As I’ve mentioned elsewhere, Roy Marlow, owner of the Glebe Fishery is also connected with the Japanese bait giant Marukyu, one of the World’s largest bait manufacturers. Because of this we are often given the chance to test the Japanese bait before it is available on the shelves of UK fishing tackle shops. I thought I’d like to take the opportunity to tell you about some of the hits…and misses, that we’ve tried out.
When Marukyu first arrived in the UK they had a range of a few groundbaits, a few pellets and a couple of liquids. It was going to be interesting to see if bait that catches fish in Japan could do the same thing over here.
This original offering of groundbaits was split into two price groups, the basic mixes of EFG100, EFG101,EFG120 & EFG121 were priced at around the same price level as premium baits from companies such as Sensas & Dynamite. The more exotic EFG130 EFG131 EFG150 and EFG151 were priced at around 8 quid for a one kilo bag, nobody could believe that groundbait could possibly be worth that amount of money even if it was being imported all the way from Japan. First impressions when opening a bag of this expensive stuff were “so what’s so special ?”, it certainly didn’t have a strong smell and it had lots of different coloured bits and bobs in it. However, once you added water (making sure that you followed their mixing instructions) and then left it for 10 minutes you became aware that this was something very different to our normal baits. When wetted it had a very distinctive but not unpleasant smell. You didn’t need to carry around an electric drill and whisk, it wasn’t lumpy, it was a perfect consistency for cupping in down your margins. And it caught fish…lots of them. EFG130 and EFG150 are finer grades of EFG131 and EFG151. Nowadays I use EFG131 in the cooler months and EFG151 in the hottest months of summer. I’ll often dilute it with micro pellets just to make it go further. It’s still expensive but used sparingly it is an amazing bait and I’d hate to be without it.
I think that the cheaper range (EFG100 etc) have now been withdrawn, replaced by a range called Sweet Fishmeal, Sweet Sensation and maybe a couple more. I don’t use any of them, I’ve tried them but they’re just your typical groundbait mixes, they really don’t seem to be particularly special.
The original Maukyu pellets were strange beasts indeed. They had a rough surface and although they were available in the standard sizes of 2mm 4mm 6mm and 8mm they were different lengths, meaning that some pellets were twice the size of others in the same packet. They were disliked by all the the pellet anglers because you couldn’t keep them in a tight group when catapulted and were quickly withdrawn…which was a shame because the 2mm ones made the best paste I’ve ever seen. Stick ’em in a bowl, completely cover them in cold water and 10 minutes later you had the perfect paste. You just needed to add a little more water to make the paste even sloppier if so desired.
Next to come along was a red pellet called JPelletz if memory serves me right, followed by the black Skrill pellets. I quite like the Skrill (Squid & Krill) ones, but don’t like the way that the black dye transfers itself from the pellets to your hands.
This year (2015) they have introduced Focus Amino Pellets in the usual 2, 4, 6 and 8mm sizes. These are a brown pellet flavoured with their new Amino Plus additives (of which more shortly). I’ve tried a few of them but so far I must reserve judgement, I’m not a great pellet fisherman at the best of times, so haven’t really had the opportunity to give them a good testing.
When we first got to test JPz, they were red and only in the 6mm size. We immediately decided that they were weird and pricey but they caught fish although nobody could understand why. They smelt a bit fishy and were as slippery as Slippery Sid, you dropped as many in the water as you managed to get on the hook. We told Roy that they were pretty interesting but were too small and that we needed an 8mm version. It would also be nice to have a tougher version that you could use on the feeder.
Lo and behold, a few months later and we had samples of the new 8mm red ones, the new 8mm tuff red ones and a couple of other varieties/flavours which were green and black. I’ve caught hundreds of fish on 8mm red JPz, I’ve maybe caught two on the black ones and I’ve NEVER had a bite on a green one. So red JPz get my thumbs up and the rest are in the bin. Incidentally, the green JPz are the biggest selling of the range in Holland, they catch millions of fish on them…horses for courses I guess.
Liquids & Powders
When Marukyu launched here in the UK they brought with them some liquids and powders made from living creatures, Krill and Sanagi. Krill is the tiny oceanic creature eaten by the tiniest sardine and the biggest whale…and everything in between. Sanagi is silkworm pupae. It’s safe to say that no carp swimming around in UK waters will ever have seen krill or silkworm in real life. All we know is that the complex proteins and amino acids in these creatures are most definitely to the taste of our carp.
I use krill powder to make dead krilled maggots, all fish seem to love them and you can make batches and freeze them. I’ve never found a use for the krill liquid, maybe the carp anglers use it?
You might well have heard of krilled maggots but sanagi maggots might not be quite so well known. For some reason sanagi doesn’t seem to be quite so palatable to fish other than carp, so if you’re fishing a mixed fishery where you’re trying to avoid the skimmers and roach I’d recommend that you try sanagi maggots. They’re prepared in exactly the same way as krilled maggots, you’re just using a different powder.
There are two sanagi liquids in the Marukyu range, SFA 420 is a liquid manufactured from sanagi, SFA430 is the same but with the addition of crayfish. I guess if I fished a water containing crayfish then I’d try SFA430 but there are no crayfish in the Glebe, so it’s SFA420 for me. What do I use it for ?, I add a capfull of SFA420 to every can of corn. I haven’t a clue why the Glebe carp would show a preference for corn that flavoured with silkworm pupae, but they do and I always add some to my corn. Maybe it’s just a confidence thing…who knows?.
Finally we come to this year’s new creations, a range of flavour sprays and glugs labelled Amino Plus. They are very new, very hard to get hold of (yes even for me) and they seem to work. Created by the bait wizard Trevor Price, their unique feature is that they have the ability to stick to water and wet things. Spray them onto pellets, boilies, bread or whatever and they seem to stick to the bait rather than dissolving into the water. I’m not sure that I’ve explained it right, in fact I’m not sure that I completely understand how they work but there have been LOTS of reports of big catches since they were introduced a few short weeks ago. The jury’s out and time will tell, but at the moment they are looking like the biggest thing to hit the bait scene in many years. One thing’s for sure, you’ll not be able to keep it quiet if you start bagging up whilst using them…the smell is unbelievable, you’ll hear somebody ten pegs away asking “what’s that ‘kin smell?”