Jude Ashken secures victory in the 2016 Korda BYCAC final!

The Korda British Young Carpers Angling Championship 2016 was a nail-biting affair for all the competitors, with the match still wide open on the final morning.

Jude Ashken, 15, eventually took victory after a flurry of fish fell to his rods on the last evening of the final at Oxlease Lake, on the Linear Fisheries complex, but he then had a very tense wait for the hooter to sound on the Sunday morning as several other contenders started to make a move up the leaderboard.

His first choices of swim had already gone when he came out in the draw and he picked Peg 1, a corner at the far end of the lake, behind the island, which was unfancied by many.

Things got off to a bad start for Jude when he lost the first three fish that he hooked as there was a lot of weed in front of him, but then his luck turned for the better and he went on to land seven fish for a total of 156lb 8oz, including a new personal best of 32lb!

Even then it was a real rollercoaster with another very good fish coming off right at the net on the final evening when his lead didn’t discharge from the clips he was using on his 14ft over-depth zig rigs.

The former Korda Carp Academy student kept the fish coming using cut-down pop-ups on his zigs and spodded a mixture of dog biscuits and floating pellets soaked in Hot Fish Oil, a trick he learnt from his tutor and Baitworks boss Mark Bryant during the Academy.

Commenting on his win, Jude explained: “My grandad first got me into fishing when I was very young, and I never thought that I was in with a real chance of winning this, it hasn’t sunk in yet and doesn’t seem real!

“On my qualifier I’d started off fishing on the bottom but wasn’t catching so I changed to zigs, and catching on them really gave me confidence in the final. I was really nervous right up until the end of the match, as I didn’t want to lose it having been so close,” added Jude, who lands himself a cheque for £500, plus the prestigious winners trophy, and a year’s worth of sponsorship from Korda!

Plenty of action came on the surface

Jude Ashken with one of his seven fish haul

Liam Morgan featured heavily in the 2015 competition, not only taking second place but also landing the biggest mirror in the lake at 42lb 14oz – a fish that also put in an appearance this year when Mitchell Jones caught her at 38lb 14oz, which helped him on the way to fifth place with a five fish total for 89lb 5oz.

This year Liam was in the running throughout the 48 hour event, having caught three fish in the first 21 hours and was sat in second spot, but then his swim went slow and he only managed to add one more – as well as losing a good thirty at the net – before a change of tactics produced two 21lb-plus mirrors on the final morning following a change of tactics.

Liam had been fishing further out over a large bed of maggots, but then spotted a fish swirl a couple of rod lengths out with just a few hours to go, and a change to solid bags flicked down the margins produced his final two fish and propelled him into second with six fish for 110lb 2oz.

Although the majority of the 68 fish, weighing in at a total of 1,230lb 8oz, were caught on zig rigs fished right in the upper layers or on controller float set-ups, taking advantage of the blazing hot conditions, there were also some taken off of the bottom, with Shaun Nunns managing third place.

Shaun got a good draw and picked Peg 31, where the match had been won from the previous year, and then set about catching half-a-dozen fish on the deck, fishing around the island in front of him. On the final morning he propelled himself into second place with a 21lb 6oz common to take his total to 104lb 6oz, but had to settle for third after Liam’s late charge.

As usual it was a great event and thoroughly enjoyed by all the kids – with several PBs being caught - as well as the families who come along to support them, and none of it would be possible without the hard work of the event organisers and marshalls, nor the sponsors.

The Korda team was on hand to catch all the action on camera, for a show that will be going out on TV, details of which will be announced nearer the time.

Jude shows Simon Scott how he has been fishing his zigs