Tuesday 26th July …We all assembled at 9-00am at Furnace Lakes, West Sussex for a briefing from Danny Fairbrass, then it was time to meet the participants. I had two lads to fish with, Archie and Harry and it soon became clear that I had been allocated a couple of very pleasant, mega keen, young carpers. We spent the morning getting organised and getting to know each other. I was amazed at how much the lads already knew, I had the impression that working through the list of topics on the syllabus was not going to be a problem, and so it proved.
We got the rods cast out and spent our time sat together looking at rigs, baits, and working through topics such as feature finding, spodding, clipping up etc.
6-00 p.m. and it was time for everyone to meet in the marquee for a lovely lasagne, followed by a short session floater fishing on the smaller Hyes lake next door, which produced a small mirror for Harry. As the evening progressed we returned to our swims to get the rods out for the night. Overnight Archie had a good night’s sleep, but Harry’s slumbers were disturbed by a one toner at about 2-00 a.m. as a lively common made off with his bait.
Wednesday 27th July … Dawned damp and drizzly, with odd heavier showers, but we cracked on with the syllabus and with the weather improving, Archie decided to put out a zig, which almost came off as he had his first take of the day, but unfortunately it came off. I hate losing fish myself, so I could really feel for Archie, the fishing was tough so any missed chance really hurts! It would have been so easy for Archie’s head to go down but to his credit he coped with it very well and got on with the fishing. We decided to return to the lake next door for some more surface action, which turned out to be a very good move for Archie, as he got off the mark with a very lively mirror, that gave him many anxious moments before it went over the net chord.
6-00 p.m. back to the marquee for another superb meal, chicken with all the trimmings, then back to our swims to get sorted for the night. I was really impressed with the combination of skill and care from both Harry and Archie, I just hoped, fingers crossed, it would pay off with some takes.
Thursday 28th July … No action overnight was a disappointment, it’s all part of fishing and the end of the lake we were fishing had been quiet, full stop, so it was no reflection on how the lads were fishing. We had to be organised and packed up for the presentations at midday, and I had seen more than enough to tell both lads that they would be graduating from the Korda Academy …. Well done lads!
The marquee was packed with young anglers, parents and coaches. It was a magical hour seeing so many happy, smiling faces getting their certificates, t-shirts etc. and prizes. Then it was outside for a group picture, thankyous and farewells.
So after a quick shower, it was back to a chaotic M25 and the long trek north. It wasn’t the most enjoyable drive I‘ve ever had, but being part of such a successful event made it more than worth it. Well done Korda and thanks for the invite.