Dates and qualifiers for 50k match

Angling Time can this week reveal the qualifiers and dates for the Willis Worms ABC Club, your ticket to a shot at the biggest prize in UK matchfishing.

The competition, brainchild of the Welsh bait company, is offering a guaranteed £50,000 to the eventual winner of the series, which culminates in the big final at Maver Larford Lakes on Saturday, October 2.

Before that, though, there's the small matter of 18 qualifiers plus the quarter and semi finals which, as revealed in AT last month, are to be fished on a unique one-against-one basis to give those drawn on the poorest pegs the chance to make the final. 

It all kicks off on Saturday, April 10 at Hampshire fishery Broadlands and each qualifier is of differing peg sizes so organisers have decided that the winner of each 20-peg section will go through to the quarter finals. That means two anglers from a 40-peg match will qualify, four from an 80-peg event, and so on.

"We've had a really good uptake since we went live and these qualifiers are just the first lot," said Denzil Thorpe, the man behind the event. "There are another dozen or so matches to be released in the coming weeks on venues such as the Warks Avon and River Wye. What we will be doing nearer the first match in April is temporarily suspending entries into the club so we can do the maths and make sure that everyone gets the tickets they want and nothing ends up being oversubscribed."

Denzil also has plans for the final at Larford to feature a special match for disabled anglers where £1,000 will be on offer and a legends match which will invite some of British matchfishing's greats to fish for a grand alongside three special competition winners. One man who is interested is Neil Machin, winner of two of Britain's current biggest match prizes ­ Fish O'Mania and the Parkdean Masters.

"I think the big names will certainly go for this," Neil said. "It's another big match to fish and the only problem I can see is clashes with other events like Fish O'. These events come round every few years yet rarely get off the ground, but it seems as if this one is most definitely on."


These are the all-important dates, full details of the event, including how to join the Willis Worms ABC club (you have to be a member to take part) available at the website:

Saturday, April 10 ­ Broadlands Fishery, Southampton, 120 pegs
Saturday, April 17 ­ Gold Valley Lakes, Aldershot, 120 pegs
Sunday, April 18 ­ White Springs Fishery, South Wales, 60 pegs
Saturday, May 1 ­ Angel of the North Fishery, Newcastle, 40 pegs
Saturday, May 8 ­ Browning Moorlands Farm, Kidderminster, 100 pegs
Wednesday, May 12 ­ Heronbrook Fisheries, Stafford, 120 pegs
Saturday, May 15 ­ The Oaks Lakes, Thirsk, 120 pegs
Saturday, May 22 ­ Heyford Fishery, Northampton, 100 pegs
Wednesday, June 9 ­ Meadowlands Fishery, Coventry, 40 pegs
Saturday, June 12 ­ Viaduct Fishery, Somerton, 60 pegs
Wednesday, June 16 ­ Maver Larford Lakes, Stourport, 100 pegs
Sunday, June 20 ­ Dudley Canal, Brierley Hill, 40 pegs
Wednesday, July 7 ­ Heronbrook Fisheries, Stafford, 120 pegs
Saturday, July 17 ­ Viaduct Fishery, Somerton, 60 pegs
Wednesday, July 21 ­ Cudmore Fisheries, Stoke, 120 pegs
Saturday, July 31 ­ Angel of the North Fishery, Newcastle, 40 pegs
Saturday, August 7 ­ Fox Match Barford Lakes, Norwich, 80 pegs
Saturday, August 14 ­ Barston Lakes, Solihull, 80 pegs