The second round of the mighty Canal Pairs saw a more northerly heat on the Shropshire union at Soudley. An amazing 39 pairs lined the banks on this opening weekend match, with most anglers looking for a draw on Bridge section in A and hoping for an end peg on B section.

The wires in Bridge section were an even further preference and so it proved, with a ding-dong battle forming between Lewis Kenyon and Paul Murrin, either side on 31 and 32. Both anglers were netting good skimmers, hybrids and the odd bream and come the weigh in both were admitting to 20lb plus. It was Mr Murrin who came out on top with the best weight in the match of 36lb 1oz 8drms and he eluded to his tactics for fish that were still in ‘Winter Mode’. This was liquidised bread as his base and fishing either bread or maggot over the top to fool finicky feeders. Lewis was indeed second 25lb 5oz 12drms and Thomas Fairhurst rounded out the top three on the section with 15lb 10oz 8drms.

In B section the weights were more spread out and it was John Garbbet on end peg 39 that lead the way with a level 8lb. This was mainly made up of bonus fish down the track on worm (Bream and an eel) but was also backed up with roach on squatt and bread. Second in the section was the other end peg, Steve Dudley who had a very similar weight to John and was only 2oz short with 7lb 14oz. Rounding out the top three on the section was Shaun Birchall on peg 7, who once more narrowly fended off the next peg with 6lb 9oz, it really was a close section!

Looking into the all-important pairs it was indeed Paul Murrin and Dave McCall who dropped just 6 points who took the honours. Dave Backed up Paul beautifully with 5lb 12oz of squatt fish. Second on the day was Section B winner John Garbett and Dave Holbrook, who were just one point shy on 71 points and third pair on the day were Thomas Fairhust and Dave Walmsley on 66 points.

The Angling Trust would like to thank Dave Watkins and Terry Nutt for another exceptionally run qualifier and Tom Scholey (Catch More Media) and John Ellis from some awesome coverage on Facebook. The next set of qualifiers is on the Staffs and Worcester and the Gloucester and Sharpness on the weekend of the 1st and 2nd of June.

If you want to get involved in some of this fantastic canal action, all the remaining qualifiers and tickets are available through our booking system.


1. Paul Murrin and David McCall 72 points
2. Dave Holbrook and John Garbett 71 points
3. Thomas Fairhurst and Dave Walmsley 66 points
4. Lewis Kenyon and Lewis Breeze 64 points
5. Jan Verbruggen and Shaun Birchall 61 points
6. Jason Evans and Mark Roberson 58 points (16lb 6oz 8 drms)