Ever fancied going on a carp-fishing tutorial but don't know how much they cost, who offers them and what to expect? Read on...
Anyone can call themselves a carp tutor, but only the Angling Trust offers a licence scheme to ensure the coach is qualified, insured and safety checked. Not all carp tutors are licenced by the trust so it’s worth checking for customer feedback and insurance details before booking an ‘unlicensed’ coach. www.anglingtrust.net/coaching
Another thing to check before taking the plunge is what’s included in the package. Most tutors provide day tickets, bait and bits of terminal tackle, but do ask.
Most coaches will charge at least £100 for a day session, with overnight and weekend trips running to hundreds of pounds, but time spent in the company of a top angler can be absolutely invaluable and most will allow group bookings to spread the costs. For example, popular tutor Jim Shelley charges £240 for eight hours in summer (£180 in winter) and £350 for 24 hours (£275 in winter). A two-person lesson is £550 for 24 hours all year round.
What do you get?
You call the shots on these sessions, so if there is a particular aspect of carp fishing that you struggle with then get them to focus on that. Some tutors are experts at particular venues (especially the more popular venues like Linear Fisheries and Bluebell Lakes), while others specialise in the technical aspects of fishing such as casting and bait application.
Who does carp tutorials?
Mark Pitchers: North East-based star of the Fox Challenge videos who began running tutorials on his own Wainstones Fishery but now travels nationwide, including Midlands venues like Bluebell and Cromwell. www.facebook.com/mark.pitchers.7
Ian Russell: Former Heathrow Bait Services boss and Avid consultant who is well acquainted with venues around the M25 including Thorpe Lea and the RK Leisure lakes. www.facebook.com/Ianrussellcarpangler
Adam Penning: The Essex-based star who has appeared on numerous TV shows and in most angling publications now offers tutorials on venues such as the Essex Quarry. www.facebook.com/adam.penningcarpangler
Jim Shelley: Norfolk-based Jim has a phenomenal list of captures to his name and offers regular tutorials on venues such as the Waveney complex. www.jimshelleyuncut.co.uk/tuition/
Iain Macmillan: A regular in this very publication, Stoke-based Iain is a master boilie angler particularly on pressured day-ticket venues. www.facebook.com/Iain-macmillan-angler-192726314162068/
Joe Turnbull: If bait and rigs are your particular area of interest then Londoner Joe is the man to turn to. www.joescarptutorials.co.uk
Denis McFetrich: Somewhat under the radar, Denis is the brains behind MCF tackle and bait. He has had amazing success fishing at home and abroad and offers tutorials at Suffolk Water Park. www.mcfcarpfishing.co.uk/page67.html
Rob Marsh: A prolific angling writer and carp-match expert, Kent-based Rob brings a wealth of experience to his fully qualified tutorials. www.robmarshtutorials.co.uk
Bryan Jarrett: Free casting tuitions at Linear Fisheries are on offer from Swindon’s Bryan Jarrett. The Hinders boss also offers full tutorials around the Cotswolds. www.hinders.co.uk, 01793 333900 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Rich Wilby: Venue owner Rich has always been involved in the carp industry as a journalist and consultant. He now offers guided sessions at his own Mustang Lake in Norfolk. www.airfieldlakes.com/tutorials.html
Tom Maker: Arguably one of the best day-ticket anglers in the country, Somerset-based Tom is a regular at Linear Fisheries in Oxfordshire where he offers most of his tutorials. www.facebook.com/TomMakerTutorials
Chris Lowe: Another Linear regular, West Midlander Chris fishes the complex every week so is always in tune with its moods. www.twitter.com/Chris_AvidCarp
A guided session with Tom Maker at Linear Fisheries led teenager Max Rippington to not one but two personal bests…
“I’d been to Linear Fisheries twice before this session and had unfortunately blanked both times, not knowing what I had done wrong.
“I have always been a firm believer in doing research before turning up at a venue so I’m always on the Linear website. On there I had seen Tom Maker catching regularly throughout the years and, through his own Facebook page and the Fox DVDs, had seen him catching huge numbers of fish from the lakes, so I knew he was a top choice.
“With a mate we booked a day-long tutorial with Tom and arrived at linear just as the gates opened. After walking around Brasenose Two we decided to head to Oxlease. We settled on two swims with the wind hammering into our faces as Tom said the fish always seem to follow the wind.
“He showed us a maggot Medusa rig that I had never used before and by 1pm my mate had bagged a pb mirror of 29lb 5oz by casting into a small bay about 35 yards out. After casting to showing fish my rod rattled off with a 29lb 14oz mirror which was also a new personal best.
“The following morning I caught a scaly 23lb mirror and then beat my pb again with an Oxlease original of 32lb 14oz.
“This was one of the most rememberable and enjoyable sessions ever and it would not have been without the aid of Tom. His knowledge of the lakes was unreal and his attention to detail was unrivalled.”