Hook Bait Co. owner Darren McCann has recently tweaked the mix on the already successful Spicy Fish Pro range which has already helped put a significant number of specimen fish on the bank so far this season. Darren said “I have added Atlantic Salmon to it plus a couple of inducers as well but that’s not to say the original Spicy Fish Pro won’t do the business because it’s still a top quality bait”
I’ve had a great start to my season and used no other bait apart from the Spicy Fish Pro. So far this season the original bait has resulted in 25 barbel consisting of 4 x 11’s, 4 x 10’s and the remainder good back up fish to 9lb 12oz as well as 31 chub to 4lb 15oz. I was quite excited when Darren said he’d tweaked the latest batch and even more so when the courier arrived with the parcel just in time for my latest trip.
Along with my team shirt the new bait was discreetly packaged and the Spicy Meat Pro was a gift for my good friend and angling partner Bruce who was already on the river Dove and had 3 barbel through the night to 10lb 10oz on his favorite Hook Bait Co. River Secret.
I arrived mid afternoon on the Saturday and setup alongside Bruce who’d had a few dropped runs from chub. The river was still up a little on normal levels and had a good colour to it so with 3 barbel the night before we were optimistic for the following 24 hours. The new bait was dispatched into the swim in moderation, half a dozen dumbells broken in half and a small amount of the Hook Bait Co. 6mm salmon pellets loose fed over each spot. My usual micro pellet in a blockend feeder was tried but the lack of flow meant I retrieved an almost full feeder after 20 minutes so instead I swapped to a 2oz grippa lead plugged with a little paste to slow release into the swim and hopefully draw the fish in to investigate.
We spent the afternoon chatting and drinking tea, it was my birthday the day before and Bruce had brought the cake so ‘Tiffin‘ was the order of the day.
Late into evening and still no sign of a bite for me, Bruce had a couple of chub plucks but the swim seemed devoid of life, a disappointing start but still my hopes we’re up and I decided not to recast again until the morning hoping that a fish would find the single hook bait on it’s own merit.
At 6am the following morning a short bleep on the upstream rod had me hover over it waiting for a further sign, if it was just another sneaky chub I’d have to re-bait and disturb the swim. The isotope glowed in the early morning dawn and the disappeared as the rod strained to stay put on the alarm, I lifted in and felt that very reassuring resistance, this was definitely not a chub!!
It headed for the snags to my left but cautious of last weeks hook pull I applied a little pressure and managed to turn it back into open water. When it eventually surfaced I could see it was a good fish by the size of it’s mouth ‘big enough to swallow an orange’ as they say but having had it’s first gulp of unfamiliar fresh air it lunged back down to it’s watery home and this time seemed even more determined to escape. I tightened the clutch a click at a time and after a further three very powerful runs it surfaced again, I pushed the net towards it and it flipped as the net cord brushed it’s side, the line started to whine under stress but I stayed focused and after another minute she was mine!!
Resting in the net was a very broad set of shoulders so I secured the landing net handle and setup the weighing gear and camera, Bruce was on hand to assist and gave me the thumbs up from the bankside, could this be my next step after 4 x 11’s and a PB of 11lb 10oz on opening night?
After 10 minutes resting in the margins I lifted her out of the water and I knew straight away it was a very decent fish, the first glimpse of it’s depth told me I had a new PB but Bruce wasn’t sure, “a good double mate” he said “probably an eleven”.
The Avon scales were zeroed again and checked by both of us, Bruce lifted the fish up the needle spun around to 7lb, what the? It was still on the mat as Bruce inquired on how the Avons registered a double, it’s 10lb for a full revolution I said so he lifted all the way and we both watched as it flew past 10, 11 and 12 and then settled on 12lb 8oz, wow a new PB and the most perfectly proportioned barbel I’v caught to date.
I’ll leave you with the photo’s and declare this field test a massive success as I moved swims later that day and had a further 2 barbel and plenty of chub including another new chub PB of 5lb 8oz. Spicy Fish Pro – Bait Sorted.