- QUICK PROFILE
- PB FISH:
- A 2lb 7oz roach from the River Severn at Shrewsbury
- PB MATCH WEIGHT:
- 317lb from Lake One at The Glebe Fishery
- Acolyte Range
- Daiwa TDX 3012 Double Handle
- FAVOURITE METHOD:
- Waggler or slider for roach and skimmers
- FAVOURITE VENUE:
- Porth Reservoir in Cornwall
- HOME TOWN:
Makins Fishery, Guru Match Academy 2019: THE MOVIE!
GALLERYSEE MORE GALLERY PICS
“IT'S AFRICAN SUNSET, NOT GINGER!”
The first picture in my fishing scrapbook is me crawling around in a keepnet at just a couple of years old. I started fishing at about three years old, after spending lots of time at my nan and grandad’s caravan in the small village of Torksey in Lincolnshire. The River Trent, Fossdyke Canal and dozens of stillwaters were nearby, and my grandad, Ray, took me fishing throughout the summer holidays as a schoolboy.
Although I'm a mad keen match angler now, I actually grew up with a love of pike fishing. In fact, I managed a pike at 21lb from the Foss Dyke Navigation when I was about eight years old, it was as big as me!
My match fishing career started when I attended a fun open-day that was hosted at a fishery local to me. The manager of the Worksop Cadet Squad, Glynn Williams, saw me fishing and asked if I wanted to join the squad as a trainee. I was too young to fish any of the matches at the time at only eight years old and had just a 6m whip and plastic tackle box. However, I went along to all the practice sessions, and fished my first national as soon as I was old enough at ten. We won as a team and I managed third overall – I was proverbially hooked.
From there, I progressed through the cadet and junior ranks. I also fished quite a few club and open matches from being around 12 years old. My local village club, Wales and Kiveton Park Angling, had matches in the local area, and I loved all the banter and craic! I still used to travel down to Lincolnshire too, where I fished matches with my grandad’s club on the River Trent.
I entered my first trials for the Junior England squad at 13, which was a fantastic learning experience although I didn’t get in the team.
The following year, I attended the trials again at Furzton Lake. I made the squad that would travel out the World Championship in Serbia. We won team gold, and I was crowned World Champion – it was surreal! I know a lot of young anglers get a knockback from the international setup, and never have another crack at it. For me, it was a lesson to keep trying and learning. I started with a 6m whip and plastic tackle box, then five years later I was fishing for England and had won a World Champs! I’m honored to have been involved in international fishing with England to this day since that first year in 2005.
At 18 years old, I was asked to join The Barnsley Blacks. Rubbing shoulders with the likes of Dennis White, Alan Scotthorne, and Lee Kerry to name just three was amazing, and I’m still with this team now. We've won a fair few bits over the years, but the highlight with the team for me so far has to be winning last years Division One National on the River Trent. It was a little bit iconic for me – a Trent National with the Barnsley Blacks.
I managed to break into the senior England Squad at 24 years of age, and competed in the 2016 European Championship and Home Internationals, winning Team Silver and Team Gold, and had a super experience!
I've been privileged to travel to some amazing places over the years too. The 2015 World Club Championship on the River Vah in Zilina, Slovakia, was crazy and takes some beating. The river was like nothing I’ve ever imagined – it looked unfishable! Evil boulders made up the banks, and you needed a 50 gram flat float to run a bait through the swim. When you hooked a fish in the flow, it was like hooking a train, and I’ve never put my tackle under so much strain before. The team getting a bronze medal was an awesome achievement such an alien venue.
I have several angling heroes, but at the top without doubt are my dad and grandad, or all my family infact - I have so much to thank them for! They took me fishing on the snowiest, glum days after they’d had a bad week at work, traveled the length and breadth of the country and now world, kitted out their garage for my fishing gear, I’m incredibly lucky to have had their support to this day.
Glynn Williams is another. He really took me under his wing as a child, and welcomed me into the competitive side of the sport at just eight with the Worksop Juniors, as he did so many others – a proper gent who taught me a lot about fishing.
I have a lot to thank Alex Mitchell for too. He was awesome at fishing, is an ex-Barnsley Blacks member, and showed me things ten years ago that top anglers do now – he taught me loads!
I’ve got to say Alan Scotthorne too. I remember listening to him at an open evening we had with the Worksop Juniors when I was nine. I was in awe. He seemed to know so much mind-boggling stuff about fishing. Since, I’ve fished against him, and now fish with him in the same team. It’s making my spine tingle as I write this bit. I still hang on to every word he says, and can’t comprehend that he was amazing when I was a mere child, is still incredible now, and I’m lucky enough to fish alongside him. Really, it shows that anyone can achieve their goals in angling if they have the drive.
In terms of 'younger' hero’s, Tom Scholey and Lee Kerry too. I spend more time with Tom than anyone, and he’s not only shared some fantastic angling experiences with me, but lead me into angling as a trade, and taught me invaluable life lessons. I wouldn’t be sat here writing this if it wasn’t for Tom - he really is my best friend. Lee Kerry has given me a more recent streak of drive and enthusiasm. He takes it to the next level, and has unbelievable amounts of energy all the time. We talk about fishing all the time, he’s taught me loads, and together we analyse things to the limit – in my opinion, all this definitely makes you a better angler.
In terms or work, I've always been involved in the angling trade. I had Saturday jobs in local tackle shops, and also worked in a tackle shop while I was at University. After, I enjoyed my time as the Assistant Editor of Pole Fishing magazine, then Features Editor of Match Fishing Magazine, and I've now joined the Guru ranks as the Marketing and Media Coordinator...I love it! Did I mention I do some modeling for male lingerie manufacturers, and take part in some mild adult films too? Haha, only joking!
I like running and keeping active, and also love outdoors and geography. I did a degree in it, and have always loved landscapes and the environment. I sometimes go off on a big rant about space and how amazing the world is – I’m probably quite weird actually.
If you see me on the bank, please come and say hi...tight lines!
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