An insight into being a Korda Koach

Name: Rob Burgess
Age: 34
Hometown: Hemel Hempstead
Occupation: Korda Koach
UK PB: 44lb 4oz
Foreign PB: 78lb
Favourite Venue: Wraysbury
Favourite Method: Floater Fishing

When did you first get into angling?
My dad got me into fishing at a very early age - I was probably 3 or 4 when I first went with my dad down the canal with a pint of maggots catching roach and perch. I was around 13 years old when I caught my first carp and I never looked back. I started fishing local club waters and then progressed to my first syndicate when I was around 18.

When did it go from being a hobby to a career?
I used to run my own business in Audio-Visual Engineering for ten years and then in 2016, I joined Erics Angling working at the onsite tackle shop at Farlows. During that period, I learnt a lot about the industry and dealing with anglers every day made me realise how much I enjoyed helping them. Then in July 2018 I started work as a Korda Koach.

How did you get into ‘Koaching’?
I saw the job posted on social media, sent in a CV, was then called for an interview with Danny and it just went from there really. I’d had history with Korda, being a sponsored angler myself for around five years, so I knew some of the guys that worked here. I thought it was a fantastic opportunity and I am so lucky to be doing what I love.

What’s the average day like for a Korda Koach?
Full on mate – haha. No two days are the same and that’s what I love. I often wake up at a lake and spend my days walking around the fishery engaging with other anglers to see if they would like help in any specific areas. For example, some lads are great distance casters but struggle tying a particular rig. I try to engage with anglers of all levels, from guys who are just getting into carp fishing to guys who have been doing it for years but just want to brush up on a few things.

What’s the best thing about being a Korda Koach?
It’s rewarding - very rewarding. Being able to walk into someone’s swim, have a chat and leave knowing you’ve been able to help them is a great feeling and something I find so satisfying. Getting positive feedback is also great to hear. If I’ve done a session with someone and then, two weeks later, they send me a picture of a fish they’ve caught, then that’s just awesome and that’s what drives me each day.

What’s the best moment you’ve had as a Korda Koach?
It has to be the lake record on Gigantica’s Road Lake in September 2018, which was a 64lb mirror. The guy who caught it had never been to France before so I got him on track and gave him some pointers as we put a plan in place for the week ahead. Then a couple of days later, bang - the big girl! To see the look on his face - yeah man, that was wicked.

If you could give one message to those reluctant or hesitant to approach you on the bank, what would it be?
We are all here for the same thing at the end of the day - to catch carp. I’m not judgemental and I’m here to help. I’m a very approachable person and have a passion for sharing knowledge. It doesn’t matter where you are in your angling, even if it’s just something simple you want to brush up on, then that’s fine. Being a Korda Koach, I’m versatile to help in any situation. It’s also free advice, it costs nothing to speak to me so there really is nothing to lose.

What’s the most common mistake you see anglers make?
Blunt hooks - it’s just crazy! Hook sharpening is so crucial in your angling. You could have the best rig and the best bait out there, but if that hook isn’t pin-prick sharp, then you’re in trouble.

With regard to rigs, what do you think anglers get wrong most?
A common mistake is people’s understanding of the rig they are using and why. A lot of anglers just tie up a rig they’ve seen in a magazine without any thought process as to what each component is achieving. Constantly question how the rig will get you more bites and what it will achieve. Visualization with your rigs is so important. Always be thinking about how the rig is going to be presented. Does it suit the conditions you are fishing in? Make sure there is a reason for everything you do in carp fishing.

When it comes to bait, what is the most common mistake you see?
Not applying the correct baiting strategy to the situation they are fishing in, such as pellets when the bream are smashing it or spodding 2kg of hemp and then fishing a 20mm pop-up over the top. As I mentioned, make sure there is a reason behind everything you do.

If you could give just one tip, what would it be?
Get on the fish. It’s as simple as that. You can’t catch what is not in front of you. I will not set up unless I can be sure that I am on them. Walk, talk, do what it takes to find those fish, even if it means walking until darkness to find them, it will be worth it.

What does the future hold for Korda Koaching?
It would be great if there were multiple coaches spread across the country helping as many anglers as possible and showing that there is free help out there. As a Koach, I want to help as many anglers as possible achieve the results they desire. I see first-hand, every day, the positive impact Koaching is having, so I think it can only grow.

What does the future hold for Rob Burgess?
I want to get to as many lakes as possible and help as many people as I possibly can. I’ve never been goal-orientated and I take each day as it comes, always trying to embrace every opportunity I am given and enjoy each day to the fullest. I thoroughly enjoy what I do and, most importantly, I really think I’m doing something that is making a difference. So for now, it’s putting everything I have into Korda Koaching.

Any other comments?
If I’m on the lake, then I’m there to help. I’m not after the hero-status of catching carp myself, I’m there to guide as many people as I can. If you have any questions or are in need of some advice, then feel free to reach out. There are absolutely no costs or additional requirements, it’s literally free advice which I’m happy to give. So if you see me, give me a shout.