Carp Academy 2016 is another huge success!

The annual Korda Carp Academy has been a massive success once again, with all the kids having a great time and going away far more knowledgeable on how to catch carp than they were when they arrived!

For the 2016 event, 32 kids and 16 top anglers from the Korda team descended on the Furnace Lakes complex, in West Sussex, and although the fishing could have been easier, there were still plenty of carp caught, including several personal bests.

Fishing with four pairs on the Specimen Lake and a dozen on Furnace Lake, it wasn’t long before Luke Boughen, fishing with Tom Dove, was into the first fish of the event. They were also the first to get a rod each out before they set anything else up, with Tom emphasising the importance of making the most of every minute on the bank!

That fish turned out to be a low-double mirror and after that the fishing went a bit slow on the Specimen Lake, apart from Reece Gandolfo, fishing with Jim Wilson, losing a good fish soon afterwards – his luck changed for the better the following morning though when he banked a cracking mirror of 22lb 2oz, the biggest fish to come out of that lake.

It was a similar story on Furnace, and even though there had been plenty of fish fizzing when everyone first arrived there was a surprising lack of bites considering the calibre of the anglers on there!

Really it shouldn’t have come as any surprise that Simon Scott, renowned for his stalking skills, decided that he needed to make things happen at the far end of the lake where he was pegged, and Tom Bartrip was soon hanging on for dear life having hooked a carp of close to 10lb right under his rod tip on one of the most traditional carp methods around – a lump of freelined floating crust. He was one of the most enthusiastic students we’ve ever had on the Academy and clearly loved catching fish of any description – he was over-the-moon with a bream of 4lb 4oz which was a new PB – and he was the deserved winner of one of the prizes for the most outstanding students, receiving a set of Delkims plus a Cygnet pod.

As the temperature rose during the afternoon, those on Furnace Lake were able to take advantage of the fish moving up into the surface layers, with the odd fish falling to zigs, and quite a few of the kids catching carp off of the surface for the first time. It soon became clear that floater fishing was the way forward and the tutors took full advantage of that for the rest of the session. It was also a good opportunity to show them just how important it was to scale down your hook, hook link and bait size as much as is safe to do so in order to get bites from wary, pressured fish on day ticket waters.

The nights were slower than everyone had expected, but the next morning, despite some heavy rain, fish were still evident on the surface and once again it was this approach which scored, and Martin Pick’s students were making the most of it with a number of fish, including a fantastic brace of ghosties weighing in at 19lb and 16lb which fell to Archie Walkington. The following morning it was the turn of his other student, Freddie Adams, with a floater-caught mirror of 23lb 8oz.

Most of the fish on Furnace were coming out in the middle section of the lake, and with no room to move, some of the tutors headed next door onto Hyes Lake where the surface was black with carp, and although the fish weren’t big it gave the lads a chance to experience the excitement of seeing them taking their hookbait. Surface fishing expert Brian Skoyles passed on some of his knowledge to Archie Eaglestone and Harry Willats, and both caught fish as well as picking up some very useful advice that will help them to improve their own fishing in the future.

On the Specimen Lake, Danny Fairbrass’ students had been struggling with how tight to the island they needed to cast in order to get bites, but under the instruction of Dan both got it spot on eventually and this resulted in Sam Muddiman and Sam Tittensor both landing fish, with a nice 21lb-plus mirror.

There were too many fish caught to mention them all, but the Academy ended in style with Lewis Mulberry – one of the outstanding students, who was fishing with Dave Levy – landing the biggest fish of the event at 25lb 12oz, after spotting some carp and casting out a cut-down pop-up on a size 12 Mixa hook to a 6lb Guru N-Gauge hook link.

All of the students passed the course with flying colours, and the TV cameras were on hand to catch all of the action, with the show scheduled to premiere during the early part of 2017.

A big thank you to all of the tutors who gave up their time to come along and pass on their knowledge, plus to all the companies who provided tackle, bait and prizes for the event – including Daiwa, Mainline, Trakker, Kiana, Delkim, Cygnet, Hinders, Deeper and of course Korda. Plus thanks to the owners of Furnace Lakes for making us all so welcome and ensuring that the event went as smoothly as it did.