Carp Angler Chronicles - February 2024

Carp Angler Chronicles - February 2024

13th Feb 2024

                                                   DT Baits -An interview with the boss

Fenton Trewick is an avid carper from the heart of Essex in England, chasing carp for over 30 years up and down the country. He’s also now at the helm of the amazing DT Baits. We sat down to talk with Fenton and find out what makes DT Baits so successful, which new products he’s excited about, and if he plans to come across the pond one day!

DT Baits has been producing quality baits since 1988, what do you think the key factors are to making DT Baits so successful over the past 30+ years?

Our ethos here is to produce quality bait and we will not change that. Over the last few years, the cost of ingredients has increased significantly. As a result of that, many other bait companies have been cutting back on expensive components or removing them altogether. We will not do this, as people will then start to see catch rates drop, which in turn affects your business and reputation in the long run. The other big factor is today we stick as close to the original recipes as possible where the regulations allow us. Many companies have a range of baits for a few years, then they change them for something new. Whereas, some of our baits have been rolled by us for 25+ years. If they still catch fish why change them?

In todays fishing world there are so many bait companies out there. However, there are many that do not even produce their own bait. A good example of this is when at Carp Den Bosch I visited (undercover) around 20 European bait companies to find that 11 of them were all produced by the same company! We manufacture all our products from our factory in Essex, as well as develop and produce products for other companies around the world.

You’ve been spearheading the company for a while now and have introduced some amazing new products. What are you most proud of so far?

This is a very interesting question. You know I don't think there is a particular product that stands out, but what I get my buzz from is seeing people's catch reports and talking to customers that use our products with great effect. When it comes to development of products, it is a joint effort. Maybe we go with something that has been suggested to us, or one of us has had an idea and we discuss it. Then samples are made. There can be many revisions and we go back to the drawing board before it is ready for field testing. A good example of this was Crustazia. It took 37 different test batches and then field testing, which resulted in over 2 years to bring to market. We have a wealth of experience as all of us have been carp fishing 35+ years and Neil Messenger has worked in production at DT Baits for over 30 years.

What does the future hold for DT Baits?

Keep doing what we do to offer the best quality baits and fantastic customer service. We are now venturing into new markets around the world and will continue to push forward in these markets.

If you could pick one product from your line for each of the seasons, what would it be and why?

Cold Water Green Beast - Winter

This has been developed for use in cold water and with its' unique flavor profile can be devastating. This bait is highly digestible, therefore it takes little effort for the fish to process it. This results in the fish wanting more.

Crustazia - Spring

As the water temperature warms and the fish are on the move, they are hungry. Crustazia is packed full of protein and is not a heavy fishmeal. This makes it ideal for this time of year.

Oily Chicken - Summer

This being a heavy fishmeal based bait gives the fish something they love as they eat much more this time of year.

N Blend/ Supa Fruit - Autumn

Hard choice between the two. N Blend is packed full of tiger nut meal and Supa Fruit has a small amount of tiger nut meal in it. This makes them very attractive, after all what fish doesn't like tiger nuts? The other reason for this, is I like to start introducing Cold Water Green Beast into the lake while the fish are still active.This is to let them get a taste of it before the winter period. CWGB is a great combination with either of these baits.

As a very experienced angler yourself, have you had a chance to fish in the US yet?

NO! I would love to fish the US one day. However, my bucket list of places keeps growing and due to family and work commitments, getting to fulfill all of them is just a dream for now.

With the carp scene growing across the pond, if you could give one tip to carp anglers here, what would it be?

Keep things simple in todays carp fishing world. There are so many products available to us and like bait, they are there to catch the angler, not the fish. Use good quality bait. It may be more expensive, but use less of it and you will reap the rewards. Sometimes less is more.

Lastly, favorite fish -  how did you catch it (rig wise, etc.), and of course, which bait were you using?

