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Match Academy, Makins 2018 - THE MOVIE!


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I started fishing at a very early age due to a few of my family going fishing. I soon started fishing for a local junior team - this is where my love of competitive angling came from. It didn't take me very long to become one of the lads to beat and I had a very fruitful junior career.

I was a bit of a late starter when it came to fishing commercial venues and it was only when I could drive that things started moving forward for me. I used to spend half of my time watching as I couldn't afford to fish both days but it was this that really helped me move forward very quickly.

I used to spend a lot of time watching Mark Goddard and Tommy Hillier and then later on Will Raison. I have a great amount of gratitude for these lads as they, amongst many others, helped me get where I am today. My first proper team was with Bordon Angling, where I met my partner in crime and fellow Guru, Pemb Wrighting!

We had a great few years there and then in 2007 I was asked to fish for Daiwa Dorking. My very first team match was the Division 2 National and we managed to win as a team and I was 3rd overall. It was a day that dreams where made from!

Just before I was asked to fish for Dorking, I spent a lot of time fishing with Will Raison and, to be honest, he operates on a different level to anyone. It was definitely a one step forward, 500 steps back situation! I named him Boy Wonder! I managed to finish 2nd to him in a Dorking-dominated silver fish league that was run at Gold Valley and I think this was the turning point as I was asked to fish for them.

Again, just before joining Will asked me if I would like to practice with him for the Fish 'O' Mania final at Hayfield and on the way there we would be fishing the winter league final on the River Nene. In practice, it was a joke how much better he was compared to the rest of the team and I finally saw just how far out of my depth I really was. Unfortunately the team finished 3rd.

Practicing at Hayfield for the Fish 'O' Mania Final the following week with boy wonder was out of this world and I learnt so much. I am sure the only reason he asked was for my benefit and not his. In the final itself, peg 16 dominated and Will was best of the rest.

Since then, the finals I have won with the team include: two Super League finals, two Winter League finals, one Commercial National, one Maver Match This Team and two runners-up.

Individually, 2015 was fantastic for me; I won the Dynamite and Bait-Tech festivals at White Acres and was 6th in the Milo Festival In years gone by my best finish was a 4th with lots of top 10s but I have always wanted to win one so I am glad that I have.

I absolutely love fishing at White Acres, and the venue has taught me loads of vital much about fishing. The mix of tactics, species, baits and methods you need to learn to compete down there makes it a breeding ground for top anglers. On some lakes you need to catch silver fish to win your section, while on others F1s will dominate. It's taught me loads about skimmer fishing, and what I've learned about big carp fishing down there stands me in good stead countrywide. Porth Reservoir really tests your skills too; one day it could be a bream match on the feeder, the next it’s a pole race, and then the waggler comes into play. If you want to improve as an all-round angler, go and fish a White Acres festival!

Consistency is my biggest goal regardless of the venues or species and I strive to be at the standard needed in every discipline. Again the UK Angling Championship is something that I would love to win and although my best finish so far is a 3rd, I have definitely had a chance to win it so hopefully another one will be on the way!

For me, the Parkdean week at White Acres is my world champs, as it attracts the biggest names in fishing. I have managed to be in the final five times, but unfortunately my best finish is a 3rd so far but hopefully I will get a chance one day. The thing I love about the UK Champs and White Acres is that every result counts. I think the big individual events are very much a lucky dip, but something that no doubt I need to invest more of my time to.

One event that I really did enjoy was the Angling Times pairs and British Pole Championships. It was always exciting trying to qualify and me and my partner Tommy Hillier managed to frame in three years in a row but unfortunately never won. It was a great event and one that I miss.

A couple of winter's ago, I made the choice to really try and enhance my F1 fishing skills. I fished in the Guru team at Tunnel Barn Farm in their Winter League and fortunately we managed to win, which was very pleasing especially on our first year and considering I have done very little F1 fishing. I have spent time draining the brains off our star man Andy Bennett over the last few years, and he's been a huge help to me. We've worked together on our Commercial Masters monthly videos online, and I have utmost respect for him – I'm sure he was a fish in his past life!

The event that I consider the most difficult to win is the Daiwa Pole Fishing Masters at Tunnel Barn Farm. It has run for two years now, and is a three day event attracting a super high standard of matchman. Andy Bennett has won both events! Last year I won my section all three days, but ended up third due to weight count back. It's one I'm striving to win!

Since joining Guru the company has change massively. Brand Manager, Adam Rooney, along with the other lads, have done a sterling job in producing some of the finest products on the market and the future certainly looks bright and exciting.

Being part of Guru is so much more than being a sponsored angler. You’re part of a family of like-minded anglers all trying to think of better ways of going about any given discipline and if you’re having a bit of a rough time of it, everyone is there to help you get back on track. With the growing Media department, an expanding pool of expert anglers, and the hub of knowledge shared on Facebook, Twitter and other social media, we can hopefully help you improve and enjoy your fishing too!