It’s very important to give credit where it’s deserved and I have to say I’m hugely impressed with the choice of venues for the new Fox Rage British Lure Angling Championships.

Rather than commit to the same old venues, the organisers have turned to the UK’s network of canals to provide the arenas for many of the qualifiers. It feels a fresh, exciting and relevant. Angling is so drearily predictable these days that it needs an element of the unknown to decorate it. And that’s what organiser Julian Chidgey has delivered.

The Kennet and Avon Canal, the Leeds-Liverpool, the Exeter Canal, Regents Canal and Yorkshire’s Stainforth and Keadby have all been selected as waters for the inaugral event. It’s such a refreshing change to allow anglers to wander the towpaths searching out predators that may never have seen a lure before. You just never know what they’ll produce – and it’s that ‘not knowing’ that makes it such a great tournament.

Just this season we have seen pike over 30lb discovered during netting campaigns on canals, so there’s plenty of evidence that quality could be caught.

I also suspect the best anglers will qualify from the canals – those with skill, watercraft and that determination to cover ground.

There are also qualifying events on the River Thames and Peterborough’s Ferry Meadows with the final taking place on Chew Reservoir, which will ensure a trophy fish for the cameras, but ironically leaves me a little cold compared to the build up.

If you’d like to find out more about the event and perhaps give it a try, there’s a Facebook page dedicated to it.

Good luck to everyone involved.

This 32lb was electro-fished from the Ashby Canal - it proves there are surprises out there.

This 32lb pike was electro-fished from the Ashby Canal – it proves there are surprises out there.

The qualifiers
April 6 – Exeter Canal
April 13 – Kennet and Avon Canal
May 11 – Grand Union Canal (Midlands)
July 5 – River Thames, Oxford
September 6 – Regents Canal
September 13 – Stainforth and Keadby Canal
September 14 Leeds/Liverpool Canal
September 21 – Ferry Meadows

  • A day afloat with The Duke
  • Otter kills and pike culls
  • Big roach rescue

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