Charity Carping

When the Korda team first heard about Cancer Research’s Cast For Life campaign we just knew that we had to be involved, but how? Well, throw together a bunch of celebrity anglers and the cream of Korda’s anglers, add in a pinch of good-humoured competitiveness and you’ve got a mix that’s sure to help the cause. There are actually two ways that you can get involved in Cast For Life – by organising a Cast for Life fishing tournament or by taking part in its sponsored Match The Catch scheme (see the end of the piece for prize details!). We opted for the former, simply because we couldn’t miss the opportunity to pair off our celebrities with a Korda angler and stage a televised match! The celebs assembled at Manor Farm Fishery in Biggleswade early on a Tuesday morning and were paired off with their Korda teammates. The teams were as follows…

Danny Fairbrass and Mick Norcross (The Only Way is Essex), Damian Clarke with Lee Bowyer (Ipswich Town), Ali Hamidi partnering Jamie O’Hara (Wolverhampton Wanderers), Tom Dove together with Dean Macey (Former Olympic Decathlete) and Adam Penning with Scott Maslen (Eastenders).

The event took place on Becks Lake, which hosted our Carp Academy earlier in the year; so we knew that it could be prolific! After the teams set up in their allotted swims, the whistle was sounded to start the match at 10am. Team Fairbrass/Norcross got off to an absolute flyer, banking two fish straight away. It wasn’t long until the rest responded however, with Tom Dove making what was to prove an astute tactical change. He hit back, taking a fish on a zig, prompting his partner Macey, to change over too. The duo took a flurry of fish up in the water on the bizarre spodicopter. It was to prove a decisive move and put them out in front – a lead that they were never to relinquish. They were pushed all the way by Fairbrass and Norcross, who faded slightly before the end, being overtaken by Hamidi and O’Hara, who came through like a steam train, catching right until the final whistle.
Teams Clarke/Bowyer and Penning/Maslen both caught, but ultimately were left trailing in the wake of the other pairings, who had access to the hot open-water swims. The final tally showed just how close it had been with Dove and Macey recording a winning weight of 158lb 12oz, Hamidi and O’Hara coming desperately close with 125lb 1oz and Fairbrass and Norcross weighing in 103lb 5oz. Clarke and Bowyer took one fish for 14lb and Penning/Maslen accrued 38lb 2oz to avoid the wooden spoon!
Reflecting on what had been a great day, second-placed celeb Jamie O’Hara told us ““Cancer Research UK is a great charity and I’m delighted that I’m able to help raise money for their research today at Cast For Life.” Even though Scott Maslen and Adam Penning had found it slower going than some of the other teams Scott was quick to put that into perspective saying, “I never would have thought that my passion for angling would come in useful for raising vital funds for such a great cause. I hope today helps contribute lots of money for Cancer Research UK.” Hopefully, many more of you will want to contribute to this great cause too and you can find out how by visiting the Cast For Life website at www.castforlife.org. There’s a substantial incentive for you to get involved too, because as main sponsors, Korda will put up £450 of prizes for each charity match that is organised. If you choose the Match The Catch scheme, then we’ll donate a pound for every pound caught up to a total of £5000 across all events.