FL13 - Page 181



In Search Of Monster Carp
(Left) Len Gurd cartoon from 1983.
Len and I worked at Vauxhall Motors
and used to talk about carp fishing all
day instead of working!
(Bottom left) One of three 20’s in a day
from Arlesey in 1980 on floating crust.
(Bottom right) Excerpt from my carp
log 1981-82 season describing the
capture of a 14lb 15oz common.
which, even now, 30 years later,
would stand up against anything out
there on the shelves.
When it came to flavours, I was
very much into natural flavours, and
very much into fish and meat flavours
right from day one. This again went
totally against what most people
were doing at the time. Most people
who were making their own baits had
followed the writings of the time;
Kevin Maddocks had written quite a
bit on bait and he was a big cream
and toffee and sweet confectionery
type bait maker, as were John Baker
and Geoff Kemp. Rod favoured this
type of flavour as well with his maple
creams, although he did bring out a
seafood blend some years later, which
178 FREE LINE
was available as a boilie and a flavour,
and that was an excellent bait, which
caught me quite a few fish later on.
But the flavours I used, I purchased
from a variety of sources because
nowhere did them all, and I wanted to
cover every single taste scenario possible.
So I actually purchased salmon oil
in two different forms; Alasalar stood
for Atlantic salmon, and that could be
purchased from the Carp Cellar in
Watford. I didn’t get hold of salmon oil
as we use it today until around about
1984, and I purchased that from John
Baker who didn’t have a bait company at the time, but he was, or so he
reliably informed me, a food broker,
and dealt with a big flavour company,
which I think might have
been Rayners. He turned up
at Savay around about 1984
with a load of litre bottles of
this extraordinary salmon oil
in the back of his car, and I had a couple of bottles of that. It drove the cats
wild in my house; I was living in
Flitwick at the time, and just opening
the bottle would send them up the
wall. I then combined this with some
natural fish flavours from a variety of
different fish.
Kevin Nash had a range of flavours
out called Karp Krave in glass bottles,
and I purchased these from Alan
Browns at Hitchin, and he did
pilchard and mackerel and cod. There
was also a tackle manufacturer that
sold fish oils in little bottles, which
were for pike fishing. They came in a
little flat bottle with square flat edges
and a green label on it; it may have
been Efgeeco, and these I purchased
from Wilds. I ended up with about 20
different liquid attractors, of which
some were oil based and some were
synthetic, based on a chemical base.
The oil ones had to be emulsified to
make them water friendly, and I did
this with lecithin, which is again from
the health food shop, and I’d never
seen it in any fishing baits up until
that point.
It was an amazing bait that I created – I made pop-ups with it, and I
did something very, very different
with the pop-ups, something that I
have never ever told anybody about,
not even my closest fishing friends.
I’ve written about making pop-ups in
my books, but in the early books I tell

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