There really has never been a better time to be a match angler with every month offering up qualifiers or events to win big money both individually and as a team.
From Fish O’Mania and Maver Match This to established competitions including the Nationals and Winter League, diaries soon become busy and it can be a real job trying to fit everything in. So with 2017 stretching out before us, Angling Times has compiled the ultimate list of events to fish this year, including details of how to fish them and when the matches take place. Dig out that calendar – this year could be your year!
World Pairs Angling Championships
Monday 4 September - Friday 8 September
It may only have been running for a few years, but this week-long angling extravaganza across lakes and loughs in the lakeland area of Ireland has been a massive hit, attracting well over 50 pairs and some of the biggest names in match fishing.
Four times World Champion Bob Nudd, AT columnists Steve Ringer and Tommy Pickering plus a raft of international big names regularly fish, all aiming to win the 12,000 Euro top prize and within the event there’s also the Daiwa Cup running, which rewards the angler that has the biggest total weight over the five days with yet more money plus tackle.
And unlike many festivals, the World Pairs is decided on weight so a poor first few days doesn’t really matter so long as you can make hay while the sun shines when you draw on a few fish. Hybrids and roach are the target fish across massive relatively unfished lakes, anglers fishing specific zones on a rotational basis to ensure that everyone is on a level playing field.
The pairs is also relatively cheap to fish with entry at just £170 per pair, although special reduced rates are on offer is you book your accommodation through an approved agent. For more details or to book on, call 07711 607200 or visit the event website: www.worldpairsangling.com
Waterways Ireland Classic
Monday 8 May – Friday 12 May
The list of anglers that have won this prestigious event really is a who’s who of UK match angling stretching way back to the 1970’s and for those yet to lift the famed crystal trophy, it remains one to win! However, it is no easy task as Fermanagh’s Lough Erne in early May can be a tough nut to crack.
Migratory bream, roach and hybrids run through the system and if you catch them right, good weights are on the cards but if not, it can be a struggle. Decided on weight though, one day on the bream could well win the whole thing although consistency across the three days generally always wins the day.
The week sees two ‘rest’ days between matches but there’s almost always a big open running to give anglers a bit more practice and the chance to win a few quid, £5,000 alone going to the overall winner of the Classic. Entry is £105 (excluding the rod licence needed to fish in Ireland) but reduced rates are on offer if you book accommodation through approved agents.
For the full low down on the Classic, check out the event’s website www.fermanaghclassicfishing.com where you’ll find all you need to know about this historic match including how to enter, how it all works and the prize list up for grabs.
White Acres Coarse Angling Festivals
Frenzee Festival – week commencing 27 March
Milo Festival – week commencing 8 May
Guru Festival – week commencing 15 May
Maver Festival – week commencing 2 October
Preston Innovations Festival – week commencing 9 October
Parkdean Masters Final - Saturday 14 October
These dates are often the first to go into the diary for many anglers as they’re about so much more than just fishing. Making the long trip down to Cornwall offers the chance to meet up with old mates, sink a few ales and enjoy top nights out but there is a serious side to the festivals with decent money on offer.
Spring sees three events running, the new Frenzee event plus the Milo and Guru festivals before things sign off at the end of summer with the Maver and Preston Innovations events, the latter seeing the top 25 anglers quality for the one day Parkdean Masters Final where £25,000 will go to the top man.
Each festival is fished across five days, taking in White Acres’ on-site lakes plus Porth Reservoir and Bolingey Lakes which are a short drive away, all accommodation being on-site in lodges or static caravans with full bar and dining facilities just a short walk away. Winners are decided on section points once angler’s worst score over the week is dropped so realistically, you’re looking at four section wins to make it onto the podium.
To reserve your place, call the White Acres fishery team on 01726 862526, all the spec on each event available by visiting White Acres’ dedicated fishing website www.news-reel.com
Sensas International Challenge
Saturday 11 March & Sunday 12 March – Gloucester Canal
Matches fished to continental rules are rare in the UK today but the two day Sensas Challenge stands head and shoulders above them all, attracting the big teams from the UK and a few from abroad too, this year’s event taking place on the wide and deep Gloucester Canal in mid-March.
