Team matchfishing in the UK has been given a huge shot in the arm this week with the news that tackle company Preston Innovations is to put its weight behind an exciting new event.
The Preston Innovations World Club Classic will see the top 10 teams from this August’s Division 1 National compete in a weekend-long eliminator fished to international rules a month later, with the winner representing England in the World Club Champs the following year.
They’ll also get £7,000 to help them with their preparations for Serbia as they seek to become the first English side since Essex County in the 1980s to win the title.
“The old NFA had the idea a few years back of inviting the winners of its knockout event the Team Champs and the top 10 in the Division 1 National to fish a similar event but cash was the problem,” said Angling Trust director of international events Dick Clegg. “We’ve got that money thanks to Preston Innovations and this puts English matchfishing in a stronger position when it comes to the Club Champs. Our foreign counterparts always ask me why we have such a strong international team but can’t compete at club level.”
The race is now on to find a suitable venue for the weekend at the end of September, and Dick wants something similar to where the Champs will take place the following year, which will also allow bloodworm and joker. A fishery where everyone fishes for carp is no good.
“I’ve always felt that the Div 1 winners who all chuck a feeder out to win and then go abroad and have to learn worm and joker fishing is a bit of a farce,” Dick added. “It should be our best team going out there and I know some teams will complain, but this is what matchfishing needs to move it forward.”
Preston Innovations director Rick Teale, himself a top flight match angler, agrees. It has signed up for four years worth around £50,000 and he’s looking forward to a massive weekend of team fishing.
“We’re very pleased to be involved with this style of event would like to thank the Angling Trust for allowing Preston Innovations to be part of what could be one of the biggest weekends in the calendar,” said Ricky.
“Match angling in the UK is going through a change and events like this should increase interest with anglers and the press.”