Division 2 nationals

Long read: The 2019 Division 2 National. Everything you need to know to take part in this year's competition.

Jake Fowles, Angling Trust Division 1 National Championships 2017


Date: Saturday 14 September 2019

Venue: Shropshire Union Canal

Courtesy of Division Two local national organiser Dave Watkins and his loyal assistant Terry Nutt. Following the very successful Angling Trust Division 1 National back in 2017, we’re very keen for this match to be another showpiece for Hodnet Angling Club, Angling Trust, Canal & River Trust, indeed for the whole of the North Shropshire area.

It will be the 70th national to have been held on a canal since the first event in 1937. 

You can skip down to the relevant information by clicking the links listed here:

How to take part

Any Angling Trust club members or potential members who are not currently in Division One are eligible to enter. It’s a little-known fact that member clubs can actually enter two teams, each comprising of 10 anglers, all of whom must be individual Trust members and hold an EA rod licence. The Angling Trust are now taking entries and if your club hasn’t yet registered, you need to get your skates on and do so by the end of March at the latest, preferably sooner.

Match HQ details

The Division 2 National will be held on the Shropshire Union Canal on Saturday 14 September 2019.

The draw headquarters will be at Barbers, Market Drayton Livestock Auction, just off the A53 Market Drayton bypass, (Sat Nav TF9 3SW). Breakfasts at the on-site Grazers Café from 7.30 am onwards at very reasonable prices.

Match length

The match length will start at High Offley (Sat Nav ST20 0NG) in the south and run northwards through Market Drayton ending up at Coole Pilate (CW5 8AU). Full section details below.

(These may be tweaked depending on the number of teams confirming attendance. We're still in negotiations with one of two landowners to finalise parking details.)

Important information for boaters

Areas that will not be pegged

There will be no restriction on navigation during the event. Unless you meet another craft coming in the opposite direction, please keep to the central channel, travelling at a speed that doesn’t create noticeable wash. Should you prefer not to cruise while the match is taking place, one option is an early start (fishing kicks off at 11.00am) or wait until the match is over  after 4.00pm. The following areas will not be used:

  • South of Bridge 42
  • Shebdon aqueduct mooring area
  • Winding hole at bridge 48
  • Bridge 55 north for around 200 metres
  • Bridge 56 to Tyrley Locks
  • Tyrley Locks to Bridge 64
  • Bridge 69 to Bridge 80 (including Adderley & Audlem Lock flights)
  • 400 metres north of Bridge 84

Day memberships

Day tickets will be available on the bank in all sections from angling club water bailiffs priced at £4.00. You can also get a special Canal Rover ticket, enabling you to practice anywhere on the match length for unlimited times. You can buy Canal Rover tickets individually or by any team on block, there's special deduction for team tickets.

Please call or text Dave Watkins for details 07725556159, Email dgwatkins@sky.com.

Tickets priced at £10 will only be available from Dave by request before fishing. They will run from 1 April 2019 until 8 September 2019 and must be produced to a club water bailiff on request. If you can’t produce a day permit or the relevant club membership card, the day permit fee will apply.

Group practice

Any team wishing to practice as a group in a specific area need to contact Dave to find out the availability of the area, before fishing. Any areas of the match length may be pre-booked on a first come, first served basis.


The pegging on the match length for practice purposes will be determined by a blued area on the towpath for each peg on every section. These pegs will be used in all open matches leading up to and including the main event. To practice on H Section you must call at the farmhouse (Mr Brindley) on arrival to see about the availability of the driveway to Bridge 67 (TF9 3TR). This is the only access to this section and must not be abused. It will probably be fully available from mid-May onwards, with an honesty box in place to cover parking (a £1 donation going to charity).

Pegging out

Every effort has been made to make sure all the pegs are fair, equidistant and safe and clear of overhead powerlines (there are some telephone wire too which are not hazardous) and other obstructions.

All the pegs have been marked and anglers are asked to practice on the pegs marked with blue paint, (yellow paint on J and K Sections). At present, there are 50 pegs per section, the minimum distance between pegs is 22 metres, which will be used in all the matches, including on national day. Make sure you take any unused bait or groundbait home after fishing. Don't t throw it away in the hedgerow as this can lead to complaints about vermin or swarms of flies or field and to prevent overfeeding the fish, don’t chuck it into the canal either.

Facebook Live

The event will be televised live on the Canal & River Trust Angling Facebook page starting at the draw and continuing throughout the day. The film crew will be from Catch More Media.   

They'll do their best to keep disturbance to a minimum. With the recent decline in angling participation, it's vital we promote the sport in an upbeat and positive light so please do try to be on your best behaviour if you are asked to say a few words about how your day is unfolding.

Angling historian John Essex is likely to put in a guest appearance and all being well his book on the History of the National will be on sale at the draw and at the HQ after the match. 

Bait bans

Bloodworm and joker and any form of pellets are banned on the entire match length. There will be no bait available at the draw headquarters and iyou need to bring ample supplies with you as sadly there are no tackle shops on the doorstep in the Market Drayton area.

