History and Developments


The area of Leigh has a long history of angling with matches on the local canal dating back over 100 years.

The area claims:-

  • Proud history dating back to the 1920’s
  • Historically a centre for match angling
  • Many big names linked to Leigh and the Leigh Angling Association
  • Developments in specimen and match venues

Our history in Leigh includes Bill Hughes a very successful match angler of yesteryear, Benny Ashurst probably the most successful match angler of the 1950/60’s, and his son Kevin Ashurst winner of the World championship in 1982 on the Newry canal in Ireland. Charlie Hibbs, winner of two National championships.

Recent years have seen the development of the Bickershaw Specimen lake, a specimen lake with stocks of large carp and bream. The Pennington Flash remains a specimen water with stocks of large bream, carp, pike, perch, eels, roach and tench. The Association has now taken over the leasing of the Fir Tree Flash a noted tench and roach water. We  are grateful to Wren Recycling, the Environment Agency, the Firs Park Resident Group and Wigan Council for their support in providing improved facilities at the  Firs Park Lake. We are also grateful to the Environment Agency and Calverton Fishery Facility who provided almost 2000 roach, tench, crucian carp and skimmer bream for the Fir Tree Flash and Firs Park Lake. Over  200 crucians have  also been purchased to extend the crucian population of the Fir Tree Flash.

The Association has for many years had a successful junior section. The juniors were managed for many years  by Ken Buxton, who recently passed away, but his role as Head Coach has been taken over by a very  capable manager Kev. Sephton  who manages many junior Association competitions and coaching sessions. Kev is supported by  Carl Rens and  Frank Partington, both  Level 2 coaches , and also a number of level 1 coaches/volunteers..  For those interested in  joining our junior section or competing  in our  junior angling events let us know.  It is due in no small part to these events that the Association  has Clubmark accreditation in conjunction with Sport England and the Angling Development Board.

Active representation for the disabled has in the past been supported by our recently deceased Disability Liaison Officer Phil Schofield , to whom we owe great appreciation.  Phil  improved many of the facilities for our disabled members.

The recent transfer of the Fir Tree Flash  to the Association now provides a further opportunities to improve facilities within the association, and matches can be organised through our match booking secretary, See details for booking on the Officials and contact pages.