A major drive is underway to get more anglers to fish canals by offering clubs the chance to take over dozens of untapped stretches.
Hundreds of miles of waterway are currently without tenants, and the Canal & River Trust wants angling clubs to take advantage of the situation by boosting its portfolio of waters.
C&RT National Fisheries and Angling Manager, John Ellis, is leading the charge. He believes clubs are missing out on what is some fantastic fishing. He told Angling Times: “There are literally miles of canal which are barely fished but offer superb sport with a huge variety of species.
“We prefer to work with clubs rather than just leaving stretches to be fished by individual anglers – it’s a win win situation.
“Clubs help us to fight poaching and antisocial behaviour, while the members get a great venue to fish at the same time. Clubs who can’t afford to rent waters can still enjoy the canals, as most of our stretches are available to book for matches on our Waterways Wanderers Scheme for less than the price of a day ticket.
“We want more and more anglers to discover the magic of fishing canals.”
One club to recently take advantage of the push is Little Britain Anglers. The North West outfit took over an extensive stretch of the Bolton & Bury Canal last year. Speaking at the time, club secretary Eric Owen said: “Our main aim was to bring back fishing to as much as the canal as possible so that it could be enjoyed by the area’s anglers. The canal was a somewhat forgotten venue and we wanted to change that.
“Taking over stretches like this is a great way for clubs to offer their members places to fish other than just your typical ponds or stretches of river – you’d be surprised what lurks in canals.”