The Stainforth and Keadby Canal at Thorne has been one of the UK’s most prolific winter venues over recent years- yet this year attendances look set to plummet. Organiser, Mark Silman has had just 15 anglers book on the pre Christmas Individual league, four teams of four on the Al Bailey memorial, and just four pairs on the Thorne Pairs- that has sold out at 100 anglers for the last three years.
He told Angling News Week “I am really concerned at how little interest the matches seem to have attracted this year, especially when you consider how good the fishing is. I really do worry that if anglers don’t want to fish here, then it could spell the end for proper, natural water fishing everywhere.
It is almost as if anglers are fed up of the same people winning- and have decided that they can’t take any more batterings. With the leagues now being worked out on weight though, it gives everybody a chance of competing, as one big weight of skimmers and anglers are right back in the race. Sadly, it strikes me as an ever increasing pattern in angling these days- if anglers can’t compete they would sooner stop fishing a venue than plug away an try and improve their fishing.”
Five time world champion, Alan Scotthorne has been one of the most consistent anglers on the venue over recent years, and commented: “If anglers aren’t booking on because they don’t feel that they can compete, it is a very sad day for fishing. I am always willing to help and advise any anglers who are unsure what they should be doing- and I know that all the other top anglers on the canal are the same.
The strange thing is- anglers who actually come and have a look at what we are doing after the match, or ask us, are few and far between. We are always more than happy to help.
I couldn’t find a local match on Saturday, so decided to fish a match on a canal in West Yorkshire. To cut a long story short, I caught just four fish, and had a very dull day to boot- along with a lot of other people. There were a lot of fish in front of me, but with bloodworm and joker not allowed I really struggled for bites. The day after, I fished Thorne, and caught over 200 fish on bloodworm and joker for 16lb. Granted, I was on a good peg, but almost everyone on the match weighed in excess of 6lb. This goes to show just how good the Stainforth and Keadby Canal is- I know where I would rather spend my winter. I really hope that people get behind the match scene on the canal, as it would be a tragedy if we were to lose it.”
Al Bailey Memorial Teams Of Four Match
18th November, 25 teams of four, £100 entry per team.
Thorne Individual League
£50 individual entry.
Thorne Pairs League
£300 Per Pair.
For more information, ring Mark Silman on: 07899 991277