Bloodworm and joker is allowed but there are rules on pole lengths plus how much bait you can use and feederfishing is not allowed. If you and some mates fancy mixing it with the likes of Alan Scotthorne, you can enter a team to do battle. E-mail Sensas UK boss and England Manager Mark Downes on firstname.lastname@example.org and he’ll do the rest!
Angling Trust Nationals
Division One – Saturday 19 August Shropshire Union Canal
Division Two – Saturday 9 September Aire & Calder & New Junction Canals
Although the gloss from these massive events may have diminished down the years, there’s still something magical about National day, pitting your team against dozens of others across miles of a venue you’ve probably never seen before, let alone fished.
Practice days offer a great lad’s trip out and of course, the buzz at the draw and the anticipation as you walk to your peg can’t be beaten. It’s a team match though and so that means fishing for a weight to score enough points rather than trying to win the match outright – but some lucky devil will always end up drawn on a few bream!
This year’s events sees the Division One, including Dorking, Starlets, Barnsley et al heading to the Shropshire Union Canal while the Division Two teams are off to the sprawling Aire & Calder and New Junction Canals.
Team entries are still being taken although each angler will need to be a paid up member of the Angling Trust to fish. E-mail the Trust’s Competitions Manager Sandra Johnson at Sandra.Johnson@Anglingtrust.net to find out more.
Angling Trust Winter League
The race for spots in February’s two day final is done and dusted with the top two teams from each league making it through to Decoy Lakes and the Fen Drains but before you know it, October will roll around and it’ll be time to do battle once again!
Leagues run all around the UK, some on commercial fisheries while most take in a mix of natural and carp waters for the ultimate test of team angling. Team sizes vary depending on the league you are in, ranging from eight to 10 anglers with the winners decided on total section points and with reach match being between 40 and 80 pegs, they’re big events well worth fishing.
Any team can enter so long as each angler is a member of the Angling Trust, leagues kicking off in early October and running up to Christmas. E-mail the Trust’s Competitions Manager Sandra Johnson at Sandra.Johnson@Anglingtrust.net to find out where your nearest league is running in 2017.
Evesham Angling Championships
Saturday 17 June - Evesham Qualifier
Sunday 18 June - Wychavon Qualifier
Wednesday 21 June - Evesham Qualifier
Saturday 24 June - Wychavon Qualifier
Sunday 25 June - Evesham Qualifier
Wednesday 28 June - Wychavon Qualifier
Saturday 1 July - Evesham Qualifier
Sunday 2 July - Team Qualifier
Wednesday 5 July - Wychavon Qualifier
Wednesday 12 July - Evesham Qualifier
Saturday 15 July - Wychavon Qualifier
Sunday 16 July - Evesham Qualifier
Wednesday 19 July - Wychavon Qualifier
Saturday 22 July - Wychavon Qualifier
Sunday 23 July - Evesham Qualifier
Saturday 29 July - Evesham Qualifier
Sunday 30 July - Team Qualifier
Saturday 5 August - Evesham Qualifier
Sunday 6 August - The Hampton Ferry Show
Wednesday 9 August - Veterans Evesham Qualifier
Saturday 12 August - Evesham Qualifier
Sunday 13 August - Wychavon Qualifier
Saturday 19 August - Wychavon Qualifier
Sunday 20 August - Evesham Qualifier
In its many guises, Evesham weekend is a popular draw seeing a three day angling extravaganza on the Warks Avon at Evesham over the Bank Holiday August weekend, taking in the Wychavon and Evesham individual events plus the Team Championships on the Monday itself.
Big money awaits the winners, each match seeing massed banks of spectators along the river and it’s a true festival in its own right with tackle stands, a beer tent and live commentary to keep you in the picture with regards to what’s happening.
