Big fish star in action-packed BYCAC final...

Well, what a weekend we have had down in Oxfordshire for the British Young Carp Angling Championships resulting in probably the greatest final in the history of the competition with a new champion crowned, two 40lb+ carp banked and plenty of PBs broken.

This year’s new BYCAC champion is Dan Price, who landed 15 carp with a total weight of 296lb 13oz over 48 hours, to earn the prestigious title and £500 winner’s cheque.

Dan entered the final with great confidence after a brilliant second place finish in his eliminator and that confidence grew as he was pulled out third in the swim selection process, saying: “I was very happy with the draw - coming out early meaning I had plenty of swims to choose from. I selected peg 33 as it allowed me to fish tight to the island with the option of open water.”

As the new champ would be spending 48 hours in his swim, finding out what the lakebed was like was key and Dan found himself a spot to the right of the island on a raised gravel bar in 4 ft of water that screamed carp, with most of the lake being around 14 ft deep in most places.

After a successful eliminator, in which he landed four fish, Dan went in with the same approach, telling Korda: “My plan was to keep the bait continuously going in as the fish on Oxlease tend to move in groups and I wanted to keep the fish on my spot feeding. I also used a rig which has worked well in the past, incorporating a size 6 Korda Kurv Shank hook and N-Trap Soft in gravel brown onto a lead clip system. My hook bait of choice was a single tiger nut tipped with a grain of plastic corn, which had been soaked in the ever reliable Almond Goo.”

The 17-year-old got off to a flyer, landing a carp early on - exactly what he wanted - but Dan could only have dreamt of what was yet to follow. After a steady stream of action, he finished the first day in third place - a fantastic start to the competition for the young angler.

As the second day commenced on Oxlease, Dan found himself in second place with Liam Wylde in first - it would be a close battle between the pair for the prestigious title. However, with plenty of fish being caught around the lake by other anglers such as Nick Longpre, Lewis Phillips, Liam Morgan and Ben Hunt, the spotlight was taken off the title contenders for a while as two enormous carp were landed.

In our preview to the BYCAC final, we questioned whether the lake record common would make an appearance and to our pleasure it did. Ben Hunt in peg 16 was the captor of the incredible beast, which many day ticket anglers have been targeting, weighing in at a whopping 47lb 15oz - a new personal best for the young angler.

After the big common was landed, Ben told Korda “I lifted her up for the cameras but with everyone taking pictures, I didn’t know where to look! I gave my new PB a kiss and slipped her back, it was a moment I will not forget for a long time.”

With plenty of quality on show in this year’s final, one 40-pounder just wasn’t enough and soon after the lake record common was landed, Liam Morgan then landed himself a new personal best as well with the lake record mirror at 42lb 14oz, another amazing fish on the bank. Great angling by both Ben and Liam.

As a very exciting second day came to a close, the spotlight was back on first and second place with no change until Sunday morning when Dan Price took the lead, eventually holding out to win with 15 carp for 296lb 13oz, ahead of Liam Wylde’s 18-carp total of 247lb 15oz and Nick Longpre’s 225lb 15oz.

This year’s final has certainly been one to remember and Korda would like to congratulate all the finalists. Once again, thank you to Crafty Carp magazine for some of the pictures used in this article and the event sponsors including Cygnet, Trakker, Mainline, Carp Talk and Crafty Carper.

The whole event was covered by the Korda cameras for a special highlights program presented by Ali Hamidi – broadcast details will be announced in coming months.