Speculation is mounting in the build-up to this year's Fish ‘O’ Mania Final, which takes place on Saturday, July 13th.
The Arena Pool at Stoke’s Cudmore Fisheries is to play host to the match, which sees 16 anglers do battle for one of angling's most coveted prizes and the £30,000 cheque that goes with it.
Fishery coach and top match man Andy May knows the venue better than most and expects a good match between competitors.
He explained: “I’m sure the venue will fish well on the day, and I am almost certain that shallow fishing will dominate proceedings. I expect it to be a real tight battle – and it will definitely be won in the last couple of hours, with big carp up in the water making the difference.
"In terms of anglers who I expect to fair well, I think that James Dent will be very hard to beat; he has been the man on form all year – and the fishing on offer at Cudmore will suit him down to the ground. I think Neil McKinnon, Andy Powers and Les Thompson also have a good chance, as they are excellent shallow anglers.”
England international Lee Kerry has spent a couple of days at Cudmore helping one of the finalists, and he shared Andy’s predictions that James Dent will be difficult to beat: “I know just how good James is – and the fishing at Cudmore will suit him down to the ground. That said, I think the match will be incredibly peggy, and a peg with wind blowing into it will be very difficult to beat. Looking down the list of anglers, I reckon 75 per cent of those fishing are capable of winning – so it really is a very difficult one to call.
Andy Power (Preston Innovations Thatchers)
Darren Cox (Garbolino)
Craig Jones (Daiwa Dons)
Les Thompson (Matrix)
Gavin Millis (Gold Valley)
Neil McKinnon (Preston Innovations/Sonubaits)
Perry Stone (Yorkshire Baits)
James Dent (MAP/Marukyu)
Andrew Leathers (Browning Hotrods)
Dale Shepherd (Hemsworth Angling Centre)
Tom Pickering (Preston Innovations/Sonubaits)
Jamie Hughes (Maver/ Bag 'em Matchbaits)
Lee Barrett (Worms UK)
Nick Speed (Shimano /Dynamite)