A Brief History of how the BYCAC began
It all started back in July 2003 when eleven junior anglers where selected to fish a weekend qualifying match on Oxlease Lake. The prize for two of them was to be chosen to represent Angling Publications and England in the Junior World Cup being held on the St. Lawrence River in the USA.
It was during this event that the representatives from Angling Publications realised the potential to bring forward and put together the British Young Carpers’ Angling Championships (BYCAC). The ability on show from the anglers who fished Oxlease that July, made everyone at Angling Publications realise the quality of these juniors, and that these lads were just the tip of the iceberg with regards to the junior scene within specimen carp fishing.
The Angling Publications team went away from Oxlease with some real food for thought and started to plan the first proper British Young Carpers’ Angling Championship as we know it today. The initial ten who helped bring the BYCAC to the fore and changed the junior scene forever were: Roman Buczynski, Adam Snowden, Ben Aldred, Ben Jones, Lee Buchan, Ashley Robertson, David Whitlock, Ed Clayson, David Hooper and Liam Tucker. So the following year the very first BYCAC was held, again on Oxlease Lake, with Greg Harwar taking the title as the first ever BYCAC Champion.
Over the next 12 years every event was held at the Linear complex, except in 2007 when many parts of the country, including Oxfordshire, were hit by terrible summer flooding. The event wasn’t cancelled though, as Cemex very kindly stepped in to the rescue and offered their Thorpe Lea water as a replacement venue. This particular event was won by Rob Sutton who had finished third the year before, and then two years later in 2009, Rob became and still is the only Junior ever to win the event twice, securing victory on Brasenose-One.
Over the years there have been many notable performances with the likes of Jake Wildbore, Tom Dove, Michael Bamber and Brad Greening all winning the event, along with Tom Makers two second places in three years, and Liam Morgan who without winning the event made the podium on three separate occasions! The current title holder is Jude Ashken, who won the event back in 2016, will he be able to defend his title in 2018? Please also have a look at the ‘Hall of Fame’ section of this web site for a run-down of all the podium places over the years.
Linear Fisheries General Manager.
A word from the England Manager – Rob Hughes
It’s great to see that Linear Fisheries have picked up the mantle of the BYCAC. It has been a very popular competition and it was a great shame to see it finish. You’ve only got to look at the some of the names that have developed through that tournament, from keen young anglers into recognisable household names, to see how important it is in British carp fishing history.
The likes of Tom Dave, Mark Bartlett, Tom Maker and a whole host of other exceptionally gifted young anglers took their first steps into the world of high-profile and also competitive carp fishing through the JBCAC and the BYCAC.
A little history lesson for you….. I actually set up the first ever junior national competition as part of the BCAC back in 1998. In the early years the junior event ran concurrently with the senior event. It was open to pairs of juniors under the age of 16, and was effectively a class of its own. Incidentally we also had a ladies class, where two pairs of ladies entered the ladies Championships. Individual juniors and individual females fishing with a senior male were required to fish in the BCAC senior class.
Back at the very beginning there weren’t so many younger competitive anglers around so they fished at the same time as the seniors and in the same event. The highest placed juniors across the whole tournament would be crowned champions and the junior section ran for 2 years, in 1999 and 2000. The first year was won by a very young Mark Bartlett and his then partner Toby Parker who won the Catch-22 eliminator against very stiff adult competition, including some household names of the time. They progressed into the finals of the BCAC what they were presented with their title.
The following year saw more junior pairs enter the tournament. This time it was two young northern anglers, Scott Parkinson and Lee Sims who finished a magnificent competition at a very tough Wyreside lakes in Lancashire to qualify for the finals of BCAC 00. They then went on to win the junior class.
By 2000 it became clear that there was growing demand for places in the BCAC and it was decided that a separate event should be set up for junior anglers under 18. Around about that time the exceptional team at Angling Publications wanted to step into the event organisation arena and host a junior event so, a bit like the Olympic flame, the trophy was handed over, and the Junior BCAC changed into the BYCAC, with the first Angling Publications led junior match being held in 2003.
There’s a long history of this event, and it’s great to see it return in the hands of such capable and dedicated team. Linear has hosted the finals for as long as it has been the BYCAC, with the exception of one year, and with more and more young anglers out there it will become bigger and better.
In recent years Carp Team England has grown from relatively unknown organisation with little coverage, to a men’s team that fishes in multiple events, a ladies team has been formed and is proving exceptionally successful and the next stage is for a youth development programme to be put into effect and a youth team created. I’ve already been in negotiations with other countries who are working on their squads, so I will be looking very closely at those of you in the BYCAC as potential future members of Team England.
The very best of luck with your entry…… but remember. Winning is important, but the way you carry yourself, your attitude and behaviour, and your effort levels all mean as much too.
Numquam Redono – Never Give Up
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2016 Champion Jude Ashken
The biggest fish ever caught in the BYCAC, 47lb 15oz from Oxlease Lake
Rob Sutton is the only Junior to ever win the event twice
Tom Kerr won the 2013 event
Tom Dove was the 2005 champion
England manager, Rob Hughes will be keeping an eye on the junior events in the future as part of England youth development
Mark Bartlett and Toby Parker were the 1st junior champions