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F F F 2004 - Memories

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Today is Dec 23rd, 2012. Nine days before the 10th edition of the FFF.

Every day until the event, I plan to share a few memories from each of the previous editions of the FFF. Today will be about our very first edition, which was planned in 2003 and occurred on Jan 1st, 2004.

Who came up with this nutsy idea of fishing for carp on New Years Day? Not me... It takes an Englishman to be that pervert! :rolleyes: Namely our own Iain Murray (redcoat)... He didn't suggest a national event, mind you, just to challenge me to give it a try on the coming Jan 1st. Then I had a long business trip in Asia, and I vividly remember being unable to sleep in the plane (I think it was from Australia to China!), and starting to shape in my head how we could generalize Iain's challenge to a bunch of crazy carp anglers... The FFF was born!

Click here for the very first FFF announcement. Little did we know that 10 years later, we'd still be fools...

How did it work out? Well, given the short notice and the insanity of the proposal, I would say pretty good. We had 31 participants, across 7 states in the US (of course, Illinois lining up the most participants - a long standing tradition starting by then), and even one guy in Honduras (!!) and in the UK.

None other than Paul Pezalla claimed the very first carp (at 7am), but no witness... Yep, the witness rule was there form the very beginning... So it was Elliott Bennett who won the First Carp Award, and then proceeded to land a little more than 100lb of carp!


Mark Metzger found a way to catch a 28 pounder, the biggest FFF fish of the year.


A group of determined anglers fished with me in MA, and John Westbrook found a way to catch a cute little mirror, the smallest fish of the year.


Now, who won the Emperor award? Not Elliott, as we were using a complex formula by then, giving an advantage to the folks fishing really cold waters. The winner was Todd Davis, who caught 72lb of carp in a 42 degrees water. Brrr.


If you want to read more details, including multiple quotes from participants, click here.

Hm. Is somebody missing from my short account of the FFF 2004? Of course, somebody is missing... Actually, TWO key individuals... Two true FFF heroes...

First off, our “FFF Honorary Chairman” Phonebush himself (the esteemed Bill Warder) issued the most famous quote of the event - and this directly influenced the definition of some of the awards... blow.gif

Blithering idiots! Carp don't feed in cold water!

Ten years later, he would still assert that there is no point fishing for carp at a water temp lower than 50 degrees... Not too sure we should believe him, those pesky FFF participants do land quite a few fish every year, but we certainly have too much respect for Phonebush to ever suggest that, maybe, maybe, he could be slightly mistaken... glare.gif

And then, our FFF artist, Monty MIttleman. For 10 years, the guy came up with amazing cartoons for the event. Here is one of the very first cartoon (and FFF Hall of Fame certificates), and hey, this is Phonebush on the left side! Monty, I just can't thank you enough for all you've done.


PS. the 2003 Hall of Fame certificates were created and designed by Dave Moran and his wife. This was another truly seminal idea!

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