Before the finals though, there are dozens of qualifiers on the river kicking off when the river season opens. These are open to all and offer multiple final places each time so there’s plenty of changes to make it through to the big weekend. To book onto a qualifier, head to the Hampton Ferry website www.hamptonferry.co.uk and click on the angling link to book into a qualifier, each match costing £25.50.
Fish O’Mania XXIV
Wednesday 8 March – Bait-Tech Viaduct Fishery
Saturday 11 March - Heronbrook Fisheries
Saturday 25 March - Tunnel Barn Farm
Sunday 26 March – Coleman’s Cottage Fishery
Saturday 1 April – Bait-Tech Viaduct Fishery
Saturday 8 April – Preston Innovations Woodland View
Wednesday 12 April - Monk Lakes
Saturday 15 April - Barford Lakes
Wednesday 19 April - Partridge Lakes
Saturday 22 April – Guru Makin’s Fishery
Saturday 6 May - Tunnel Barn Farm
Wednesday 10 May - Monk Lakes
Wednesday 17 May - Lakeview Fishery
Saturday 20 May – Daiwa Hallcroft Fishery
Sunday 21 May – Garbolino Lindholme Lakes
Wednesday 24 May - Messingham Sands
Saturday 27 May – Coleman’s Cottage Fishery
Saturday 3 June - Oaks Lakes
Sunday 4 June - Larford Lakes
Wednesday 7 June – Preston Innovations Boldings Pools
Saturday 10 June – Woodland Lakes
Wednesday 14 June - Partridge Lakes
Saturday 17 June - Gold Valley Lakes
Wednesday 21 June – Garbolino Lindholme Lakes
The original and still the most popular of all the big money events, Fish O is always over-subscribed with the added magic of the full five hours of the final at Cudmore Fisheries beamed live into UK homes by the Sky TV cameras, as if the pressure of fishing for £50,000 wasn’t enough!
This year sees the final extended to 28 places with some qualifiers taking place abroad and there’s a new online booking system and process in place to enter in 2017 which will make it quicker and easier for anglers to apply for tickets. Tickets go on sale in February with details on how to apply on the Angling Trust website www.anglingtrust.net although you must be a Trust member to apply.
Maver Mega Match This
Saturday 1 April – The Glebe/Mallory Park
Sunday 2 April – Maver Hayfield Lakes
Saturday 8 April – Partridge Lakes
Saturday 15 April – Preston Innovations Woodland View
Sunday 30 April – Garbolino Lindholme Lakes
Saturday 13 May – Heronbrook Fisheries
Saturday 20 May – Partridge Lakes
Sunday 21 May – Westwood Lakes
Saturday 27 May – Gold Valley Lakes
Sunday 28 May - The Glebe/Mallory Park
Sunday 4 June – Maver Hayfield Lakes
Wednesday 7 June – Decoy Lakes
Saturday 10 June – Solhampton Fishery
Saturday 17 June – Bait-Tech Viaduct Fishery
Saturday 1 July – Partridge Lakes
Saturday 8 July – Monk Lakes
Saturday 15 July –Daiwa Hallcroft Fishery
Saturday 22 July – Coleman’s Cottage Fishery
Wednesday 26 July - The Glebe/Mallory Park
Saturday 29 July – Garbolino Lindholme Lakes
Sunday 6 August – Barston Lakes
Wednesday 9 August – Decoy Lakes
Saturday 12 August – Tunnel Barn Farm
Sunday 13 August - The Glebe/Mallory Park
Offering the biggest prize in UK match angling, the Match This event has gone from strength to strength over the years. This year is likely to see £70,000 go to the winner of the Hayfield Lakes Final and tickets are on sale now!
