Top Pair On The Shropshire Union

Canal specialists Simon Preece and Simon Mottram are through to the Canal & River Trust Pairs Final after a great performance on the Shropshire Union Canal.

Simon Preece (left) and Simon Mottram (right) are through to the Final. Picture courtesy of Canal & Rivers Trust.
Simon Preece (left) and Simon Mottram (right) with John Ellis from the Canal & River Trust.

Simon, who fishes for Drennan North West, takes up their story:

“After winning the one-off Canal Pairs competition run by the Angling Trust last year, Simon Preece and I were keen to have a good go at getting into the final of this new event. The qualifying heats concept meant the top five pairs on each round would go into the Angling Trust And Canal & River Trust Canal Pairs Final.

“After not doing great on the first qualifier on the Loughborough Canal we went into the next one on the ‘Shroppy’ at Soudley hoping for a good draw. It was a sell out 100-pegger with 50 pairs involved.

“Preecie did a great job at drawing the famous Oak Tree peg for himself and me on an area at the Palethorpes stretch that can produce big fish. I assembled a couple of rigs using Crystal Dibbers to 0.16mm Supplex and a 16 Super Spade hook with a short length of No14 elastic through a carp top in my Acolyte Carp pole – man’s tackle!


“I also set up various small fish rigs but I knew that they wouldn’t play much of a part as the area wasn’t noted for small fish.

“My match started off with a few small fish on bread while priming my caster swims right over in the brambles. I quickly realised that I’d be going nowhere fast so kept trying the four little spots I’d fed right over the far side of the canal. With not a sign after three hours I was starting to think it might not happen. Then, out the blue, I had my first chub of about 1lb 8oz, which was at least worth some good points.

“In my mind I knew I needed two more for mega points as I knew Preecie was catching. In the end I ended up with five, including one of over 5lb and another nearly 4lb! They weighed 14lb 5oz in total which I found out was enough to win the match outright.

“More importantly it gave me maximum 50 points. More unbelievably, Simon ended up coming 2nd in the match with 11lb and again a maximum 50 points score from his half of the match! A great day and now we are looking forward to the final in October.”