When I was younger, free and single I was heavily into the carp scene. I was traveling the country chasing fish and spending every spare hour on the bank. Nowadays, I don't get the time. Although it's the dream of many to work in the industry, it does cut down on the amount of time on the bank. I get invited to fish many waters home and away with some mega fish, but now if I'm fishing and it's not business related I just like to take myself off to a small 14-man private syndicate I belong to. There is nothing huge in the lake, but the fish are real stunners and more importantly it is quiet and chilled out where I can enjoy peace and quiet and take in the countryside and wildlife around me. When it comes to rigs, there is a time and place for many of todays modern rigs, but I would say 80% of my fishing is done with a simple knotless hair rig. Keep it simple, light, and without using loads of metalwork.

Due to having so much bait available to me, I do tend to pick a bait depending on the water I'm going to fish. However if I have no form on the water, two baits I always take are Cold Water Green Beast (if it works well in the winter, it works all year) and N Blend as all fish love nuts.

Thanks, Fenton!

        The Blow Back Rig - By James Leiser

The Blow Back rig is a flexible intermediate rig, It can be used with packbait, PVA bags, or fishing over a spread of boilies. I tie my rigs around 5” in length as I find this to be flexible for multiple uses and baits.

You can shorten the rig if you are fishing dedicated packbait, as the carp are coming in more slowly, picking up the bait and lifting. Lengthen it if fishing in moving water with a spread of boilies, where carp will be moving in and through the area picking up bait as they go.

I prefer using the rig tubing, as it will slide up the shank of the hook if you had a fish pickup and drop the rig. This can be helpful in determining if you have had a fish interaction with your bait without a hook up. The bit of tubing, vs the ring, gives you some minor adjustment to the length of the hair. Providing more freedom by sliding the tubing away from the curve of the hook, or holding the bait closer by sliding it down.

Your rigs don’t have to be perfect to catch carp. Find one you have confidence in and go from there.

Favorite Hook Choices:

Thinking Anglers Curve Shank Hooks (Barbless for me.)

RidgeMonkey Ape-X Curve hooks

Gamakatsu G-Carp Specialist Hooks

Anti-Tangle Sleeve Choices:

PB Products Anti-Tangle Sleeve

Thinking Angler Long Anti-Tangle Sleeves (for longer rigs)

Tubing Choices:

Nash Blow Back Tubes (50) (Time saver)

Thinking Anglers Shrink Tube (Can be used as a kicker or blow back.)

Lead Choices:

Carp Angler Inline Method Lead (3.5oz pictured)

Bait Choices:

DT Bait Developments

Carp Angler Custom Baits in Partnership with ProLine

                                                                             Reel Laughs

James the Jig! - A lighthearted story from our very own James!

Late one fall day, the trio of Rafal, Kosta, and Jenna embarked on a carp fishing adventure that would soon take an unexpected turn, thanks to the fashionably late arrival of their friend, James.

As dawn broke, the trio eagerly set up nine rods, creating a carp-fishing masterpiece with a baited spread that promised a day filled with excitement. However, as the sun journeyed across the sky, not a single run or liner graced their endeavors.

Cue James, the dinner runner with a flair for the unexpected. Arriving at the scene around four o'clock, he carried with him a single walleye rod, complete with a conspicuously bright orange jig. The stage was set for an unintentional comedy of errors.

Rafal, always quick with a witty remark, eyed the limited space for casting and suggested, "Just cast between my rods. Perhaps you'll snag one of them and get me excited." Unfazed, James surveyed the current and the placement of leads, and with confidence, he made a smooth cast between the neatly arranged rods.

As the bright orange jig descended into the depths, a moment of suspense hung in the air. Then, with a sudden burst of activity, one of Rafal's rods took off! Stunned, Rafal turned to James with a mixture of disbelief and amusement. "Ya ya, very funny," he remarked.

But James was having none of it. "Nope, not me," he declared with a mischievous grin. "You've got a run!"

The response was immediate. Rafal, now torn between skepticism and curiosity, leaped off his chair and engaged in a battle with the unexpected carp on the other end of the line. The look on Kosta's face, caught between sheer amazement and amusement, was a snapshot etched into their fishing memories forever.

And so, in the annals of their fishing escapades, James and his bright orange jig became legends—the unwitting heroes of the day, turning a mundane carp fishing trip into a hilarious tale of surprises, pranks, and the triumph of the unassuming walleye rod.

We would also like to leave you with this image of one of our finest specimens...

Tight lines and more to come next month!