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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.”


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. In order to encourage young anglers, Juveniles up to the age of 16 can join our Society for just £1 per year. The Society has recently secured fishing rights on approximately 9 miles of the canal network and has entered into a 6 year lease with the Canal and Rivers Trust. In order to encourage more parents into fishing a new Adult Canal Only membership for only £10 per year has also been introduced. 


For a number of 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 2023.


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 in 2020  and 2021- this provides you with an insight into our vision for the SOTAS Academy. Click Here To View our Tube Channel

SOTAS Waters available for Tuition

Our stretch of the Canal at Middleport provides an ideal setting for beginners to start to learn and understand the basics of canal fishing mainly using short pole tactics.  Our 2 pools at Butterton (North Road and Noels Pool) both have a mixed stock of fish and are considered to be suitable venues to allow young anglers to start to enjoy and learn a number of different techniques to be able to catch a variety of fish.

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



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 have offered help and assistance in launching this. The Society has also been successful in securing a grant of £4,000 from the Angling Improvement Fund towards the implementation of the Academy and the delivery of 12 events during the 2021 season.

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 7 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 2023?

This year the Society has already committed itself to delivering further ?? “Lets Fish” events in conjunction with CRT in 2022 on our stretch of the Middleport Canal.

We are also 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 Development Days, Juvenile competitions,  and the biggest annual celebration of junior angling – the National Cadet, Junior and Youth Angling Championships.

The programme of events is currently as follows below but this may be expanded if there is more interest:

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

June 11th.   Middleport Canal.               Short Pole.

July 2nd.      Middleport Canal.               Long Pole.

July 23rd.     Stanley Pool.                        Float fishing.

July 30th.     Stanley Pool.                        Feeder Fishing.

Sept. 3rd.    Shropshire Union Canal     Cadets  National Practice.

Sept. 4th.    Shropshire Union Canal      Juniors National Practice.

There is also 4 Junior club match competitions scheduled for 2022 in the Society Membership Book that are open to all Club members.

Contact us 

Anyone with an interest in taking part in the above events  or becoming an Academy member 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 so as 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 out, volunteering, about donations or sponsorship please contact the liaison officer Mr. Anthony Burt .

The Class of 2021

SOTAS Academy -  2021 Year Report.

With the help of an Angling Improvement Grant 2021 saw the formation of the SOTAS Angling Academy - the coaches  delivering a total of 12 events which included 4 junior matches. 

The first match was held at Noels Pool in May.
The owner, John Skidmore, kindly donated tackle vouchers for the first 3 places together with a Memorial Shield for what will be an annual match.

Congratulations to Peter Brindley who took 1st. place on the day and he will be the first name to be engraved on the Noels Shield.

The second match was at the Middleport Canal in June -  Matthew Jones won this match and the Canal Trophy.

The third match was at North Road in July - Ryan Copeland won the match with the help of a 5lb carp which he caught in the last 5 minutes of the match.

The fourth event was at North Road in October which consisted of a morning match for the Cadets followed by an afternoon match for the Juniors.

Despite the bad weather the participants made the best of the day. It was the girls who took the honours – Evie Tatters won the Cadets match and Poppy Bishop won the Juniors Match.

In addition to the above 4 matches , 15 of the SOTAS Academy members took part in the National Celebration of Junior Angling fished on the Shropshire Union Canal in September.

The event was over 2 days with the first day being for the Cadets ( 7 to 10 years ) and the second day for the Juniors ( 11 to 15 years )

One of our SOTAS Cadets team only went and won the National – the winning trio were Nathan Morris , Regan Grice and Angelina Bengry 

Individually , Nathan Morris came 5th overall for the Cadets.

One of our SOTAS Juniors team came a respectable 9th position out of 40 teams. 

Individually ,Poppy Bishop, came 5th overall out of the 120 juniors taking part.

Because of their performance in the National Celebration Event 6 of our SOTAS Cadets and 1 of our SOTAS Juniors were selected /invited to take part in a friendly international match on 30th October.

The angling coaches were proud and delighted to have been part of the angling journey of our talented Cadets and Juniors.

The class of 2021 have certainly set a high standard for the Academy members to maintain in 2022.

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