Taking in 24 qualifiers on commercial fisheries, there’s more or less a match every weekend to have a crack at, the winner going through to the final where Jon Whincup took the honours last summer in a star-studded final. All the details including how to book a qualifier place can be found at www.mavermatchthis.co.uk
Golden Reel Angling Championship
Saturday 4 March - Decoy Lakes
Saturday 11 March – Coleman’s Cottage Fishery
Saturday 18 March – Larford Lakes
Saturday 25 March – Bait-Tech Viaduct Fishery
Saturday 1 April – Monk Lakes
Sunday 9 April – Larford Lakes
Saturday 15 April – Westwood Lakes
Saturday 22 April – Heronbrook Fisheries
Sunday 23 April – The Glebe Fishery
Wednesday 26 April – Partridge Lakes
Saturday 6 May – Bait-Tech Viaduct Fishery
Saturday 13 May – Garbolino Lindholme Lakes
Wednesday 17 May –Decoy Lakes
Wednesday 24 May - The Glebe Fishery
Saturday 27 May – Barston Lakes
Saturday 3 June – Gold Valley Lakes
Saturday 10 June – Garbolino Lindholme Lakes
Saturday 17 June – Larford Lakes
Friday 23 June – Partridge Lakes
Saturday 1 July – The Glebe Fishery
Saturday 8 July – Larford Lakes
Saturday 15 July – Heronbrook Fisheries
Wednesday 19 July – The Glebe Fishery
Saturday 29 July – Tunnel Barn Farm
Created by Larford Lakes boss Phil Briscoe, Golden Reel is brand new for 2017 and offers anglers yet another chance to fish for big money with £50,000 up for grabs in this summer’s final at Larford. Tickets are already on sale and AT readers can have a crack at making the final for free thanks to our exclusive competition on this page!
From each eliminator, the winner will book their place at Larford, the match preceded by a gala dinner and then taking place over five hours with TV cameras present. Matches are on commercial fisheries. Check out the website www.goldenreelangling.co.uk to book your place now.
Preston Innovations Feedermasters
Sunday 16 April - Barston Lakes
Saturday 22 April - Southfield Reservoir
Saturday 29 April - Larford Lakes
Saturday 6 May - Lough Erne
Sunday 7 May - Barston Lakes
Sunday 21 May - Ferry Meadows Country Park
Sunday 28 May - Gold Valley Lakes
Saturday 3 June - Carr Mill Dam
Sunday 11 June - Carr Mill Dam
Saturday 17 June - Ferry Meadows
Sunday 25 June - Daiwa Hallcroft Fishery
Sunday 2 July - Ferry Meadows Country Park
Sunday 9 July - Tidal River Trent
Sunday 16 July - River Yare
Saturday 22 July - Southfield Reservoir
Sunday 6 August - Bough Beech Reservoir
Sunday 13 August - Southfield Reservoir
Sunday 20 August - Bough Beech Reservoir
Saturday 26 August - Patshull Park
Saturday 2 September - Lough Muckno
Launched last year, this event is Fish O’Mania for feeder anglers with multiple qualifiers, feeder-only, seeing three zone winners go through to the big final at Bough Beech Reservoir fishing for a big prize and this year, like in the inaugural event, there are eliminators in Ireland as well as on the UK mainland.
Taking in rivers, big natural lakes and commercial fisheries, it doesn’t matter what type of venue you concentrate on, there’s a match to suit you. 2016’s event sold out and organisers Lee Kerry and Mick Vials are confident of more of the same this time around. To enter, keep your eyes peeled on the Feedermasters website www.feedermasters.co.uk with entries to open very soon!
Angling Trust RiverFest
Event creator Dave Harrell is still finalising venues for this running water extravaganza which is expected to run along the same lines as previous campaigns, seeing three 20 peg zone winners from each qualifier win through to the two day final on the River Wye at Hereford in November where total weight will decide the champion and winner of the £12,000 top prize.
Famous waterways including the Wye, Severn, Trent, Bristol Avon and Yare are all likely to be included but there could be a few newbies for 2017 to help keep things fresh. The final itself, provided it catches the river in top form, will be something spectacular with big barbel, chub, roach and perch weights. Keep your eyes peeled in AT or on the Angling Trust’s website (www.anglingtrust.net) for when the qualifiers dates and venues are announced.