The championship will include up to 20 qualifying heats, with a minimum of three pairs qualifying from each heat that attracts ten or more competing pairs:
- Two heats in each of our six regional management units
- Two heats on each of the canal venues where the 2020 Division One and Division Two nationals are being held
- One heat on a Welsh canal
- One heat on an Irish canal
- One heat on a Scottish canal
- One heat on a canal venue where the fishing rights are not owned or managed by the Trust
There are certain criteria that must be reasonably met before a venue can host a qualifying event:
- Availability of at least 40 pegs split into two sections of 20 (which may be on two canals in close proximity)
- A match headquarters that can be used pre and post-match including, ideally, for food availability and which has adequate car parking facilities
- Suitable car parking and towing path access
- A non-fishing event organiser who takes total responsibility for advance promotion and organisation on the day and returning results promptly to Angling Trust (Canal & River Trust or Angling Trust officers will not normally be present at the qualifiers)
- Availability of weigh in stewards
- Provision by the organisers of adequate weigh scales appropriate for canals
Qualifiers may be held on either a Saturday or Sunday (or bank holiday Monday) between Saturday 10 May and Sunday 4 October 2020 with the final being held on Saturday 24 October 2020 at a canal venue to be confirmed.
John Ellis, national fisheries and angling manager, said: "This year's competition, supported by Dynamite Baits, has again generated plenty of interest amongst match anglers. We would encourage clubs wishing to host a qualifier to get their applications in promptly. We welcome neighbouring clubs working together to put in a joint bid to host a qualifying heat."
James Lewis from the Angling Trust added "The canal pairs has once more proven really popular with anglers across the country and we're seeing a huge amount of support around nationals when anglers want to practice on the upcoming sections for the larger matches. As a pairs event it's a unique opportunity to pool information with a good mate and qualify for a big money final!"
We'll let successful applicants know shortly after the closing date and it is anticipated that the 2020 qualifying venues will be announced at the final of the 2019 Dynamite Baits Canal Pairs Championship on Saturday 19 October.