The Gloucester & Sharpness Canal is set to welcome the elite of the angling world, as the most prestigious event in the angling calendar is held on the waterway this weekend.
The Angling Trust’s Division One National will see 500 world class anglers descend on the waterway between Gloucester and Purton in hope of their team claiming the top prize and a spot in next year’s World Clubs Championship.
The Gloucester & Sharpness Canal is a particularly significant venue for the Championships, as it was the first canal to welcome competitors back in 1937. Despite being known more for its role in the county’s industrial past, the canal is teeming with fish, and angling matches held on the waterway earlier this year showed healthy populations of roach, bream and perch.
John Ellis, national fisheries and angling manager at the Canal & River Trust, said: “It’s really exciting to have the National Championships on the Gloucester & Sharpness Canal, it’s the biggest event on the angling calendar- a bit like the FA Cup, Wimbledon and the Grand National rolled into one, but with fewer balls and more fish. It’s been a great year for angling on the canals so far, and this is shaping up to be a really great match and a highlight of the season.
“What’s more is that it’s a historic homecoming for the Championships on the canals. The Gloucester & Sharpness hosted the first ever canal Division One Championship, and it’s always a thrill to see the best in the business, and we’re looking forward to seeing what they come up with.”
David Kent, from the Angling Trust, said: “Each year Angling Trust's Division 1 event sees all the country's top teams coming together to compete for the top team fishing title on the calendar. The 2015 event is no exception. As a result it is almost certain that the whole of the current Team England squad will be taking part. It is, therefore, a golden opportunity to see all of the sport's absolute best in action on the same day.
“Our canals have, of course, hosted national championships for many years. They are amongst the most prestigious of all angling events and, as such, significantly help to raise the profile of the canals. As the relationship between the Angling Trust and Canal & River Trust continues to develop I hope to see even more canal venues become available for competitions such as these.”
The competition will take place on Saturday 8 August from 11am to 4pm.