National championships held on commercial carp lakes are here to stay after the first ever event of its kind was branded a ‘huge success’.
The 2013 ‘Stillwater Championship’ was held at Lindholme, Hayfield and Hallcroft fisheries in the Doncaster area last month with 18 teams of 10 entering the prestigious event that was won by the legendary Ultimate Barnsley Blacks.
These commercial venues had been controversially chosen to host the 2013 Division Two National but, following complaints from traditionalists, who were opposed to moving the event from a ‘natural venue’, the match was moved to the Great River Ouse and the Stillwater Championships was created as a trial to gague the demand for a ‘commercial only’ event.
Due to the resounding success and popularity of the competition it will now be a permanent fixture on the match calendar running alongside more traditional ‘Nationals’ staged on the UK’s rivers and canals.
The Angling Trust, which organises the new event, has already booked Cudmore Fishery and Heronbrook Fishery in Staffordshire for next year and the organisations Chair of Competitions Mick Turner is of the opinion that the Stillwater Championships will only get bigger.
“You’ve only got to look at the entries for open matches to see there is a market for a ‘commercial national’,” Mick told Angling Times.
“I’m confident more teams will enter next year when they realise what is involved as the match produced 11 weights over 100lb and Barnsley received £3,500 for winning.
Steve Sanders, captain of Daiwa Dorking, the most successful team in the country, is all for a permanent team event on commercial fisheries and he added: “Any match, which puts plenty of anglers on the bank is worth fishing, whatever the venue.
“We didn’t put a team in this year because it was a four to five hour drive away, but we are seriously considering entering the next one because the 2013 event has been such a success.”