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Academy News and Updates

Stoke-on-Trent Angling Society Academy


“Our vision is to provide a facility whereby individuals and/or groups of all ages can get involved in the sport of angling. A place where they can enjoy, develop and improve their skills and help them on their journey to become a better angler and have a lifelong love of the sport.”


Stoke-on-Trent Angling Society Academy 



Youngsters represent the future of our Society and our sport. SOTAS have made a start to reverse the trend that was being felt by all angling clubs in our area regarding the lack of youngsters getting involved in angling. To encourage young anglers, Juveniles up to the age of 16 can join our Society for just £1 per year. The Society has secured fishing rights on approximately 9 miles of the canal network with the Canal and Rivers Trust. To promote more opportunities for family fishing trips on the canal parents can purchase an Adult Canal Only membership / Guest permit for only £10 per year.  


For several years SOTAS has been active in promoting a campaign to encourage more people to participate in fishing. The Society has had some success in attracting more juniors mainly via our involvement in the “Lets Fish” events. SOTAS are seeking to further increase the numbers of juvenile members and Canal only memberships in 2024.  

It is now imperative that we strive to develop and retain our junior membership as well as attracting more young anglers into the sport. 



It is the view of the officials of the Society that we should endeavour, as is the case in all other sports, to construct a roadmap of what we wish to achieve with these young anglers and identify how to achieve it. To this end we have decided to set up a Stoke-on-Trent Angling Society Academy that will be responsible for the development of the young anglers of the future, implementing and providing all training and coaching as laid out in the roadmap. We wish to adopt a strategy to ensure that we are successful in enabling these new anglers to grow and improve their skills within the sport.  


YouTube Video 

We have produced short videos of coaching and events carried out with the Academy members - these provide you with an insight into our vision for the SOTAS Academy. Click Here To View our Tube Channel 


SOTAS Waters used for Academy Events 

Our stretches of the Caldon Canal at Denford and the Trent and Mersey Canal at Middleport provide an ideal setting for beginners to start to learn and understand the basics of canal fishing mainly using short and long pole tactics.  Our 2 pools at Butterton (North Road and Noels Pool) and our pool near Wetley Rocks (Lodge Farm pool) have mixed stocks of fish and are suitable venues to allow young anglers to start to enjoy and learn several different techniques to be able to catch a variety of fish, including carp, tench, barbel and chub. 

The reservoir at Stanley Pool introduces further styles of fishing to help youngster learn new skills which will help them to catch roach, perch, bream, and pike. 



Funding for the Academy will be provided by the Society, grants, and donations from the public and the tackle trade. The local tackle trade are supportive of developing the Academy and offer help and assistance with the events.  

Any donations can be made via BACS to: 

Stoke on Trent Angling Society Academy Sort Code 01-01-38 Bank Account number 25394347 or via cheque made out to SOTAS Academy.                                                       


When it comes to manpower the club will be reliant upon its members and committee being willing to participate in this challenge. It is firmly felt that everyone will see the importance of this project not just to the Society but also to its young and new members and get behind it with help and ideas to make it a success. 

Where special training is required (e.g coaching) this will be provided. The Society already has a trained team of professional, experienced, and accredited angling coaches.  Each licensed coach holds valid and up to date SPC Training, First Aid certificates, Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) certificates, Public Liability and Professional Indemnity insurance. 



What events are planned for 2024? 

We are planning an in-house programme of events which has been designed to help to retain the interest and further develop the angling skills of our new recruits. These events include Training and Days, Juvenile competitions, and 2 events to prepare for the biggest annual celebration of junior angling – the National Cadet, Junior and Youth Angling Championships. 

Membership of the academy is free and open to all members of SOTAS. 


June 15th     Training - Short Pole - Caldon Canal, Denford 

June 22nd    Match - Caldon Canal, Denford                       

July 6th         Training – Long Pole - Trent & Mersey Canal., Middleport 

July 27th       Match - Trent & Mersey Canal, Middleport 

Aug 10th       Match - Noels and North Road Pools 

Aug 17th       Training - Float - Stanley Reservoir

Aug 19th       Training - Feeder - Stanley Reservoir

Aug 24th       Match - Lodge Farm Pool 

Aug 31st       Training – National - Trent & Mersey Canal, Middleport 

Sept 7th        Training - National -  Trent & Mersey Canal, Middleport 

Sept 28th       Academy Celebration - Lodge Farm Pool



Contact us: 

Anyone with an interest in taking part in any of the above events please contact: 

Stoke-on-Trent Angling Society Academy liaison officer Mr. Anthony Burt via email 


(Please note that no business is conducted in person from an officials’ own residence) 


If you were a junior member last year and have not yet re-joined, then please consider renewing quickly to be able to reserve your place on the above events. 


Any person that would like more information about Stoke-on-Trent Angling Society Academy, how to get involved, helping, volunteering, about donations or sponsorship please contact the liaison officer Mr. Anthony Burt  

The Class of 2023

SOTAS Academy -  2023 Year Report.

2023 Daiwa Global Communities Celebration Event – 21st October 2023


This national event organised by the Canal and Rivers Trust brought together 180 young anglers fishing on the Shropshire Union Canal. Daiwa sponsored this event and generous fishing tackle prizes were distributed to all the competitors.


25 of our SOTAS Academy members were selected by the Canal and Rivers Trust to take part in this event.


The conditions were not ideal with the storm conditions the day before the match and a big well done to everyone who braved the weather conditions.


A special mention to 2 of the SOTAS Academy members – Theo Karadia for winning the Cadets Category with an impressive weight of 3.4 kilos and Regan Grice for winning the Young Juniors category with 2.6 kilos.

2023 National Celebration of Young People and Fishing Event – 16th and 17th September 2023


This weekend saw over 300 young people line the banks of the Shropshire Union Canal to take part in the biggest celebration of junior angling organised by the Canal and Rivers Trust. Participating in an event like this allows the youngsters to gain confidence and to take their angling journey to the next level. Everyone taking part receives prizes and for those lucky enough to catch a gudgeon they receive their own gudgeon mug.


2023 was a record attendance for SOTAS - 42 cadets and youngsters who have been coached by the Academy entered this event. The numbers attending have increased as follows :


2020 ( pre SOTAS Academy )  -  3

2021                                           - 15

2022                                           - 34

2023                                           - 42


A special mention to the youngsters from Saint Peter’s School who managed to win the Best School Trophy for the second year in a row.


It was a hectic weekend with many special memories being made. Every one of the youngsters who represented SOTAS stepped up to the occasion and made their parents and the SOTAS coaches very proud. We look forward to what 2024 holds, and look to build on the success of 2023.

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