result saw Gary total 225lb 10oz with lee just 13lb 11oz behind with 211lb 15oz – a hugely close competition and a testament to the skill of both anglers taking part.
"It was a great competition and an honour to win,” Gary told Match Fishing shortly after the victory. “It’s one of those special individual events which is right up there with the ones you really want to win.
“I have to admit I was nervous on the first day, but I soon settled in. One the second day I made up the 10lb difference from the first in the opening hour. I think that the fish I caught at the start were actually what won it for me as Lee struggled to catch to start with.
"By the end though it wasn’t clear who was going to take it as I had a barren spell and Lee was catching well. Luckily I'd done enough and was over the moon when I found out I'd won - it's still hasn't really sunk in though.
"I’d like to thank everyone involved for making it a great two days of fishing,” he added.
Gary Miller Day 1 134lb 6oz Day 2 91lb 4oz Total 225lb 10oz
Lee Kerry Day 1 144lb 14oz Day 2 67lb 1oz Total 211lb 15oz