Britain’s biggest club event – the Angling Times Bait-Tech Supercup – has kicked off again!
Fished by almost 300 sides last year, the Supercup is open to all club and tackle shop sides that are registered to the Bait-Tech Clubman scheme and works on a simple knockout system for local sides, culminating in big semi-finals and the final this summer where one name will go on the famous trophy.
The opening two rounds are fished through spring and early summer with teams drawn out of a hat to decide each tie. These six-a-side matches are to be fished on dates set by Angling Times on venues of the home-drawn side’s choice. Win through these and you’re in the regional semi-final, and if you finish in the top five of that special match the final beckons.
That will see 15 sides go at it hammer and tongs over five hours, all hoping to emulate last year’s winners Dersingham AC – and who knows, they may even be back again to defend the title!
“Supercup remains the club event to fish and as big team matches have dwindled down the years, this competition continues to attract healthy numbers,” said Angling Times Match Editor Richard Grange.
“The beauty is that any club can make it through to the final. The rounds are fished through spring, which with the variable weather and spawning makes for a great leveller, but normally the team that takes it seriously and gives its matches a bit of thought does best. So many clubs are put off fishing the big events because they think they can’t compete, but Supercup is on their level and something they can really get stuck into.”
Detailed here is all you need to know about the Supercup as well as relevant contact details for any queries, and you can find the entry form in Angling Times – good luck!
How it all works
The Supercup is a simple knockout competition run initially on a local basis with ties of two or three teams all local to each other. After two rounds of competition, the winning teams get through to their regional semi-final.
These are to be held at some of the country’s top commercial fisheries in July and August 2016 and draw together sides from all over that respective region (North, Midlands and South) to do battle for a place in the grand final.
These opening rounds are fished to section points, not weight, and MUST be fished on the dates specified by Angling Times. This is to stop arguments over which team can fish which date, which has blighted the competition since it started in 1999.
Fishery rules will apply, and the home-drawn side will have the choice of venue only and the rounds will be fished by six anglers a side.
Once the first round tie is completed the home-drawn club must send the result to Angling Times for publication using the Clubman match report card sent out with contact details for opposing teams after the draw has been made.
Teams that have made it through will go into the hat for the second round draw, which is typically made a week after all first round matches have been completed. These matches will follow exactly the same lines as the opening round, finishing in time for winning teams to get in some practice on their semi-final venue.
All first round Supercup matches must be fished on the weekend of April 9 and 10 2016
Second round matches will then take place on the following weekend after the second round draw has been published: June 18 and 19 2016.
How to enter
To begin with teams must be registered to the Bait-Tech Clubman scheme. Don’t panic if you’re not, it’s free to do and only takes a phone call to 01733 395109 to get on board.
If you have fished the Supercup in any of the previous years, then you are already signed up so there’s no need to call!
Once you’re in, send the entry form from Angling Times to the address on the form along with your entry fee and a squad sheet of anglers wanting to fish. This list must have a minimum of 10 and a maximum of 20 names.
All entries MUST be received by Thursday, February 1 2016 to go into the draw for the first round, which will be published in the Tuesday, February 16 2016 issue of Angling Times.
If you’re a home-drawn club, you must contact your opposition to arrange the match as soon as possible – contact details will be sent out to home teams as soon as the draw is completed.
If you’re an away team, just sit tight and wait for that phone call.
It costs just £30 to fish the Supercup, effectively £1.50 per man if you enter a 20-angler squad – around half a pint of beer! This can be paid via cheque or Postal Order and then all you’ll have to pay from then on are the pools for each match you fish.
What you win
There isn’t a prize list in club fishing to match the Supercup and the lucky winners will not only receive the sparkling silver trophy but also commemorative medals as a memento of their day out, plus the £1,000 cheque from event sponsor Bait-Tech.
In fact, all teams competing will go home with something to show for their efforts, with a medal for every team member presented by England boss Mark Addy as well as a box full of Bait-Tech goodies to be distributed amongst the club. A free breakfast and evening meal for all anglers is provided by Bait-Tech.
You’re not forgotten if you come second or third, though, because medals and cheques for £500 and £250 are up for grabs for those teams as well as cash from the pools for the individual top five anglers and section winners and runners-up. Soo what are you waiting for? Enter now!