Every competitor hooked fish as the first new-look British Young Carp Angling Championships at Linear Fisheries got off to an action-packed start.
Eighteen youngsters, whittled down in three qualifiers from an initial field of 60, battled it out in the final on Oxlease Lake over the weekend, with a total of 123 carp, including two 30s, caught.
Everyone got at least one bite as a total weight of 2,411lb 3oz was banked.
It is the first year the competition has been run in-house by Linear Fisheries after founders Angling Publications pulled out.
Winner Jamie Standbridge had a storming final night to romp home with 23 fish for 460lb 15oz and take the £1,000 first prize.
The 17-year-old from Oxford told Carpfeed at the presentation: “I’m buzzing, I never thought it would happen. It’s a dream come true.”
Jamie fished peg nine, an island-facing swim, but chose to position his rigs halfway between the bank and the feature.
He said: “I used to fish here [Oxlease] quite a lot but I haven’t really fished it for a few years, but it fished the same as it used to.
“The fish didn’t turn up on me until yesterday evening [Saturday], but I knew that in the second half of the match they’d push into the corners and that’s when I’d have a chance to catch them.
“I put a load of bait out and waited for them to turn up, with single fake-corn rigs over the top. I topped up the swim when I got bites.”
Jamie, who baited with a mixture of boilies, pellets, particles and worms, was in eighth place and 60lb adrift of first at 6pm on Saturday night, but managed fish to over 28lb to surge to victory by the time the hooter sounded at noon on Sunday.
Jamie and runner-up Adam Biddulph, who had the biggest fish of the weekend at 38lb 8oz, are good friends and already well known on the carp scene. In July the pair, who have fished together successfully in the full British Carp Angling Championship, were selected to represent England at the 2018 Junior World Carp Classic in Italy in October.
As part of the prize for winning this event, Jamie will also be representing a Linear-backed England team at the European Championships next May in the Czech Republic.
Linear general manager and match organiser Chris Blunt said: “Congratulations to everyone who took part in, helped organise or sponsored this year’s event, it was epic!”
Korda star, and previous winner, Tom Dove dished out the prizes. He told Carpfeed: “There was some unbelievable angling on show. If they had been this good when I did it, I wouldn’t have won!
“A lot of the lads are 14, 15 years old and they’re fishing far better than some of my mates! It’s very impressive.”
He added: “It’s really important that they carry on doing these events. About a year ago they nearly shut it down and Chris has made a massive effort to get this done.
“It gives people a foot into the industry really quickly – it certainly did for me.”
The top three
- Jamie Standbridge – 23 fish – 460lb 15oz
- Adam Biddulph – 14 fish – a 268lb 7oz
- Dan Bailey – 12 fish – 243lb 4oz