(Almost) local tackle shops

Here’s a useful list of shops relatively close to the venue:

  • Angling Direct, Stoke on Trent 01782 287690
  • Crewe Match, Crewe 01270 588466
  • HF Angling, Gresty Lane, Crewe 01270 585679
  • Dave’s of Middlewich, 01606 833853
  • Nathans Premier Angling Centre, Burslem 01782 814941
  • Ian’s Fishing Tackle, Penkridge 01785 715755
  • Rod and Gun, Dawley, Telford 01952 503550
  • Oakengates Angling Centre, Telford  01952 616054
  • Jaynes Fishing Tackle, Wellington, Telford 01952 257400
  • Total Angling, Shrewsbury 01743 462699
  • Trentside Angling, Abbey Hulton, Stoke-on-Trent, 01782 545493

Local neighbourhood

Please be aware that all the sections are in open countryside and accesses are very limited. They involve driving down narrow country lanes where you could meet heavy agricultural machinery and milk lorries, by necessity taking up these narrow lanes. Encountering a herd of cows or a stray sheep is also possible. Parking for practice sessions will be available at most of the road bridges, but anglers must keep all farm drives and gateways clear at all times. Arrangements can be made for off road parking for team practice.

Typical narrow canal

The Shropshire Union Canal has an average width of 13 metres with roughly four to four and a half feet of depth in the centre track. The main flow on sections A to G is from right to left, however on section H, bridge 67 (TF9 3TR), which is known locally as the crossover bridge, the towpath is on the other side, meaning that the canal will tow from left to right for the remaining sections. There is no ban on the use of catapults in the national, but where boats are moored opposite, don't catapult bait too close to or onto the boat.

Local accommodation 

Overnight accommodation is limited to B & Bs and small hotels in the immediate Market Drayton area:

  • Offley Grove Farm, Adbaston, Staffs. Call Margaret on 01785 280205 (Ideally located for A, B & C sects)
  • Castle Inn, Bletchley, Market Drayton 01630 638246
  • Raven Hotel, Prees Heath 01948 663223
  • Tern Hill Hall Hotel 01630 638310
  • The Four All’s Inn, Market Drayton 01630 652995

However, towns within a 20-mile radius of the draw headquarters include Crewe, Newcastle Under Lyme, Stoke, Stafford, Newport, Telford, Shrewsbury and Whitchurch.

Open match dates

There'll be at least one open on every section involved in the National. Book on early for the very popular open matches, these being the only matches on the length leading up to the Division Two National.

  • All open match draw venues will be open from 7.30am
  • Breakfasts available on request
  • The pools for most of these matches will be £15 all in
  • Rolling draw from 8.30am onwards
  • Fishing from 11.00am, with the all-out at 4.00pm

Unfortunately, in some sections, some anglers will have a brisk walk to their pegs due to there being limited accesses to the countryside venues. Safe parking will be available in all sections. 

Division 2 nationals match dates

Sun 1 Sept

  • Dynamite Baits Canal Pairs, A and B sections High Offley, Shebdon, Knighton
  • Draw at Knighton Social Club, ST20 0QH
  • Contact, Angling Trust 

Saturday 14 September 2019


Venue: Shropshire Union Canal

See the list of participating teams here.

Planned section locations

Bold indicates a road bridge

Section Bridge to Bridge
A Br 42 (ST20 0NG)      Br 44 (ST20 0PT)
B Br 44 (ST20 0PT)       Br 45 (ST20 0QH)
C Br 46 (ST20 0QH)      Br 48 (ST20 0RH)
D Br 48 (ST20 0RH)      

Br 51 (TF9 2NB)

E Br 51 (TF9 2NB)        

Br 53 (TF9 2NZ)

Access drive from Br 52 (TF9 2SD)

F Br 53 (TF9 2NZ)        

Br 56 (TF9 2LW)

Br 55 (TF9 2LP)

G Br 64 (TF9 1RL)         

Br 66 (TF9 3TR)

BR 65 (TF9 4BH)

H Br 66 (TF9 3TR)  

Access to Br 67 (TF9 3TR) from A529 road via farm drive (Lees Farm)


Br 69 (TF9 3TN)

(No bridge parking available)

J Br 80 (CW3 0JD)          Br  82 (CW5 8AU)
K Br 82 (CW5 8AU)       

Br 84 (CW5 8AU)

Dynamite Baits Canal Pairs reminder

The rules of the 2019 event have been tweaked to allow three pairs to go through as a minimum from all heats of 10 or more pegs. Assuming 35 or more pairs enter the heats being held on the national length, then six pairs will go forward to the grand final which will be held around a few miles south at Norbury Junction and Little Onn. For tickets see our Canal Pairs 2019 page

Further local opportunity to secure that all important final place: 

Sat 28 Sept

  • Dynamite Baits Canal Pairs, Welsh Qualifying Heat, Llangollen Canal, Whixall.
  • Area around bridges 43, 44, 45, 46
  • Draw at the Raven Cafe, Prees Heath, SY13 2AF
  • Match to be organised by Terry Nutt & Dave Watkins

 Contact, Angling Trust 

Teams of four match information

The Teams of Four match scheduled for the 18 August will initially be restricted to teams who are competing in the Division 2 National only.

There will be a maximum of 25 teams competing, initially limited to one team of four per national squad, with an entry fee of £100 per team, payable on application. However, if there is insufficient initial demand, it will be opened up to a second squad team or teams of individuals who wish to enter regardless of their participation in the Division Two national. The closing date for entry will be Saturday 27 July.

Any team who is not paid up by this date will be deemed not to be fishing and will be put on a reserve list, until payment is received. If you wish to enter a team, I advise that you book and pay early, because this match will be a sell-out. It will be a random draw, with team captains able to place their men on the teams allocated section pegs. With a full house, a guaranteed first team prize of £1,000 is on offer. There will also be a £10 individual pool on the day.

Please send your cheque for £100 made to Dave Watkins, 57 Salisbury Hill View, Market Drayton TF9 1DL.

Draw time will be at 9.00am, fish 11.00am till 4.00pm.

If you have any questions...

Please contact Dave Watkins on 0772555615, Email dgwatkins@sky.com. or Terry Nutt directly.


Last date edited: 30 August 2019