ROB HUGHES: Reflections on the 1996 World Carp Cup

ROB HUGHES: Reflections on the 1996 World Carp Cup

As we covered earlier this month, it's 21 years since Rob Hughes and Simon Crow won the first World Carp Cup at Fishabil.

Now, in a follow-up to that piece, Rob Hughes tell us in his own words how he reflects on that momentous event at Fishabil in 1996.

How the Angling Times reported the win

How the Angling Times reported the win

"Looking back it was a landmark occasion.

"The 1996 World Cup was the catalyst that kicked off not just mine and Simon's careers, but also the whole competition scene in the UK.

Elsewhere in 1996

Bestselling singles: Wannabe (Spice Girls), Killing Me Softly (Fugees), Return of the Mack (Mark Morrison)

Average petrol price: 52.9p/litre

At the cinema: Independence Day, Trainspotting, Jumanji

In the news: Take That split, the Duke and Duchess of York divorce, Euro96 

"Being immensely competitive I enjoyed it so much and wanted to do more events and provide others back in the UK with the experience of competing in carp fishing.

"Who knew back then what an impact our win, and the subsequent setting up of the BCAC, would have on the UK carp scene.  

"If it wasn’t for that 1996 event then competition carping may not have taken off in the way that it has and the industry would be a very different place.

"It opened up a whole new style of carp fishing that has become immensely popular.

Tournaments like the BCAC began two years after Rob and Simon's win

Tournaments like the BCAC began two years after Rob and Simon's win

"Interestingly, it was Simon and I who were at the forefront of the short-session fishing and promotion of day-ticket waters around that time, too.

"All these areas were in their infancy then and just look at them now. Amazing how things happen.

"As for the event itself, I don’t think we realised it was so important at the time. Back then it was simply a very big event with a big prize, and if you look back at the photos and see the crowds it was incredible.

"They sold tickets, and 20,000 people came over the three days. I’m smiling now thinking about how mad it was.

"I remember one time having so many people behind our peg pushing the tapes forwards that we had to get a marshal to push the crowds back and make a channel to be able to cast out.

"Sounds crazy but that is absolutely true. 

Fishbail, the French venue that hosted the event

Fishbail, the French venue that hosted the event

"However, It was the first-ever FIPS officially ratified international carp competition so not only did it kickstart the UK competition scene, it was the precursor to the FIPS world championships we see today, and which eventually became a team event.

"I remember the FIPS president at the time, a guy called Fortune Jaguelin, approving of carp matches at a time when they were in their infancy.

"It also helped put carp fishing on the international stage and bring anglers from different countries together.

"I’ve still got friends, and keep in touch with them, that we met at that event. I’m immensely proud to have been involved with the whole thing.

"Overnight Simon and I became known internationally and the carp world became a smaller place.

"The trophy, which is amazing, has pride of place in my trophy cabinet along with my 2015 gold medal and a number of other trophies I’ve been lucky enough to win over the years. 

"Hard to believe that one was 21 years ago…"   

Rob is now the manager of Carp Team England

Rob is now the manager of Carp Team England