North West Top The Stapeley Canal League

Drennan North West have just won the Stapeley Summer League. With 15 teams of five involved it is one of biggest leagues in the country and attracts some of the best canal anglers from the North and Midlands.

Drennan North West (left to right): Lewis Breeze (with daughter!), Derek Bowers, Simon Mottram, Stuart Conroy, Albert Malcolmson.

In-form Simon Mottram put on a great display of hemp and squatt fishing to win the final round individually and helped his team to the league title. Here’s his rundown of how he and his team got on during that crucial final round:

“Our Drennan North West team were leading the league in front of Shakespeare going into the last round, which was on the Trent & Mersey at Middlewich. It’s a good venue where a squatt approach is normally best, as there are not many bonus fish. A ‘get our heads down’ job was the thing to do!

“We had Albert Malcolmson on A Section who drew in the middle of ‘The Boats’. The only trouble was that his boat had gone! Not being in the best of areas we feared the worst but needn’t have worried as Albert caught some big roach on caster down the track to end up with 5lb 12oz, putting him 5th in section from a dodgy area. Albert is the master at thinking outside the box when Plan A doesn’t work!

“Next was Derek Bowers in B Section. He has had a great league and carried on his top form with a solid 3rd in section with just under 5lb of squatt fish.

“Moving on to C Section was Lewis Breeze in a really dodgy ‘Wood’ area. He again did really well to catch over 200 gudgeon for nearly 5lb and another 3rd in section.

“I found myself in D Section in a good area and had a great match, catching plenty of squatt roach and a few on hemp for 10lb exactly. That was enough to win the section and the match!

Simon Mottram's catch.
Simon Mottram’s match winning catch.

“Moving on to E Section was England international Stuart Conroy who was standing in for Richard O’Connor on the day. He drew the wrong end of the section but showed his class and had nearly 6lb of squatt fish to finish 7th in the section.

“We totalled 60 points on the day, which helped us finish the league 16 points clear of Wigan MG. Over the six rounds we had also managed to win four of the rounds individually; no mean feat with 75 fishing the matches.

“We were made up to win this very strong canal league with some of the best canal anglers in the country involved!”