Words and pictures courtesy of Pat Gillett:
I was in France a couple of weeks ago and a discussion I had with the lake owner really got me thinking about the way my fishing has changed (in terms of bait usage) over the last few years.
I was first introduced to the Quest range in May 2006 whilst fishing a lake in the Limoges area of France. It proved to be a very tricky week due to various reasons but by using the frozen Special Crab (in very small quantities) I managed to winkle out 9 quality carp (with 7 x 30lb+), these included 2 x 38lb+ commons, 2 mirrors of 47lb+ and a then P.B. mirror of 49lb 14oz, to say I was impressed with the bait was an
I had always put my own base mixes together and enjoyed making my own baits, believing they were better than those that I could buy (because I always knew what was going into them), but this became very time consuming and so if I could find a good ready made bait, then I was keen to try it. I carried on using the Frozen Special Crab on my syndicate lake with excellent results and then used it through the winter for my barbel fishing. The results on the various rivers in a number of different conditions were outstanding, this was the bait for me!
The following season the Frozen Special Crab kept on working, but I was then introduced to the Rahja Spice Shelf Life’s. Now I would never use shelf life baits has I believed them to be totally inferior to Fresh frozen baits. Up until this point (2007) most of the shelf life’s I had seen had been little more than ‘rock hard highly flavoured balls of preservatives’, something I would only ever use has a last resort. But with travelling
abroad more regularly (and all the problems that this can entail with frozen baits), we were keen to have a look at the Quest Rahja Spice Shelf Life’s, to see if they were of the same standard as the fresh frozen. I really was pleasantly surprised, these shelf life’s smelt good (without being overpowering), had a great texture (exactly the same has a fresh frozen) and perhaps most importantly contained no artificial preservatives. These baits were obviously going to be a winner and so it proved with a large number of big carp being caught from lots of different venues (including my P.B of 55lb 4oz) and in all weather conditions. A true all season bait.
I have also used the Liver B8, barbel chops and special crab in the shelf life range and taken good fish on all of them. I have been well and truly converted, so much so that I don’t bother with frozen baits for my carp fishing any more.
I still believed however that frozen baits were better for barbel fishing, has I felt they gave off better flavour leakage and thus created a better flavour trail in the current. However after using the Special Crab frozen
baits since 2006 I fancied a change, and so in the Autumn of 2011 I decided to use the Rahja Spice Shelf Life’s on the rivers for barbel.
Once again, the results proved to be instant on all the rivers I fished, with many double figure fish gracing my landing net. An added bonus being that I could use them straight out of the bag (I had always boosted
the frozen special crab). I look forward to the new river season to see if the success of this bait goes on.
So in the space of 6 years I have gone from an angler who wouldn’t use anybody else’s bait, to an angler that would only use fresh frozen to one that is supremely confident in using a range of shelf life’s, I really have come full circle!
So much so that I would be happy making the bold statement : ‘if I could only use one bait for my carp and barbel fishing – it would be the Rahja Spice Shelf Life range’. Sounds like an advert for Quest, but it really isn’t it is a statement I firmly believe in.
How things have changed in 6 years !