Young Bury St Edmunds angler stuns the angling world to win Sky Sports’ Carp Wars show

Harry Pratt, Carp Wars champion

Harry Pratt, Carp Wars champion - Credit: Archant

Harry Pratt, a 19-year-old carp fishing trainee plumber from Bury St Edmunds, has won a giant-killing victory over five of the UK’s best-known carp anglers.

He defeated carp-fishing legend Dave Lane in the series of Carp Wars that has just concluded on Sky Sports. He was triumphant in the 48-hour final, held in France, to claim the title and the bragging rights. And it was no narrow victory, winning the contest by more than 250lb of carp.

Harry’s rise to the top comes after he won a competition held by the production company behind the series, FishingTV, to be the sixth angler in the competition. But nobody, not even he, thought he would be able to take the title – as he said in the final: “Never in a million years did I think I would beat one of these big names in angling, let alone win the final.” To beat one of his all time fishing heroes into the bargain, and to be presented with the trophy by him was the cherry on the cake.

Despite the emphatic win, his victory was by no means guaranteed. His only loss during the group round was to Dave, who has a formidable record of eight 50lb+ carp to his name. In fact, Harry only just scraped into the final, having finished second over-all in the group stage. He needed to beat another carp fishing legend, Ian Russell, in the final group match to secure the place, but managed to do so emphatically.

Although he was, relatively speaking, a rookie compared to his fellow competitors, Harry was able to teach the old hands a thing or two. In particular his fondness for a fishing set up known as a ‘method feeder’ set him apart from the others, and brought him success when they were struggling. Although this technique is rarely used when targeting big carp, in the final it brought him a personal best fish, which weighed in at over 50lb.

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As the show was filmed in the summer and only recently aired on Sky Sports Harry has been unable to fully enjoy his success, but he will be able to do so now.

“Its been so hard keeping the result a secret, but apart from telling my mum and dad after the France result I’ve not told anyone,” he said. The excitement is yet to subside, despite the final taking place several months ago “I don’t think being Carp Wars champion will

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ever sink in. It was amazing to fish with such a great bunch of anglers, and I’m sure I’ll be friends with them for many years to come.”

He says that he hopes his success has inspired people to get out fishing. “It’s seemed to have got a lot of my mates who haven’t been fishing for years, or ever before, into the sport which is great to see.”

Since taking part in the series Harry has written a few articles for the angling press and has made an appearance at an angling trade fairs for his sponsors. He hasn’t given up the day job just yet but isn’t ruling that out, especially after the series was mentioned by Chris Evans on his Radio 2 Breakfast Show - it seems the ginger one is a fan of carp fishing!

Planning for the second series of Carp Wars is already underway, and FishingTV are once again seeking a member of the public to follow in Harry’s footsteps. Does he have any advice for next years’ hopefuls?

“Give it everything you can and be ready for what the other anglers have up their sleeves. But most importantly: enjoy fishing alongside such respected anglers, and always be ready to learn from them.”

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