The Angling Trust has taken its first steps to safeguard the future of the Winter League. The aim is to improve satisfaction among existing Winter League anglers and attempt to introduce new teams and anglers to the league. 

The changes have been introduced following a survey conducted by the Angling Trust to gather the thoughts and opinions of anglers about how the Trust could improve the Winter League. The results of the survey were clear and that change was required if the Winter League was to see an upward turn in satisfaction and participation. The Angling Trust has acted decisively to address the issues highlighted in the survey and the changes will come into effect for the 2014/15 season.

The new look structure will include:
100% Increase prize money, now £2k to winning team
8 anglers per team throughout local stages to final
Removal of Semi-Finals
2 day Grand Final
The addition of a new Cup competition within the existing structure
£1k prize money to the winners of the Cup competition


The research highlights that anglers want the team sizes to be smaller but consistent throughout local and finals and that a reduction in team size would make it easier for teams to field a team more often, allow some teams to enter two teams and encourage new teams to join the Winter League. 

Semi-finals will be a thing of the past and the team finishing 1st in each league will earn a place in a 2 day grand final and teams finishing 2nd in each league will qualify for a place in a 1 day cup final. The introduction of the Cup competition is designed to provide all anglers competing in the Winter League with a chance of achieving glory rather than bowing out at the local league or semi-final stages, it is hoped that it will also act as a catalyst for new teams to join and be in with a chance of achieving success and building their way to the top.

Ben Thompson, Angling Trust Senior Competitions Manager said “As custodians of the Winter League it’s really important that we reach out and listen to anglers and ensure the Winter League is fit for purpose. The survey has allowed us to make informed decisions based on what anglers have told us. Our aim is to maintain the quality and increase the quantity of anglers participating in the Winter League and we believe these initial changes are a step in the right direction. These changes will take effect for one year and we will continue to review and evaluate the competition.  
“We are actively seeking sponsors and the bigger the competition, the more attractive it becomes to potential sponsors.”

Top match angler Lee Kerry said “The Winter League is a team fishing institution in this country and in the last few years it has been on the decline.  The newly formed Competitions team at the Angling Trust have done some great research to find out what we as anglers want and I congratulate them on being bold enough to make these significant changes in an attempt to revitalise this competition. Let’s hope the anglers get behind their own ideas!”

To find out exactly what the changes involve and to view the full results of the survey, visit the Angling Trust website and download the full results at
The Angling Trust Winter League provides opportunities for anglers to compete in a national competition structure at a local level and achieve national success and recognition. Neither participants nor teams need to be members of the Angling Trust, however teams must register to participate and entry is only £70 per team.
The local league begins in October and usually complete by the end of December with the Finals being held in the spring of the following year.
For further information as to how to get involved, please contact the competitions department on 0115 9061301.