More than two decades ago, Rob Hughes and Simon Crow made their mark on the burgeoning European carp scene with a match masterclass to claim the 1996 World Carp Cup at Fishabil.
Both are now huge names in the sport, with Rob managing Carp Team England and Simon editing Carp-Talk, but this huge win and their massively popular Short Session Carping video was where the seeds were sown.
We've delved into the Angling Times archives and below is the full story of the dramatic final as it appeared in the June 5, 1996, edition.
British duo Rob Hughes and Simon Crow have been crowned World Carp Champions after a barnstorming continental carp raid.
The Midlands masters blew away the world’s best carpers when they dominated the 48-hour World Carp Cup at French Mecca Fishabil.
Rob (26) and Simon (25), both from Wolverhampton, scooped over £14,000 prize money with an 11-carp haul weighing an incredible 211lb 14oz 4dr.
Including eight 20lb-plus carp in their victory charge, Rob and Simon left French superstars Freddy Remetter and Christophe Conrath floundering by over 85lb.
A jubilant Rob told Angling Times: “It was an incredible experience.
“At times we had up to 300 people crowding around our peg cheering, watching and filming us. It was very pressurised and nerve wracking but very enjoyable.”
As the Midlands dream team bathed in the glory of victory, Rob revealed how they snatched the world crown despite drawing a peg away from the favoured area.
Explained Rob: “We wanted a peg on the island, as this was the area which fished best in the run up to the match. After we were 30th out of the draw bag and all the best pegs were taken, we thought our chance had gone.”
But after a victory which confirms the British as the carp-crunching champions of the world, the deadly duo unveiled their winning masterplan.
“We picked a peg where there were fish at long range because we knew angler pressure would push the fish away from the bank,” said Rob.
“Our plan was to fish Nashbaits S Mix boilies at 120yds with two rods and boilies at 70yds over a bed of the dissolving tangerine-flavoured Nash Ball Pellets, with the other two rods.
“We had a carp within 10 minutes and led for the rest of the match.”
Over the next 48 hours Rob and Simon brought a stream of carp battling to the bank, as they regularly fed the dissolving pellets along with a scattering of S Mix boilies.
Explained Rob: “The plan worked to perfection. We fed some pellets which dissolved in 30 minutes and some that took five hours, along with a few boilies.
“The carp were attracted to the swim by the pellets but the only thing they could actually eat were the boilies and the hookbait.”
Despite losing four fish and having a further two disqualified for crossing into other anglers’ swims, the Brits blitzed the other 49 teams in front of an incredible 22,000 spectators.
In a Formula One-style podium presentation in front of packed grandstands, the carp-bagging Brits were presented with the monster cheque and trophy.
Added Rob: “When the national anthem was played it was really moving and we want to thank all the British who supported us, they were brilliant.”