My passion for fishing started when I was around 12 years old, my dad brought me a float fishing lesson as a birthday present. During the day I learnt a huge amount, caught the biggest fish in the lake and became instantly hooked on the sport. Probably the best birthday present I have ever had.
The next 4-5 years were spent float and pleasure fishing, any time during the holidays, weekends or after school I would ask to go fishing. At the time I didn’t target any species, just anything that would take a grain of corn, maggot or pellet and every fish was a huge buzz spurring me on to catch the next. I learnt a huge amount about the sport, however I didn’t have any friends or family that fished so all my knowledge came from the internet, tackle shops or experience.
At the age of 16 I decided to attend Hadlow College to study fishery management. This was when my passion for carp fishing started. Some of the guys on the course had been carp fishing for some time and photo albums of big carp started to appear. I just knew I had to catch some of them. Whilst at Hadlow I mainly fished day ticket waters and I landed my first 20lb carp which was shortly followed by many more.
When I turned 18 I attended Sparsholt College to study a BSC in Aquaculture and Fishery Management. My rigs, bait, watercraft and general carp fishing continued to evolve. I joined my first syndicate, Mercers Country Park, with the aim of catching my first 30lb carp and it didn’t take long. I fished the lake hard during my summer break, catching my first thirty followed by 10 others. It was a huge buzz and massive personal achievement.
Over the next 5 years I targeted a range of different waters, from easy day ticket run waters to hard syndicates and even rivers. I have several highlights and favourite memories. During the 2015-2016 season I joined RK Leisure with the aim of fishing Kingsmead 1. At around 20 acres it holds a huge stock of big carp up to 54lb. I had a fantastic season catching numerous 30lb fish, two 40’s and the biggest fish on the complex Staries at 54lb 14oz.
Most recently I spent a little bit of time on the River Thames. I fished the river because I was working close by and didn’t want to spend hours in the car every day driving through London. I fished with a friend/work partner Dave and we found a good area which we fished for 6 weeks. We kept the bait going in and waited for them to turn up. I managed several fish including an incredible 37lb river mirror, which was a huge achievement and massive river carp.
I have recently taken over the running of a small syndicate called Clay Pit Fishery, which has been a huge pleasure and fantastic opportunity. It has allowed me to put my degree and knowledge into a fishery management situation. I have caught most of the fish over the past couple of years the biggest being just over 34lb and a fish that was my personal best common for a number of years. It gives me just as much pleasure watching other anglers catch stunning carp as I do catching them.
I have several ambitions in carp fishing and I will be going back to the Thames to try and catch some wild unknown carp the river holds. I also have several targets that reside in the syndicates I am currently fishing, one of which is a 50lb common.
Name: Jack Funnell
Nickname: Little Jack
Date of Birth: 27/07/1992
Favourite Venues: Anywhere with a chunk
PB’s (lb): UK mirror 54lb, common 43lb, foreign 57lb mirror