2014 - Our Best Bits

With the festive period now well and truly upon us, it’s time to take a look back across our year, and bask in the glow of some of the undoubted carpy highlights! Here’s our pick of the year…

Most of the UK was still under floodwater when our very own Martin Pick was crowned Angling Times Carp Angler of the Year. A more fitting tribute to the Leicester big-carp man, it would be hard to imagine. The award recognised his supreme consistency over the previous year’s angling on Wellington Country Park.
Despite the floods, anglers were braving it and we reported how Luke Vallory was rewarded with a wonderful 31lb mirror from Jerry Hammond’s Carthagena Lake.

The very first in a new series of free DVDs launched this month, with Masterclass Vol.1 hitting the tackle shops. Out on the bank, Neil Spooner brought to an end his long pursuit of Star Lane’s wonderful linear, banking the great fish at 37lb 8oz on the prototype Krank Chod hooks and a Goo’d-up hook bait.
Darrell Peck banked a true monster from the deep, landing a 46lb 2oz common from Bundy’s Pit… on an adjustable zig rig!

In the month that the floodwaters finally receded, the ever-enthusiastic Oli Bowles banked the biggest fish in his new target water, in the shape of a chunky 35lb mirror known as Bill’s Fish.
Kiana Carp launched a whole new selection of Goos this month, which were set to take the market by storm over the next few months.

Alex and Caroline, the German couple who quit their jobs to go on an epic fishing tour around Europe, were getting into the fish in France, despite the unseasonably cold weather. Their story proved popular with you lot too!
Back here in the UK, Myles Gibson banked one of the jewels in Linch Hill’s crown, in the shape of the impressive Perch Common. At 43lb 10z, it was Myles’ tenth forty and marked the start of an epic year for the Northern big-fish man.
Not to be out-done in the big-common stakes, Ed Betteridge banked a new PB common from his new target water at 45lb 10oz.

In the month that we launched the Krank hooks and Dark Matter braid, Darrell Peck banked his first fish from the mighty Burghfield, and what a fish it was! His 41lb mirror was to mark the start of a great run of fish for our man in deepest Berkshire.
Dan Bruton also got among the big ‘uns, banking the King of West Stow, Two Scale at 41lb 14oz.

We gave you the first look at the revolutionary Heli-Safe bead this month, and you liked it! Our little sneak peek was the most-viewed story on the site in 2014!
Proving that talent is genetic, Tom Dove’s uncle Scott had a right result in the formidable shape of Essex big ‘un, The Bulldozer, at 44lb 1oz.
Luke Vallory was back in the headlines, following a dream session at a big Lea Valley pit. His catch was topped by a big mirror called The Italian at 40lb 13oz.

Our own Jake Wildbore got among the fish in July, landing Christchurch Lake’s Scar at 39lb 4oz. The great fish was caught this autumn at 49lb! Staying in Oxfordshire, Daniel Fellows got in touch with us to tell us about the capture of his target fish from one of the Linear syndicate waters. He finally got to grips with a fish called Auntie Albert, which slammed the scales round to 40lb exactly.

We finally launched the all-conquering COG system this month, after years of tweaking and testing. Out on the bank, Rich Seeds banked what must surely rank as one of the best looking fish of the year from his Gloucestershire syndicate. His awesome linear weighed in at 37lb 10oz.
Jake’s roll continued, as he used the Kranks to land another big ’un, called The Chanty Mirror, from high-profile day-ticket water, The Quarry.

Ali was out and about, filming for forthcoming TV show, The Big Fish Off this month, and frankly, we can’t wait to see it air in 2015!
Myles Gibson was in the headlines once more, banking two whackers from St Ives Shallow Lagoon. The Big Head Fish and then the sought-after Colin saw the inside of Myles’ net in consecutive trips.
Fat Fish Tackle’s Dan Hawkes nabbed a new PB in the shape of Chilly’s Fish from Chilham Mill this month too. The old warrior upped nice-guy Dan’s PB to 45lb 14oz.
We launched new performance mono, Touchdown, this month too, to great reviews from all of you who used it!

Carp Team England battled to a creditable fourth in the World Championships in Italy and elsewhere on the Continent, Darrell Peck was laying waste to the big carp of Belgium for the 2015 Masterclass DVD.
Back home, Dave Levy banked a carp that was over 4ft long! The brute weighed in at 46lb 2oz, and brought to a close Dave’s time on its intimate Essex home.

We launched our super-warm and tough Polar Kombats, just in time for the cold weather! Ed Betteridge stole the headlines with a superb brace of 40lb commons from Bundy’s Pit, and Craig Runham followed his lead with an incredible brace of 39lb carp from the Wasing Estate.

Dave Levy’s incredible run of big fish in 2014 continued, as did Craig Runham’s, with both men banking fish in the first of the cold stuff! As I type, Danny Fairbrass’ ambitious Embryo project is gathering pace, and we should have some exciting news for you early in 2015! Until then, have a great Christmas and a Happy New Year!