Clubs aim to bring hundreds to the bank for matches

The sight of hundreds of matchmen lining a river bank every weekend could soon become a regular occurrence on UK waterways thanks to a new initiative being piloted by a group of angling clubs.

In a bid to rekindle the glory days of big competitions held on natural venues, a number of angling clubs in the South West have joined forces to organise the first in a series of huge matches aimed at club anglers.

At least 10 organisations have already signed up to the event which will be staged next month and held on the prolific stretch of the Bristol Avon at Bradford on Avon, Wiltshire, which has been home to many huge running water matches in the past including the Division One National.

It’s the brainchild of Airsprung Angling Club, which is encouraging other clubs to plan their own contests that will help attract more anglers to natural venues.

Club chairman Andrew Fox said: “It’s a good way of bringing smaller clubs together, as well as encouraging anglers to go back to running water. “Most of the clubs involved in this match were already doing interclub matches between themselves, so we thought ‘why not organise one huge event for over 100 anglers?’.

“We want the rest of the country to see how much of a success big matches on natural venues can be.”

The sport has experienced a resurgence in river fishing over the past couple of years thanks to events like the Angling Trust’s RiverFest, but it is hoped that this latest effort will attract less serious competitors.

“Our competition will be more affordable than some of the big opens, but it will also provide the chance for the average angler to win some big money and enjoy some cracking sport,” Andrew continued.

To take part in the event, which costs £15 per person, anglers must be a member of one of the competing clubs. To find out how to join one, visit any of the clubs’ websites, or call Wests Tackle Shop on: 01225 755472.