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23 Feb 2015
by CARPology
1999: Now that was a year...
Celebrating yesteryear’s best events, biggest product breakthroughs and record catches. This time around: 1999

ESP Launched

Probably one of the biggest talking points of that year: ESP was launched under the guidance of Terry Hearn, no less. The initial range featured, as everyone expected, some really nice, innovative products, such as The Stiff Bristle Filament, Stiff Riggers and mini flexi-ringed swivels. 13 years on and there are now over 20 specifically made Chod Rig materials… It just goes to show how on the ball the duo were.

The first funnel web

Mike Kavanagh wrote in his Rig World feature back in July 1999, “Korda Developments have also launched their new Funnel Web PVA System which features a novel way of filling a PVA bag.” Who would have believed back then that 13 years later the funnel web system would go on to become the most copied item of all time, with virtually all companies now producing one, along with still being the biggest selling PVA-related product?

Fish With The Stars

It was the biggest event of its kind – ever! Organised by Richard Stangroom, Brian Sefton, Bill Ward and Tim Paisley, it was the first golf-style pro-am to take place in carp fishing circles, with 50 carp anglers paying £100 to fish with 50 carp fishing stars during a 48hr match at Horseshoe Lake. Billed as ‘Fish with the Stars’, the event was held as a fundraiser for The Carp Society’s headquarters. The event was a huge success, with the overall winning pair being Mainline Baits’ Kev Knight and Chris Mingo, who, for his efforts, walked away with £5,000 of kit and a Mainline Bait deal!

The BCAC started

1999 was clearly the year for carp matches, as it hosted the first ever British Carp Angling Championships. The original format included 11 qualifying venues, with the final being held at the stunning Horseshoe Lake. 1999’s event clearly sorted out the wheat from the chaff, with the final contestants list reading like the who’s who’s of carp fishing: Terry Hearn, Tim Paisley, Simon Crow, Nick Helleur, Martin Locke, Ian Poole and many more. The match went right down to the wire and unlike today thanks to social media websites, the masses only found out the result in the following week’s Carp-Talk. The winners were Andy Murray and Keith Napier.

Dissolving Foam was released

That white fluffy stuff you place around your hook before casting out came to market in that year, and it was Martin Locke of Solar Tackle who was the first man to sell it. He launched it at The Go Fishing show at the NEC.

In other news during 1999

Plenty of books
1999 was also a very good year for books. Jim Gibbinson’s penned Gravel Pit Carp, a technical title and one which came 41 years after he wrote his first carp book. Keith Jenkins’s released his first ever book, The Myth, a fictional but semi-autobiographical number. The first in now famous Mark Cunnington ‘The Syndicate’ series was also printed.

Tel's first book
The real highlight of the year though, was Terry Hearn, one-time carp record holder released his first ever book – In Pursuit Of The Largest. It was one of the most eagerly-awaited books of the 90’s and was both a narrative and practical title where Terry told all, from his early years on Yateley to catching Mary, The Black Mirror and Two-Tone.

Educational
The back end of the 90’s also provided a wealth of new instruction material in the form of magazine and videos (remember them?). Highlights include the revolutionary Carpwise series from Gardner Tackle, Richworth Carp Baits Exposed and Rod Hutchinson’s Dream at Madine. 1999 was also the year Total Carp magazine was re-launched.

Two fifties
Dave Mallin became the third angler in the UK to catch two carp over 50lb when he banked the stunning Black Mirror at a weight of 51lb 8oz. The other two were, yes, you’ve guessed it, Dave Lane and Terry Hearn… In the same year Jim Shelley, Mark Tollard and Nigel Stocks all caught the stunning and one-time British record carp, Mary.

Biggest of the year
Along with Jim, Mark and Nigel, Simon Scott also landed Mary, this time at a weight of 52lb exactly, but it was Darren Elks who caught her at the top weight, when she weighed in at a colossal 55lb 8oz. Other big carp catches for the year included Lee Watson’s capture of Two-Tone at 55lb 4oz and Adrian Torlenni with a 52lb 8oz from a private venue.

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