THE green light has been given to plans to run a new 560-peg Individual National, with the first the one taking place in the Midlands this September.
To celebrate its centenary year, the sport’s governing body, the National Federation of Anglers, will invite the top two anglers from each team competing in this year’s five Nationals to fish the event.

If it’s the success they expect it to be, the match will be fished every year and the plan is to create a 1000-peg Individual National in future years.

Anglers who qualify will find themselves fishing for a fantastic £10,000 silver trophy and the title of NFA Individual Champion.

Midland Angler understands the big match is almost certain to take place on one of the top Midlands canals.

The new event is certain to create a surge of excitement among those competing in the current Nationals, which have witnessed a worrying decline in recent years.

Indeed due to a fall in entries, the NFA is planning to reduce the number of Nationals from five to four in 2004.

To take part in what will be a hugely prestigious event, anglers will have to pay a modest entry fee of around £10 on receipt of an invitation from NFA headquarters.

The winner is likely to walk away with at least £2000 in cash and if any of the anglers invited cannot make the big match, a further invite will be sent to the team’s third placed angler.

With some 280 teams competing in this year’s Nationals, it means the match should attract 560 anglers.

As long as match anglers back the idea, and they look almost certain to, the NFA has created overnight the biggest individual match in the match angling calendar.

Commented NFA membership services manager Bob Clarke: “The number of teams competing in the Nationals has fallen steadily in recent years and we feel that this new Individual National plan will give the events a tremendous boost and really add to the excitement.

“It means that anglers from all competing teams will have plenty to fish for right up until the whistle and many will be on tenterhooks until the results come out.
“We intend to read out the names of all those who have qualified at the presentations, which should help create a real buzz among all the teams, not just those who have done well.”
All the Nationals are being fished before the end of July this year and the NFA are looking to stage the Individual National in early September.

“We believe that this kind of formula can create some renewed interested in the sport’ blue riband team events and hopefully more clubs and teams will start getting involved again,” added Bob.


Midland Angler