Guru Match Academy 2016 is a big hit!

The inaugural Guru Match Academy was a huge success, with 30 budding young matchmen learning from some of the best in the business.

Match Academy took place over two days at top commercial fishery, Makins, and eight of the UK’s most successful match anglers were on hand to teach the 30 successful applicants how to hone their skills and get the best out of their swim in any given situation, providing them with the knowledge needed to go away and win more matches in the future.

The level that some of the kids were already at was staggering – a few were already finding success on the match circuit despite their age - and some of them only really needed a few tweaks to what they were already doing, whilst others were very proficient at certain styles of fishing but less confident at others.

Each day culminated in a match where the students had a chance to show some of the skills they had learnt, and this resulted in some great bags of fish being taken.

On each of the days the tutors – consisting of Adam Rooney, Steve Ringer, Paul Holland, Andy Bennett, Rob Taylor, Matt Djukic, Stephen Parry and Mark Griffiths – picked one student who had shown the most promise in terms of mastering a number of different methods. Both were then awarded a year long sponsorship deal with Guru, worth over £1,000 including clothing, and it was a very close decision on both days.

Neither of the anglers who secured the sponsorship deals – Will McCranor and Rob Swan - actually won their matches, but that was partly down to the pegs that they were on and both managed second place, whilst showing that they were able to efficiently fish a number of different tactics.

On day one ten of the younger students attended, and with very windy conditions tactics mainly consisted of bomb and pellet, or fishing pole down the margin, but there were still some good catches of carp taken with several bags over 50lb in the match, and Josh Newman claimed victory from a corner peg with a few carp on the Method fished across to a reed bed, before a switch to the pole brought him some chunky carp down the edge.

The weather couldn’t have been more different on day two, and the 20 older students were able to fish a full range of methods, including the pellet waggler which quite a few had never really had much success on previously but were soon pulling out carp left, right and centre!

The match was incredibly close, more so than anyone expected, with some big bags of fish taken, and Charlie Pickard looked like the clear winner with 93lb 6oz of pole-caught carp right up until the end of the weigh-in. But it wasn’t so clear cut as Rob Swan, who had caught consistently throughout the three hours, put 93lb 4oz on the scales, missing out by just 2oz! His consolation prize was the sponsorship deal though so he wasn’t too upset!

Guru’s Adam Rooney enthused: “I’m over the moon with how the first Guru Match Academy went! It has taken an awful lot of time and effort, from all of the team, to make it happen, and even then you still worry about how it will be accepted.

“However, from the feedback we received everyone enjoyed the event, and the biggest surprise for me was the standard of angling - I can honestly say that myself and the rest of the team could not believe how good the students were. Their attitude, composure and knowledge of the sport was outstanding, and after the morning of tuition I hope we managed to add extra skills and tips to their already impressive armory.

“It was a fantastic two days, meeting some great little characters that have all the right attributes to make exceptional match anglers in the near future.  Next year we plan to make the academy bigger and better so watch this space!” 

A big thank you to Makins Fishery for hosting Match Academy, and to all the tutors who gave up their time to make the event possible.