Carp Academy students take silver at Junior WCC!

Despite his young age, Korda Carp Academy graduate Adam Biddulph is already a successful carp match angler, and that served him well when he fished the Junior World Carp Classic on Wraysbury South Lake.

The 14-year-old, from Macclesfield, Cheshire, teamed up with another Carp Academy student, Luke Boughen, and the duo narrowly missed out on victory, being beaten to the gold by just 1.4kg.

Adam, who has been fishing carp matches for the past three years and has already featured in two BYCAC finals, finished runner-up in the 2017 Junior Carp Championships, and won the PAAS Junior Carp Challenge, explained: “I was asked if I would like to fish the Junior World Carp Classic on Wraysbury, and although I knew about the history of the venue, coming from the frozen north I’d never seen the place!

“I knew that one of the other England team, Nick Longpre – who was paired with Jamie Standbridge - had fished there, so I contacted him to ask about the fishing on there. He explained that the venue was very weedy and that dropping the lead was essential, plus braided main line was a must as the fish often tend to come in covered in weed.

“My heart sank as I’d never used braid before and had read about the differences to mono – being able to feel every twist and turn whilst playing a fish - and problems, such as hook pulls through the lack of stretch. I only had two weeks of preparation time and wouldn’t have a chance to fish with braid beforehand, and I was a bit uncomfortable trying something new during a match!

“I did some research and ended up choosing 30lb Apex, and because of my concerns about hook pulls I chose size 4 Kurv Shank XX hooks to 20lb N-Trap Semi-Stiff – proper no-nonsense tackle!

“I met up with the other England team members and we had the draw that evening, with myself and Luke getting peg six, and the Ukrainian pair in the famous Dredger Bay. The next morning we set up and awaited for the hooter to start the 48 hour match.

“Our swim had some nice features, with a narrow channel to our right which was ideal for the margins, and overhanging trees on the island in front of us at around 120 yards. The match was based on each pairs three largest fish, so we decided to fish for a bite at a time, and then once we had three on the bank, to try and target bigger ones.

“By the time that the hooter sounded the wind had really got up due to Hurricane Brian and it was hard to accurately hit our clear spots by the island at 28 wraps. But one thing I did learn at Carp Academy is the importance of being 100% confident, and although it took me about 15 casts to hit the spot, when the lead went in just under the bow of a willow tree, I knew that it was a bite! The other rod was placed in the margins with just a PVA bag of goodies around the rig.

“We could only use three rods between us and I’d drawn first fish, and a couple of hours into the match just as I was Spombing some bait to the island, the alarm screamed and due to using braid, the rod was heading towards the lake and Luke had to grab it and pass it to me! I could feel every movement of the fish and it felt heavy due to the amount of weed, and there was added pressure as the England junior manager Neil Richards was in our swim at the time. Finally the carp was in the net, and it was a beautiful common of exactly 6kg.

“Just on dusk the island rod ripped off again and it was Luke’s turn – I think I was more nervous watching him play it than when I had my fish! It thought really hard but eventually was in the net, and at 6.8kg it put us into the lead.

“We awoke to the news that we were still in the lead and that no other fish had been caught, but a few other teams had watched us catch and started to copy our tactics, but unfortunately went well over the top with the bait and it totally killed the fishing for us and them!

“The fish had now moved to the other side of the lake, and the Welsh team at the mouth of Dredger Bay lost one, and so did the Ukrainian team in the bay itself. I didn’t sleep a wink that night as I knew how important another fish could be and I was hoping that we could get through to the end and lift the trophy.

“News broke on social media in the early hours that the Ukrainian team had landed two fish during the night and had beaten us by 1.4kg. Congratulations to them, and I was very proud of my efforts,” he added.