What A Year!

Dean Barlow reflects on 2014, a truly memorable year for the England Feeder Team member…


Well what a year that has been. It’s definitely been one to remember!

It all started for me on January 24th at 22.54 when my life completely changed with the birth of my beautiful daughter, Emily Frankie Barlow, weighing in at 7lb 1.5oz.

February was another good month as I got the phone call I wanted so much from the Preston Innovations Feeder Team Manager, Tommy Pickering, telling me after all the hard work I’d put in after being dropped that I was back in the England team for the World Champs in Ireland. To me fishing for your country is the higest honour you can get in fishing, so to get the chance to wear the ‘three lions’ again was a brilliant feeling.

The Bait-Tech Festival at White Acres also arrived quickly. I had a great week catching plenty of fish and finishing 7th overall. If I am honest, I got a few things wrong, costing me an odd point here and there, but that’s fishing!

A lot of the year was preparing for the World Champs and fishing locally. Three trips to Inniscarra in County Cork to practice the World Champs venue was an eye opener, helping us form a plan for the forthcoming event.

Also the European Feeder Challange on the Gent-Terneuzen Canal in Holland was an important competition, as this is the World Champs venue for 2015. Myself, Steve and Phil Ringer, Adam Rooney and Rob Wootton made up Team Guru, one of the three teams from England who travelled over. We managed to come 2nd with myself finishing 3rd overall in the two-day event. Hopefully we have learnt something for next year!

The next stop was the World Champs. We fished all week perfecting our methods and baits. The first day was unbelievable, scoring just 11 points and then following it up with 15 points for a total of 26. Becoming a World Champion with England was something I dreamed of from being a kid. Steve Ringer became individual World Champ and Mick Vials took individual bronze, which just shows how we had the method sorted as a team.

September soon came around, which for me meant the World Pairs in Ireland. Two good draws and three poor ones left me and my partner out of the running and individually me just missing out on the top 10!

The Parkdean Masters at White Acres is always a difficult week as it’s a who’s who of commercial fishing. For three days I was in contention of qualifying, but two really poor draws ended my festival. After White Acres I spent some quality time with the family and have also now moved down south to Wiltshire.

So that’s my year. I hope you had a good one too. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!