Mottram and Preece take the Canal Pairs title in style

Up against 99 other pairs, the two Simons take the £2,600 top prize

Mottram and Preece take the Canal Pairs title in style

by Angling Times |

There can’t be two more consistent anglers on the Shropshire Union Canal than Simon Mottram and Simon Preece.

So this year’s Dynamite Baits-backed Angling Trust/Canal & River Trust Canal Pairs Final on the Shroppy around Soudley made them strong favourites. It was a billing they lived up to with a close-fought victory!

Up against 99 other pairs, the two Simons posted a combined score of 179 points out of a possible 200 to take the £2,600 top prize plus section money and groundbait and keepnets from Dynamite Baits. They ended the match just two points in front of runners-up Paul Bick and Richie Reynolds. Marc Kay and Mike Withey completed the top three.

Mottram scored 93 points in his section with a big fish-dominated 7-2-0 net, while Preece added 86 points with his 8-1-12 haul. Here, they describe their matches...

Mottram’s match

“I drew on the crossover length at the Market Drayton end of the canal, an area that’s home to big fish, so that was my plan – to fish for perch and skimmers early and then pick off what I could afterwards.

“Whenever I’ve drawn there, I’ve always seen a burst of big fish get caught early, then next to nothing for the rest of the match, so I kept it simple and went steady with the feed, aiming to set little traps to catch one net fish at a time.

“Starting down the middle with a lobworm tail I had the best possible start with a 2lb 13oz perch, my personal best! Shortly afterwards a boat went over the swim so that was the end of that, and it was time to look across on the long pole.

“The dead maggot swim to the bush produced a 2lb skimmer and three smaller fish on single dead maggot before that faded, forcing me on to the bread. A 5mm punch caught me a few roach and another skimmer.

“When this line went quiet, going back on the dead maggot swim got me another small skimmer and, finally, a look on the groundbait caught me some small fish. After 90 minutes, I’d caught most of my weight as I hardly had a bite after that.”

This 2lb 13oz bonus perch was also a PB for Simon Mottram
This 2lb 13oz bonus perch was also a PB for Simon Mottram

Preece’s match

“Simon did the draw and got me an okay peg by the honesty box bridge at Soudley. I went for two lines. The first was down the middle for perch and skimmers and the second at 10m for fishing squatts, with the option of going out to 12m if the fish backed off.

“After feeding some dead maggots and chopped worm in the track and groundbait across, I began after those perch on lobworm tails and caught four netters before the boats turned up. Changing to the squatt line, all I could catch were gudgeon, so I went back on the worm for another good perch.

“After that, I stayed mainly on the squatt line. It was slow going, but with 90 minutes left, the squatt swim picked up and I was catching roach plus a bonus 12oz skimmer.”

Simon Preece bagged his 8-1-12 from the Soudley section
Simon Preece bagged his 8-1-12 from the Soudley section

The individual race

A string of double-figure nets were recorded, but only one angler cracked the 20lb barrier. Trentmen’s Jason Evans took 20-14-0 from peg 95 in the middle of Palethorpe’s stretch.

Putting in three lines on the long pole and one down the middle, Jason began in the track for a roach early on, before moving across. Gudgeon were the first fish to show, although he also netted a couple of 1lb skimmers. Changing to his second long line, a run of five hybrids averaging 1lb apiece got him on track and, from that point on, it was a case of alternating between each long pole line to pick off roach and small hybrids.

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