It was an excellent day for Devizes club member Nigel Baker, who took the top spot in both the individual and pairs competitions with partner Dave Clapton, with an individual weight of 26lbs 8oz and the team earning an impressive 93 points.
The Canal Pairs Championship is being organised by the Canal & River Trust, the charity that cares for 2,000 miles of the nation's historic waterways, together with the Angling Trust and is aimed at encouraging local anglers.
Hosted by the Winget Angling Club, the competition took place on the canal between Hempsted and Pilot. The match is the fifth of 11 regional heats with the top five pairs from each match going through to the final in October.
Remaining qualifiers are Steve Long & Nigel Evans (Garbolino Blackmore Vale, 92 points), Dave McManua & Ian Morrison (Preston, 88 points), Danny Ashington & Hadrian Whittle, (Kamasan Starlets, 88 points) and Liam Bradell & James Carty (Preston Thatchers, 86 points).
Top prize of £4,000
The competition saw pairs of anglers score points based on the weight of fish they caught. As well as being invited to compete in the national final the winning pair received a £200 cash prize. In the national final, pairs will be competing for a top prize of up to £4,000.
John Ellis, national fisheries & angling manager for the Canal & River Trust, said “This was a great qualifier, with strong performances and lots of fish caught, which bodes well for the National Championships taking place on the Gloucester & Sharpness Canal later this year. A special mention should go out to runners up Steve Long and Nigel Evans, who were fishing in honour of local angler Roy Carter who passed away recently and who would have been Steve's original partner.”
The Championship final will take place on the Birmingham & Fazeley Canal in the Midlands on 24th October.
For more information about fishing on your nearest canal or river go to www.canalrivertrust.org.uk/see-and-do/fishing